The Charter Trustees are required to set the budget for 2020/21 and any subsequet precept for submission to BCP Council by 31 January 2020.
The Charter Trustees considered a report on the proposed budget and precept for 2020/21, which had been circulated to each Trustee and a copy of which appears as Appendix ‘A’ to these Minutes in the Minute Book.
The Charter Trustees were advised that they were required to set the budget for 2020/21 and any subsequent precept for submission to BCP Council by 31 January 2020.
The Charter Trustees were referred to paragraph 2 of the report and the appendix attached to the report which set out the base budget for 2019/20 agreed at the last meeting on 9 October 2019, the proposed budget for 2020/21 and the projected outturn for 2019/20. Officers in presenting the report referred to some key issues following a meeting with the Mayor and budget signatories detailed below:
· Until the 2019/20 budget was agreed in October 2019 expenditure was minimal which has had an impact on the projected outturn for 2019/20.
· Hospitality budget – the outturn figure shows a variance to the base budget. Historically Poole Mayoralty has not had a separate hospitality budget. It was proposed that the budget was maintained at the base budget level to enable Charter Trustees to review and monitor the hospitality requirements of the Mayor as the wishes of the Mayor on the level of hospitality they wish to undertake each year will vary.
· Civic Regalia – this budget funds the purchase of the past mayors/escort badges including maintenance and repair of the civic regalia, robes and hats.
· Training and Conferences – this included the attendance by the Sheriff at the Annual AGM of the Association of City and Town Sheriffs of England and Wales (NACTSEW) which was a 3-day event which can be held in any one of the 15 City or Towns with a Sheriff.
· Flowers – purchased for 100th birthdays and milestone anniversaries etc. Charter Trustees were advised that it was difficult to know exact numbers for any Mayoral year as the civic team was advised on an ad hoc basis of such events.
· Mayor Making – the shadow Charter Trustees on 30 April 2019 had agreed that the first Annual General Meeting of the Charter Trustees be held on 7 June 2019 at 11 am and would be followed by a buffet lunch in the Cattistock Room. The Hospitality arrangements for the Mayor-Making event may vary according to the wishes of the Mayor which may impact on the available budget. The reasons for the projected outturn for 2019/20 was due in part to the cost of the buffet which was £7.50 per head.
· Remembrance Day – proposed to maintain at base budget level to accommodate the cost implications of any increase in potential security threats and the improved PA system.
· Clothing and Uniforms – cost of replacing maintaining and dry-cleaning uniforms for the civic team.
· Vehicle Hire – the Charter Trustees have a civic party of 4 therefore when all are attending the same event a large vehicle was required and hired on a case by case basis.
Officers explained that subject to discussions on the above the Charter Trustees would need to agree the final budget and the precept.
Charter Trustees were also referred to paragraph 5 and 6 of the report on the VAT position and informed that a response was currently awaited from the HMRC.
The Charter Trustees discussed the detail of the proposed budget for 2020/21 which included raising the following issues:
· was there any annual allowance for the civic roles – officers confirmed that there were no annual allowances in the budget. However, there was provision for out of pocket expenses. The Honorary Clerk’s representative explained that there had been no increase in the base budget.
· how would the underspend be dealt with - officers reported that any underspend would be included in reserves for the following year.
· the maintenance and cleaning of civic robes – officers explained that the Civic Regalia budget head included the maintenance of robes.
· accommodation costs – Charter Trustees were advised that this was the recharge from BCP Council for the use of accommodation at the Poole Civic Centre.
· whilst emphasising the need to be cost effective and efficient the proposed budget compared to the projected outturn position for some budget heads was excessive. Officers referred to the potential VAT liability and that the reserve could be kept for this purpose pending the outcome of the advice from the HMRC. The precept would be reviewed next year and the Charter Trustees contribution reduced as appropriate. A Charter Trustees sought clarification on the relevant legislation which applied. He expressed his concern that the application for exemption had not been addressed sooner. Officers explained that subject to the outcome of the application the situation can be backdated to 1 April 2019.
· the implications of the proposed budget for 2020/21 on local residents in light of the pressures on other services provided by the BCP Council.
(a) the draft budget for 2020-21 as set out in the appendix attached to the report and presented to the Charter Trustees be approved.
(b) subject to (a) above a precept of £125,222 be submitted to BCP Council which represents £2.14 for a Band D property.
(c) the VAT position be noted and the Mayor and Budget Signatories be updated on the implications for the budget.
A recorded vote was taken as follows:
For – 19 - Councillors Marcus Andrews, Steve Baron, Mike Brooke, David Brown, Richard Burton, Diana Butler, Daniel Butt, Bryan Dion, Millie Earl, Marion Le Poidevin, Chris Matthews, Sandra Moore, Pete Parrish, Karen Rampton, Felicity Rice, Vikki Slade, Ann Stribley, Tony Trent, Mike White.
Against – 2 - Councillors L-J Evans and Tony O’Neill
Abstention – 0