Cabinet Portfolio Holder: Councillor Peter Butlin
A report that asks Council to agree the 2020/21 Budget and authorise work to continue on ensuring the 2020-25 Medium Term Financial Strategy is aligned with and supports the delivery of the Council’s ambitions as set out in the Council Plan 2025.
That Council agrees the 2020/21 Budget and authorises work to continue on ensuring the 2020-25 Medium Term Financial Strategy is aligned with and supports the delivery of the Council’s ambitions as set out in the Council Plan 2025.
Councillor Peter Butlin (Deputy Leader – Finance and Property) moved the motion and was seconded by Councillor Izzi Seccombe. (See appendices A1 and A2 to these minutes). Councillor Butlin thanked officers for their hard work as well as thanking Councillor Seccombe for her leadership. Council was informed that the whilst the medium-term financial context was less certain the authority was a strong resilient position. Investment is required in services for residents, high streets, vulnerable adults and the creation of a commercial property company.
Unlike the position in some neighbouring local authorities, reserves, Councillor Butlin stated, are healthy. Value for money allied to high quality outcomes are constantly sought with the Council building on work that has already been done.
Further investment will be required in children with special educational needs as well as in assistive technology for vulnerable adults. In addition, there is a need for spending on superfast broadband, road safety and cycleway provision.
The Council plans to invest in the provision of digital services, a reduction in its accommodation requirements, the maximisation of the benefits of land ownership and support for small and start up businesses.
Two further areas for investment were highlighted. These were the possible development of an equivalent to the new Pears Centre for the south of the county and 5G.
Amendment 1 – Labour Group
Councillor Richard Chattaway proposed the amendment as set out in appendix B to these minutes. Councillor Helen Adkins seconded the amendment.
Councillor Chattaway made the following points.
1. The budget set should be aimed at providing services.
2. The Council has been required to make £33m of cuts over the last 5 years. A further cut to the local government budget is expected.
3. Reserves are currently around £9m. A further £80m – £90m of savings will be required over the next 6 years.
4. Redundancies are being made that undermine the ability to deliver services.
5. The Council needs to be clear on what its requirements will be around property/accommodation.
6. Expenditure on IT does not always enhance service delivery.
7. The capital programme has seen a degree of slippage.
8. Domestic abuse, whether mental or physical, requires further investment.
9. Public transport should be green, cleaner and cheaper.
10.The Labour Group would commit to turning street lights back on at night once LEDs are more prevalent.
11.Regarding the Fire and Rescue Service resources for an additional 21 firefighters are included in the Labour Group proposals.
12.Car parking charges should be limited in order to protect town centres by not deterring people from visiting them.
13.More trees should be planted. Many of these could be put on County Council land.
14.Electric vehicle charging points should be installed and to reduce single use plastic bottles water fountains be provided.
15.Waiting times are too long for special education assessment and more should be done to promote men’s health, address drug and alcohol addiction and domestic violence.
16.Capital should be used to enhance town ... view the full minutes text for item 3