Meeting documents

Venue: Oculus

Contact: Sara Turnbull 

Note: A YouTube video of this meeting is available at 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 272 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 November 2015.


The Minutes of the meeting on 19 November 2015 were agreed as a correct record.




Mrs M Aston presented a petition on behalf of Worminghall Parish Council in relation to the local bus service.


Mr T Butcher presented a petition on behalf of Seer Green Parish Council regarding traffic speed and dangerous parking in the village.



a        To receive any apologies for absence

b        To receive any communications the Chairman wishes to present to the Council


Apologies were received from Mr A Busby, Mr D                                                       Dhillon, Mrs L Clarke, Mrs A Macpherson, Mr D Schofield, Sir H Aubrey-Fletcher, Mr B Allen, Mrs M Clayton, Mr F Robinson and Mr K Ross.


A minute’s silence was held for the recent death of Mr S Hodgkinson who had been a County Councillor from 1993 to 2001.  The demise of Mr R Thursdon who had been a Public Relations officer at the Council from 1974 to1993 was also noted.


Mrs G Miscampbell was welcomed as the Lord Lieutenant’s representative for the meeting. The Chairman thanked Mrs F Skelton who was attending her last meeting as High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire.


Mr Chapple reminded Members to complete the Members’ Survey and of forthcoming information sessions on the Council’s Code of Conduct and on Innovation.


The Chairman paid tribute to the Chief Executive, Mr C Williams, who was attending his final Council meeting before retirement.  Mr Chapple commented on his long association with Mr Williams, his early successes in relation to the South East Plan and the South Downs National Park, and reminded Members of Mr Williams’ career progression through the authority.  Mr Williams was thanked for his extensive work for the county, both within and beyond the Council.  Mr Chapple said that Mr Williams would be greatly missed and made a presentation on behalf of the authority. 


The Leader Mr M Tett, former Leader Mr D Shakespeare and Opposition Group Leader Mrs A Davies honoured Mr Williams, acknowledging and thanking him for his energy, enthusiasm, support and the significant contribution he had made to the County Council. 


In reply Mr Williams remarked on his time at the authority, the politicians and officers he had worked with since starting with the authority in 1996 and in particular the honour and privilege of working with two Leaders, Mr M Tett and Mr D Shakespeare.  Mr Williams commented that although he prized his job he was looking forward to retirement and thanked Members and officers past and present.


The Chairman informed Members that the Book of Condolence for Mr T Wogan would be available to sign after the meeting.




Declarations of Interest

To disclose any Personal or Disclosable Pecuniary Interests


Mr S Lambert declared an interest as Chairman of Trustees of Youth Concern and confirmed that dispensation had been given by the Monitoring Officer for the meeting.


Treasury Management Policy Statement; Treasury Management Strategy Statement; Annual Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Statement pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To approve the Treasury Management Policy Statement, Treasury Management Strategy Statement, the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement and the Annual Investment Strategy for 2016/17, together with the Prudential Indicators for the next four years.  


Additional documents:


Mr D Watson presented the report drawing Members’ attention to the updated papers published as a result of changes to the capital budget.  In summary, Mr Watson explained that:


·         There were no changes in relation to the Treasury Management Policy Statement

·         The Treasury Management Strategy Statement had changed after the acquisition of the Energy from Waste plant, with the key difference being the increase in money market funds. Mr Watson explained that the drop in cash following acquisition of the plant would require short-term borrowing to pay the recoverable VAT payment to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

·         Changes to the Annual Investment Strategy were highlighted

·         Point 65 in the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement would be particularly of note in budget discussions


Mr Watson proposed the recommendation, which was seconded by Mr J Chilver.  The following resolution was agreed unanimously:




The Council APPROVED the Treasury Management Policy Statement, Treasury Management Strategy Statement, the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement and the Annual Investment Strategy for 2016/17, together with the Prudential Indicators for the next four years.


Chief Finance Officer's Statutory Report pdf icon PDF 428 KB

To note the Chief Finance Officer’s Report.



Mr R Ambrose, Chief Finance Officer, presented his report informing Members that in considering the robustness of the budget and the adequacy of financial reserves, he had taken into account the underlying financial pressures from the current year, together with unavoidable pressures such as demography and demand. 


Mr Ambrose brought Members’ attention to the risks in the budget (in paragraph 23 of the report), highlighting:


·         The achievability of reductions (£53m over 4 years), including Future Shape savings

·         Global uncertainties and the potential for further reductions for local authorities if the Chancellor’s targets were not met

·         Demography and the impact of the National Living Wage

·         Potential adverse public reaction arising from the combination of a Council Tax increase and further cuts in services

·         Legislative changes – functions devolved to local authorities in may not be fully funded

·         The challenges in social work recruitment and retention

·         The potential requirement for additional Capital funding for future school places and in early years settings


In relation to the Council’s reserves, Mr Ambrose informed Members that a review had taken place.  Mr Ambrose explained that budget proposals included an allocation of £1m to general reserves to raise the level above the 5% net budget figure required by the Council.  It was noted that earmarked reserves were forecast to reduce over the coming year primarily in relation to the Energy from Waste project.


In conclusion, Mr Ambrose confirmed that in his opinion as Chief Finance Officer, the budget proposals were robust and reserves were at an adequate level.




Council NOTED the Chief Finance Officer’s Report.




Medium Term Financial Plan, Report of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To consider and approve the Revenue Budget, the Council Tax Requirement and the Capital Programme for 2016/17 as recommended by Cabinet, and to note the Budget Scrutiny Report of the Finance, Performance and Resources Select Committee. 


Additional documents:


Mr Tett presented the report (see budget presentation on the Council’s website), explaining that the Council was facing a significantly challenging financial position with more pressures, more demand and less funding. 


Members heard that the Government’s provisional settlement announcement had been far worse than the worst-case scenario modelled, with the County Council losing all Revenue Support Grant (RSG) in two years rather than the four originally envisaged; the removal of some income from Business Rates; and allocation of only £875k in 2019/20 from the Better Care Fund.


Mr Tett reported on the lobbying of the Secretary of State that had been undertaken through local MPs, the County Councils’ Network and through a Local Government Association meeting.


Members heard that as a result of lobbying, the final settlement announced on 8 February provided £4.6m transition funding in both 2016/17 and 2017/18.  Mr Tett informed Council that whilst welcome, the funding could not be used to fund ongoing services or to remove cuts.


Mr Tett reported that by taking mitigating action the forecast £5m overspend for 2015/16 had been reduced to £1.7m, although a further £53m in savings would be required by the end of 2019/20. 


Members were reminded of the Strategic Plan priorities, the process for budget consultation and the key challenges facing the Council.  Thanks were given to the Finance team, and to all staff for their hard work in difficult circumstances.


Mr Tett took Members through details of the Revenue Budget (see presentation), highlighting the following:


·         The Council’s RSG would fall from just over £60m in 2013/14 to £24m in 2016/17, £8.1m in 2018/19 and zero from then onwards

·         The Government had introduced a top-up grant adjustment which would provide the Council with £1.6m in 2018/19 to avoid a negative RSG

·         Buckinghamshire County Council would receive the lowest RSG per head of any County Council

·         The Social Care Precept (2% per annum) moved responsibility for taxing people from central to local government

·         The Better Care Fund would resource local government to achieve integration of health and social care, funded partly by reductions in New Homes Bonus and partly from new money.  Buckinghamshire would lose out as the reduction in NHB in Buckinghamshire would be greater than BCF allocation.

·         Reductions in Education Services Grant reflected plans for changing statutory functions of local government

·         Despite responsibility for roads, education and social care, the County Council only received 9% of Business Rates retention

·         The establishment of a Business Rates Pool across Buckinghamshire would provide an additional £0.5m per annum until full retention of rates.


Mr Tett explained that expenditure pressures included price inflation of approx. £10.2m and unavoidable growth of £42m by the end of 2019/20.  Council learned that efficiencies sought included delivery of Future Shape savings, moving to digital delivery and exploration of innovative approaches to services. 


Mr Tett stated that charging for services may need to increase and that in prioritising activity some community based services would be reduced.


Mr Tett reported that as a result of additional money from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Interim Chief Executive Officer appointment pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Senior Appointments and Bucks Pay Award Committee (SABPAC).


Mr N Gibson left the meeting.  Mr M Tett presented the report and recommendation from the Senior Appointments and Bucks Pay Awards Committee (SABPAC) in relation to the appointment of an interim Chief Executive.




Council AGREED to appoint Mr N Gibson as Interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service from 1 April 2016 until the commencement of the new permanent postholder.


Notices of Motion


There were no notices of motion.


Cabinet Member Decisions Taken - Information Only pdf icon PDF 283 KB


The report was noted.


Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the County Council will be held on Thursday 28 April 2016.  The agenda will have a Safeguarding focus with annual reports from the Chairmen of the Safeguarding Boards.


Thursday 28 April 2016 at 9.30am in the Court Building, Aylesbury.