Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting via MS Teams

Contact: Ian Hunt - Email: democracy@buckinghamshire.gov.uk 

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Items
No. Item

Bill Bendyshe-Brown and Hedley Cadd

A minute’s silence was held in memory of Buckinghamshire Councillor Bill Bendyshe-Brown, who had represented the Risborough Ward, and had been a Buckinghamshire County Councillor for 8 years from 2013-2021, a Wycombe District Councillor for 16 years from 1999-2015 and a Risborough Town Councillor for 8 years, and for Hedley Cadd, a former Buckinghamshire County Councillor for 8 years from 2005-2013 and AVDC District Councillor for 35 years from 1976-2011, both for the Buckingham South Ward, and for many years a Buckingham Town Councillor.  Both had sadly passed away recently.  Bill and Hedley had achieved a great deal in their time at their respective councils and would be greatly missed.

 

Prior to the minute’s silence, Councillor Richard Scott spoke about Councillor Bendyshe-Brown’s service to the community and Councillors Bill Chapple and Robin Stuchbury spoke about Hedley Cadd.

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1.

Apologies

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Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors M Bradford, A Garth, M Hanif, P Hogan, D Phillips, N Rose, D Watson, C Whitehead and G Williams.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 December, 2020.

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Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 9 December 2020 be agreed as a correct record.

3.

Declarations of interest

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Minutes:

Councillors Z Ahmed, G Hall, Maz Hussain, N Hussain, T Hussain, R Khan and W Raja declared a prejudicial interest in agenda item number 10 (Buckinghamshire Council Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy) and left the meeting whilst this item was discussed.

4.

Chairman's update

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Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members of the Council to the meeting. He also welcomed Countess Elizabeth Howe, the new Lord Lieutenant, and Andrew Farncombe, the High Sheriff, who were also in attendance.

 

The Chairman noted that whilst the country had been in a national lockdown since before Christmas, he welcomed the measures set out by the Prime Minister on Monday for the future.  The Council was very mindful of the effects of the pandemic on residents, members, staff and businesses and on behalf of Council, and he would like to again thank all who were continuing to brilliantly support Buckinghamshire residents at this difficult time.

 

The Chairman had recently had his vaccination at High Wycombe and was aware that the Leader had been impressed when he recently visited the mass Covid vaccination centres at the Bucks New University (Walton Street, Aylesbury) and at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium.  The Chairman passed on his thanks on behalf of all in expressing pride and support to everyone involved with the centres, including front line NHS staff, volunteers and Council staff.

 

The Chairman advised that, unfortunately, the number of events the Vice Chairman and myself had been able to attend over the Christmas period had been limited by Covid and the National lockdown.  He had however been able to join the Wycombe Guarantors group at North Dean Village Hall on 16 December, when the group distributed over 100 Christmas parcel to attendees of their normal Christmas lunch, which had been cancelled.  The Chairman added that himself or the Vice Chairman were available to attend virtual or socially distanced events.

5.

Petitions

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Minutes:

There were none.

6.

Chief Financial Officer's Statutory Report pdf icon PDF 502 KB

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Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Mr R Ambrose, the Council’s Section 151 Officer to the meeting.  Mr Ambrose presented his report, highlighting that the Medium Term Financial Plan had been subject to frequent and rigorous challenge and review during its development, including the public meetings of the Budget Scrutiny Inquiry group held in January 2021.

 

He concluded by advising Members that the budget proposals recommended by the Cabinet were robust and sustainable.  General Fund reserves (unallocated) were currently circa £47m (approximately 10% of the net operating budget) and earmarked reserves (excluding Dedicated Schools Grant) were sufficient to cover all expected commitments against them, including approximately £17m for the cost of transformation as the new Council further developed its future operating model.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the report be noted.

7.

2021/ 22 Revenue Budget and Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 758 KB

Report (pages 53 – 64)

Appendix 1 – Revenue Budget (pages 65 – 78)

Appendix 2 – Capital Programme (page 79 – 92)

Appendix 3 – Detailed Revenue Budget changes (pages 93 – 100)

Appendix 4 – Council Tax Resolution (document to follow)

Appendix 5 – ‘Special Expenses’ budgets and precept (pages 101 – 102)

Appendix 6 – ‘Special Expenses’ activities (pages 103 – 104)

Appendix 7 – Council Tax Reduction Scheme Policy (pages 105 – 242)

Appendix 8 – Buckinghamshire Business Group budget consultation response (pages 243 – 244)

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Minutes:

The Chairman invited Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, to introduce the report to members on the proposed 2021/ 22 revenue budget and capital programme for Buckinghamshire Council.

 

It was noted that the Council Tax Resolution (Appendix 4) was found in the supplementary agenda pack. The following key points were highlighted:

-                     The budget presented for approval was heavily influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic and had been updated following the third national lockdown and potential ongoing financial impacts.

-                     The proposals presented were based on the latest estimated funding position, service budget pressures and the key financial risks facing the council both now and in the future.  It also took into account the findings from the budget scrutiny inquiry.

-                     Given the level of uncertainly around future government funding and the difficulties with accurately forecasting the long term implications arising as a result of the pandemic, the proposed revenue budget was for 1 year (2021- 22) only.  The overall revenue budget, with each Directorates element expanded, could be found in Appendix 1.

-                     The proposed capital programme covered the period to 2024-25, as many of the council’s schemes spanned multiple financial years, and was balanced across its 4 years.

-                     During 2020-21, a thorough review of the capital programme had been undertaken. This reflected that the existing capital programme had been created by amalgamating the existing plans of the 5 legacy Councils.  The review undertook to review the strategic alignment of all existing projects and to reprioritise the available funding to better meet the ambition of the Council and has resulted in the removal of some schemes which were not yet committed from the programme.  The resulting capital programme would see £569m invested over the 4 years to 2024/25, with £178m of investment in 2021/22.  This included key areas of investment in schools (£163m), Strategic Infrastructure and Highways projects (£135m), Strategic Highway Maintenance (£130m), Support for Economic Regeneration (£50m), Waste (largely due to the replacement of Waste Vehicles) (£20m) and Leisure Centres (£15m).

-                     The overall Capital programme and each Directorates element of the Programme could be seen in Appendix 2.  In order to allow schemes which have a robust and financially viable business case to be added to the Capital Programme it was proposed that authority be delegation to Cabinet to add up to £100m worth of schemes to the capital programme, to be funded through prudential borrowing, subject to a robust business case being approved.

-                     Revenue funding for drainage works had been increased by £2m in 2021-22 to continue to reduce the risk of surface water flooding. There was also an increase of £2m in the Capital Programme for drainage works, giving a total increase in 2021-22 of £4m.

-                     The budget was heavily influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic and proposed a 1.99% increase in basic Council Tax and a 2% increase for the Adult Social Care Precept; a total increase of 3.99%.  However, given the ongoing and well documented pressures for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Budget Vote Resolution Carried
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  • 8.

    Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 621 KB

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    Minutes:

    K Wood, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, introduced Buckinghamshire Council’s Treasury Management Strategy 2021- 22, which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  It was noted that it was a requirement for each local authority to approve a Treasury Management Strategy by 1st April each year.  This strategy had been developed in line with the CIPFA code of practice. Ms Wood moved the recommendation to approve the Treasury Management Strategy. This was seconded by R Newcombe.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    That the Treasury Management Strategy 2021-22 be approved.

    9.

    Capital and Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 595 KB

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    Minutes:

    Ms K Wood, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, introduced the draft Capital and Investment Strategy 2021/ 22, attached as Appendix 1 to the report.  It was noted that the council was required to approve its capital and investment strategy on an annual basis and that it had been developed in line with the CIPFA and MHCLG guidance.  Ms Wood moved the recommendation to approve the Capital and Investment Strategy.  This was seconded by Mr J Chilver.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    That the Capital and Investment Strategy 2021-22, detailed at Appendix 1, be approved.

    10.

    Buckinghamshire Council Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 711 KB

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    Minutes:

    Mr Wilson, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, introduced the draft Buckinghamshire Council Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy.  The policy was an important document that demonstrated the Council’s commitment to securing public safety, provided clarity for applicants and licence holders, assisted decision making, facilitated enforcement activities and helped safeguard against legal challenge.  The creation of Buckinghamshire Council presented an opportunity to create a new policy that incorporated the new Department for Transport (DfT) statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards as well as promoting the highest possible standards to secure public safety. The Policy supported  the Council’s key priorities of protecting the vulnerable, improving the environment and promoting the local economy.

     

    The Council was committed to adopting a new taxi and private hire vehicle licensing policy to support the alignment of the licensing regimes of the former Districts. The adoption of a new policy presented an opportunity to ensure Buckinghamshire Council licensed vehicles, drivers and operators were all held to the highest possible standards along with consistency for both drivers and the public.

     

    Mr Wilson moved the recommendation to approve the draft policy at Appendix 1 to the report.  This was seconded by Mr C Jackson.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.                  That the new Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy for Buckinghamshire Council be adopted, with a proposed implementation date of 1 August 2021.

     

    2.                  That the Head of Service for Licensing, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, be authorised to change the implementation date of the policy, if necessary.

    11.

    Report for information - Key Decisions report pdf icon PDF 465 KB

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    Minutes:

    Full Council received for information a list of decisions taken by Cabinet Members since the last Council meeting.

    12.

    Date of next meeting

    4pm, Wednesday 21 April, 2021

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    Minutes:

    4pm, Wednesday 21 April 2021.