Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 27th February, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Email: 

No. Item


Opening Prayer


The opening prayer was read by the Vice-Chairman.



To receive questions from members of the public pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 9.




To confirm Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 30 January 2019. pdf icon PDF 95 KB


The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 30 January 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



To received declarations of Interest from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda


In relation to item 8, Councillor Andrew Lea, Councillor Bradbury, Councillor Bennett and Councillor Jones declared a personal interest as West Sussex County Councillors.




To consider any items that the Chairman of the Council agrees to take as urgent business.




Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman noted that the next Council meeting will be the last one of this Administration and urged all Members to attend.




Recommendations from Cabinet - 11 February 2019. pdf icon PDF 69 KB


The Chairman introduced the report. In response to a question on the Budget Management 2018/19 Progress Report, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance confirmed that staff vacancy savings were due to positions not filled, and she agreed to  provide a written answer in relation to the proposed use of the underspend.


The Chairman took Members to the recommendations contained in the report, which were agreed unanimously.




With regards to the Draft Corporate Plan and Budget 2019/20, Council approved:


            (i)         The overall direction and service levels promoted within the draft

                        Corporate Plan;


            (ii)        The financial outlook facing the Council;


            iii)         The proposed increase in Council Tax;


            (iv)       The proposed placements in the Specific Reserves;


            (v)        The proposed Capital Programme; and


(vi)       The service commentaries and supporting summary budget tables for business unit.


With regards to the budget management 2018/19 progress report, Council approved:


(i)         that £16,684 be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 21 of the Cabinet report;


(ii)        that £2,786 be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 22 of the Cabinet report;


(iii)       that £90,000 be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph of the Cabinet report;


(iv)       that £18,873 be transferred to Housing Needs Survey specific reserve as detailed in paragraph 24 of the Cabinet report;


(v)        that £15,830 be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 25 of the Cabinet report;


(vi)       that £340,000 of the revenue underspend be transferred to Specific Reserves as detailed in paragraph 26 of the Cabinet report;


(vii)      the variations to the Capital Programme contained in paragraph 46 of the Cabinet report in accordance with the Council’s Financial Procedure rule B4.



With regards to the Property Investment Opportunity, Council approved that the purchase be funded from the general reserve.


Corporate Plan and Budget 2019/20 - Enclosed pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance introduced the report, thanking the Scrutiny Committee, Members and Officers for their efforts in producing a strong Budget and Corporate Plan which will enable the Council to achieve its goals.


She highlighted that the central government grant to the Council has been reduced from £6.5m in 2010 to zero in 2018/19 and that the Secretary of State has reviewed the negative RSG, and confirmed it is no longer to be expected. Instead, the Government is seeking to provide incentives to Councils that are performing well by encouraging participation in schemes such as the Business Rates Pilot.


She acknowledged that whilst uncertainties exist in reference to the fair funding review, and budget reductions planned by West Sussex County Council, this Council has been proactive in many areas. A successful bid for participation in the business rates pilot has enabled £19m to be invested in a full fibre network throughout the District, and prudent property investment was providing income.


She also drew Members attention to some further key areas contained within the plan:


1)          A £3.1% increase in Council Tax increasing the tax at Band D by £4.95 per year.


2)         The work undertaken to facilitate planned and coordinated sustainable economic growth including the Burgess Hill Growth Programme, a masterplan for Haywards Heath, a Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan for East Grinstead and the completion of the Shop Front Improvement project.


3)        Progress made in relation to Flagship Activities.


4)         Significant support to community groups through Cabinet Grants.


5)         A Capital Programme including a significant amount for play spaces.


6)         Resources provided to fund temporary accommodation, and further ways in which the Council is influencing housing more broadly across the District.


A Member asked about the proposed full fibre network. The Cabinet Member for Economic Growth confirmed that the Council is looking at all options to ensure connectivity can benefit smaller market towns and rural areas.


Members noted that extensive work had gone into producing a budget well integrated into the Corporate Plan with clear capital budgets and justification for the key projects. It was noted that strategic partnerships are vital to the Council’s success in achieving its ambitions.


A Member commented that the proposed increase in Council Tax should be seen in context of the recent freeze in Council Tax, which resulted in benefits to local residents. He urged the Cabinet Member to give consideration to whether an increase in future years is necessary.


In response to a Member’s question, the Cabinet Member for Service Delivery confirmed that charges for playing pitches had gone up in line with inflation and there is a budget to litter pick the A23.


The Leader seconded the proposals in the report and thanked Members and Officers for their work to produce a Corporate Plan and Budget which sets a firm financial foundation for the year ahead and the next administration. He reiterated the importance of strategic relationships as millions of pounds of investment for the District are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.