Venue: Council Chamber
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To receive Declarations of Interest from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda.
Councillor Hillier declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 7 as he is a Member of West Sussex County Council.
To receive apologies for absence.
The Leader noted that apologies had been received from Councillor Norman Webster.
The minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2020 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Leader.
To consider any items that the Leader agrees to take as urgent business.
Peter Stuart, Head of Corporate Resources introduced the report. He noted that the final settlement figures had been received after the report had been published but confirmed there were no changes to the provisional figures.
The Leader highlighted the extract of the minutes from the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance on 15 January 2020.
The Deputy Leader confirmed the investments in priority projects (previously flagship activities) and the programme of investments.
In response to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning query, the Head of Corporate Resources confirmed that the Government have announced a New Homes Bonus for 2020/21. He noted that currently payments are received on a six-year rolling programme and under the existing scheme the final legacy payment would be received next year.
The Cabinet Member for Economic Growth queried the proposed increase in Council Tax. The Head of Corporate Resources advised that the changes are accumulative and Council Tax are based on tax base rises and tax rises.
The Head of Corporate Resources commented that drainage levies are still listed to highlight that they are no longer being paid.
The Leader noted that the Corporate Plan and Budget is well managed to meet the priorities of the District. The budget will maintain current services, deliver value for money, support economic growth and protect the environment.
The Leader took the Members to the recommendations contained in the report, which were agreed unanimously.
Cabinet is requested to recommend the proposals for 2020/21 as set out in the
report to the Scrutiny Committee and as amended by this report, to Council,
(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 each business unit.
Peter Stuart, Head of Corporate Resources introduced the report. He noted that due the timing of receipts the dividend payments received were now £63,000 as a further £3,000 had been received since the report had been published.
The Deputy Leader confirmed the receipt of Section 106 monies and that £1.7m had been utilised to fund contributions for Formal Sport, Community Buildings and Playspace projects.
In response to the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth query, the Head of Corporate Resources confirmed that there had been a reduction to the predicted additional income for car parking by £6,000.
The Cabinet Member for Service Delivery confirmed that due to the realignment of the collections by Serco an extra 1,500 households will be able to subscribe to the Garden Waste Service.
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning noted that commuted sums had been received and highlighted the investment in social housing schemes.
As no other Members wished to speak the Leader took Cabinet to the recommendations contained in the report, which were agreed unanimously.
Cabinet recommended to Council for approval:
(i) that £82,000 be transferred from General Reserve to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 20;
(ii) that £4,702 grant income relating to Local Authority Data Sharing Programme Grant be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 21;
(iii) that £1,779 grant income relating to External Wall System Data collection exercise be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 22;
(iv) that the commuted sum of £29,925 is released from General Reserve as detailed in paragraph 23;
(v) the variations to the Capital Programme contained in paragraph 37 in
accordance with the Council’s Financial Procedure rule B3.
And noted the remainder of the report.
Judy Holmes, Assistant Chief Executive, introduced the report for a one-year trial which will deliver a more sustainable waste service to 3,000 houses across the District. She confirmed that the communication plan for the affected households has been developed in conjunction with West Sussex County Council.
The Leader highlighted recent discussions with Daventry Council who have a similar system. He noted that their rollout has been better than expected with a good response from the residents. He commented that 41% of household waste is food and an increase in recycling rates will have a positive environmental impact.
The Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery confirmed that there would be no financial implications to the Council for the trial collection and Mid Sussex would be the first local authority in West Sussex to pilot this service. The pilot aims to increase recycling rates in the trail areas by 8% and will help Mid Sussex to be as sustainable as possible.
The Cabinet Member for Economic Growth congratulated the officers and highlighted the good partnership working with West Sussex County Council.
In response to concerns of the change to 3 weekly collections and overflowing black refuse bins, the Assistant Chief Executive confirmed that during the trial officers and Serco will work with local residents to reduce the black bin waste if this becomes an issue.
In response to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning query, Tom Clark, Solicitor to the Council, confirmed an amendment to the recommendations for transparency.
The Cabinet Member for Customer Services asked if Serco would need more vehicles if the trial was successful. The Assistant Chief Executive confirmed that if the trial was a success the Council will work with Serco to identify and procure the most sustainable and modern vehicles available to support a district wide roll out.
Cabinet agreed to proceed, in partnership with WSCC, with a trial of food waste and absorbent hygiene products collections alongside a restructured residual waste collection frequency as referred to in paragraph 19 across approximately 3,000 properties in three areas in Mid Sussex, commencing in April 2020.