Report of the Corporate Directors’ Group to Cabinet of 13February, 2019 attached.
The report was introduced by the relevant Cabinet member and Council was pleased to note that the increase in Council Tax had been kept to a minimum at 4%. Members thanked officers for the work that had been undertaken in achieving the budget position.
The shortfall in teachers’ pensions was highlighted in particular the increase on employers’ contributions to 23.6% which left the Council with a shortfall of £845k.
Members then raised the following:
· More money had been invested into the Environment Directorate to address problems being experienced in Wards such as fly tipping, etc
· Members noted that the Council had a commitment to education within schools which was evidenced by the 4.5% increase in the delegated budget.
· In relation to the impact of the public consultation on the final budget proposals, Members noted that changes had been made to the schools’ music service, the welfare rights section and libraries. Welsh Government had been lobbied by both the Council and also Trade Unions which had resulted in a more favourable Revenue Support Grant settlement.
· It was noted that the Welsh Government had not amended the funding formula to take into account social deprivation which was a major indicator in Neath Port Talbot.
· Members were pleased that the increase in Council Tax had been kept to a minimum and was lower than most other authorities.
· Council noted that the pay grade of catering staff in schools was not yet resolved but nearing completion.
· Some Members expressed concern at the proposed 300% increase in charges for the pest control service ie. from £40 to £120 per call out and advised that alternative costed amendments had been put forward. In addition Members were concerned that companies such as Welsh Water and British Rail did not address the issue of rodent infestations on their land. In response it was noted that private companies charges were in excess of the Authority’s proposed increases.
· Concern was again expressed at the lateness of the Specific Grant allocations, as this could impact on jobs within the Council.
· The current position in relation to the Cefn Coed Museum was discussed and concern was expressed in relation to the lack of clarity from Welsh Government.
· Members supported the additional money to the Environment Directorate particularly the setting up of a deep cleansing team.
· The increase in the number of consultation responses was welcomed and Members asked for officers to consider ways of improving consultation going forward.
· Some Members welcomed the use of reserves in achieving a balance budget.
The Leader of Council then summed up.
An amendment was then put to Council and there followed a request for a recorded vote, on the following amendment, which received the requisite support in accordance with the requirements of Section 14.5 of Part 4 of the Council’s Constitution – Rules of Procedure.
‘approve the budget/forward financial plan savings (outlined in Appendix 4) save for ENVT918 (pest Control) which shall see an increase to £60 only for 3 visits and therefore excluding £37,500 of savings with the funding for this being made available from General Reserves and a report being brought forward to Members to consider improved enforcement measures and work with external agencies.’
For the Amendment:
Councillors: S.Bamsey, C.Edwards, J.Evans, W.F.Griffiths, J.Hale, N.T.Hunt, A.Llewelyn, J.D.Morgan, D.M.Peters and R.Phillips.
Against the Amendment:
Councillors: A.R.Aubrey, D.Cawsey, H.C.Clarke, C.Clement-Williams, S.ap Dafydd, N.E.Davies, O.S.Davies, S.E Freeguard, C.Galsworthy, S.Harris, M.Harvey, S.K.Hunt, C.James, H.N.James, C.J.Jones, D.Jones, J.Jones, L.C.Jones, R.G.Jones, S.A.Knoyle, E.V.Latham, A.McGrath, J.Miller, S.Miller, R.Mizen, S.Paddison, S.M.Penry, M.Protheroe, S.M.Pursey, P.A.Rees, S.H.Reynolds, P.D.Richards, A.J.Taylor, R.L.Taylor, A.L.Thomas, J.Warman, D.Whitelock, A.Wingrave, R.W.Wood and A.N.Woolcock.
Councillors: S.Jones and D.Keogh
As a result of the above the amendment fell and there followed a request for a recorded vote, on the substantive recommendation contained in the circulated report, which received the requisite support in accordance with the requirements of Section 14.5 of Part 4 of the Council’s Constitution – Rules of Procedure.
For the Recommendation:
Councillors: A.R.Aubrey, S.Bamsey, D.Cawsey, C.Clement-Williams, S.ap Dafydd, N.E.Davies, O.S.Davies, C.Edwards, J.Evans, S.E Freeguard, C.Galsworthy, W.F.Griffiths, J.Hale, S.Harris, M.Harvey, N.T.Hunt, S.K.Hunt, C.James, H.N.James, C.J.Jones, D.Jones, J.Jones, L.C.Jones, R.G.Jones, S.A.Knoyle, E.V.Latham, A.Llewelyn, A.McGrath, J.Miller, S.Miller, R.Mizen, J.D.Morgan, S.Paddison, S.M.Penry, D.M.Peters, R.Phillips, M.Protheroe, S.M.Pursey, P.A.Rees, S.H.Reynolds, P.D.Richards, A.J.Taylor, R.L.Taylor, A.L.Thomas, J.Warman, D.Whitelock, A.Wingrave, R.W.Wood and A.N.Woolcock.
Councillors: H.C.Clarke, S.Jones and D.Keogh
RESOLVED: That having due regard of the Integrated Impact Assessment, as contained in Appendix 7 to the circulated report:
1. the following matters be delegated to the appropriate Corporate Director, following consultation with the Council Leader, relevant Cabinet Member and Chair of the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee:-
· Fees and charges applicable for the financial year 2019/20
· Fees and Charges which are applicable in any subsequent financial year and which, in the opinion of the relevant Corporate Director, need to be set in advance of the financial year for operational reasons;
2. the revised budget position and arrangements for 2018/19, be approved;
3. Having taken into account the Integrated Impact Assessment and Crime and Disorder impacts, the Net Revenue Budget requirement of £288.168m for 2019/20, and the service plans for the delivery of the budgets, be approved together with the
budget/forward financial plan savings, as contained in Appendix 4 to the circulated report;
4. that Corporate Directors be instructed to progress the savings and improvement programme for the Authority;
5. Fees and charges for non-executive functions be delegated to the appropriate Corporate Director following consultation with the Council Leader, Deputy Leader and Chair of the relevant Non Executive Committee
· Fees and charges applicable in 2019/20,
· Fees and charges applicable in any subsequent financial year and which, in the opinion of the Corporate Director, need to be set in advance of that financial year for operational reasons;
6. That the 2019/20 Council Tax Band D equivalent for Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council be £1,556.59.