Venue: Council Chamber, Kilmory, Lochgilphead
Contact: Sandra Campbell Tel: 01546 604401
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were intimated from Councillor McKenzie and William Shaw and Margaret Anderson Religious Representatives.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillors Anderson, Lynch and Hardie each declared a non-financial interest in relation to the report on Budgeting Pack 2019/20 which is dealt with at Item 5 of the Minute due to them being Board Members of Live Argyll. The Councillors claimed the benefit of the dispensation contained at Section 5.16 of the Standard’s Commission’s Guidance and Dispensations Note to enable them to speak and vote.
Argyll and Bute Council of 29 November 2018
The Minutes of the Meeting of Argyll and Bute Council held on 29 November 2018 were approved as a correct record.
MINUTES OF COMMITTEES
The Minute of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee held on 6 December 2018 were noted.
The Minute of the Community Services Committee held on 11 December 2018 were noted.
Arising under Item 6 (School Catchment Areas Rezoning Policy) the Council:-
1. discontinued the policy adopted on 11 September 2014 in relation to dealing with requests to alter the catchment area of a school;
2. noted that the relevant Area Committee would be given the opportunity to comment as part of a consultation exercise; and
3. returned to the previous process, similar to that for other proposals under the 2010 Act, whereby requests to alter the catchment area of a school are brought before the Community Services Committee for a decision to be made on whether that request is adopted as a ‘relevant proposal’ to be progressed to a public consultation under the 2010 Act.
Arising under Item 18 (Review of Strategic Housing Fund) the Council agreed to:-
1. continue to use the Strategic Housing Fund to assist with the delivery of affordable housing in Argyll and Bute at £12,000 per unit. This would apply to affordable housing units delivered by March 2021;
2. use the Strategic Housing Fund to honour existing commitments within the fund eg existing awards to Registered Social Landlords;
3. extend the £12,000 per unit to community organisations who satisfy requisite funding criteria and secure Rural Housing Fund and/or Islands Housing Fund Grant from the Scottish Government to deliver affordable housing;
4. an Empty/Abandoned Buildings enabling budget of £50,000 per annum to tackle the most problematic empty buildings; and
5. carry out a further review of the Strategic Housing Fund which will take into account the Scottish Government vision of Housing Beyond 2021.
Arising under Item 28 (Notice of Motion under Standing Order 13 - Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation) the Council agreed to ratify the terms of the Motion below:-
a) Welcomes the signing of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation by the Argyll and Bute Integration Joint Board.
b) Noted that further details of the Charter can be found at https://www.ashscotland.org.uk/what-you-can-do/scotlands-charter-for-a-tobacco-free-generation/
c) Agrees that Argyll and Bute Council sign the Charter.
d) Endorses the principles that:
a) Every baby should be born free from the harmful effects of tobacco;
b) Children have a particular need for a smoke-free environment;
c) All children should play, learn and socialise in places that are free from tobacco;
d) Every child has the right to effective education that equips them to make informed positive choices on tobacco and health;
e) All young people should be protected from commercial interests which profit from recruiting new smokers; and
f) Any young person who smokes should be offered accessible support to help them to become tobacco-free.
e) In support of the Charter agrees to:
a) Acknowledge the harmful effect smoking has on the health of our population.
b) Be personal advocates for a tobacco-free generation.
c) Encourage our educational establishments to further discourage young people from becoming new smokers and ensure that accessible support is available for smokers becoming tobacco-free.
Arising under Item 29 (Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan) the Council agreed the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan.
The Minutes of the Policy and Resources Committee held on 13 December 2018 were noted.
Arising from Item 11 (Proposed Revision to Charges for Pre-Application Planning Advice), the Council agreed that the Council’s scale of non-statutory charges be revised to include new charges for pre-application initiation and follow up meetings as detailed in paragraph 4.7 of the submitted report.
Arising from Item 14 (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) – Funding Opportunity), the Council agreed to a financial commitment to the Council as part of the budget process in respect of –
1. Making a financial commitment of £386,220 towards a Lochgilphead Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme.
2. Making a financial commitment of £500,000 towards a Helensburgh Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme.
The Minutes of the Policy and Resources Committee held on 14 February 2019 were noted.
Arising from Item 4 (Financial Report Monitoring Pack – December 2018), the Council considered this under Item 5 of the Agenda (Budgeting Pack).
Arising from Item 5 (Budgeting Pack 2019/2020), the Policy and Resources Committee had referred the Budgeting Pack for consideration to the Council without recommendation. It was noted that this would be considered under Item 5 of the Agenda (Budgeting Pack).
Arising from Item 6 (Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy), the Council agreed that this would be dealt with under Item 6 of the Agenda.
Arising from Item 7 (Equality and Diversity Plan), the Council approved the updated Equality and Diversity Policy.
Arising from Item 8 (Equalities Outcomes 2019-2023), the Council approved the draft Equality Outcomes 2019-2023.
Arising from Item 9 (Weekly and Monthly Parking Permits), the Council noted that the request would be subject to approval by the Council as part of its consideration of the Budget 2019/20.
Arising from Item 10 (Royal National Mod and Funding Support), the Council noted that the request would be subject to approval by the Council as part of its consideration of the Budget 2019/20.
Arising from Item 13 (Kintyre Recycling Limited), the Council noted that the request would be subject to approval by the Council as part of its consideration of the Budget 2019/20.
1. Introductory Report and Recommendations for Budget Papers
2. Revenue Pack
a) Budget Consultation – Findings Report
b) Service Plans 2019-22
c) Budget Savings - Assessing Equality and Socio Economic Impact
d) Revenue Budget Overview
e) Report on Fees and Charges
f) Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018-19 as at 31 December 2018
g) Report on Financial Risks Analysis
h) Report on Reserves and Balances
3. Capital Plan
a) Capital Plan Summary
b) Corporate Asset Management Strategy
c) Corporate Asset Management Plan / Asset Group Summaries
The Council considered the Revenue Budget and Capital Budget papers as contained within the budgeting pack, considered such other appropriate resolutions in relation to these papers and fixed the Council Tax for the year to 31 March 2020 which had been referred without recommendation by the Policy and Resources Committee held on 14 February 2019.
1. Approves the revenue estimates for 2019/20 and that consequently the local tax requirement estimated at £50.457m is funded from Council Tax and confirms the following rates, charges and flexibility in payment terms for the year 2019/20:
a) Council tax to be paid in respect of a chargeable dwelling in band D of £1,308.83 representing a 4.79% increase, as permitted by the Scottish Government;
b) Council tax to be paid in respect of a chargeable dwelling in each of the other valuation bands in accordance with section 74(1) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended;
c) Business rates as determined by Scottish Ministers.
2. Notes and approves the detail provided in the Head of Strategic Finance’s Revenue Budget Overview report and the surplus of £1.032m in 2019/20, subject to the following amendments as set out below and reconciled in the Administration’s Revenue Budget Model at point 4;
a) Agrees to increase the allocation to the Health and Social Care Partnership for 2019/20 to £58.368m with indicative allocations for 2020/21 and 2021/22 to support the partnership in its long term financial management and planning, subject to the level of Scottish Government funding and the council’s overall financial position in future years, and agrees to defer the payback of the 2017/18 overspend by one year, all as detailed below:
b) Approves the adjustment to the Live Argyll management fee, resulting in a management fee of £3.692m in 2019/20; also approves the increase in the management fee for 2020/21 as previously agreed on establishment of the Trust, noting that the fee for 2021/22 will be subject to review on the basis of the Trust’s ability to grow income streams/reduce the management fee;
c) Allocates an additional £500,000 for winter maintenance expenditure on a recurring basis and requests that officers, when reviewing the Winter Maintenance policy, explore options to increase community resilience;
d) Approves an additional one-off funding allocation of £80,000 to the Royal National Mod from the unallocated General Fund balance which, combined with the existing base budget provision of £40,000, brings the total council contribution to £120,000; notes that the existing base budget is removed from 2020/21 onwards;
e) Agrees a one-off funding allocation of £23,330 to Kintyre Recycling Ltd (KRL) funded from the unallocated General Fund balance;
f) Agrees a total of £90,000 available funding for Events and Festivals in 2020/21 in order that the grants application process can commence during 2019/20;
g) Agrees that the Supporting Communities Fund level will be £90,000 in 2020/21, allowing Area Committees to make decisions about allocations in March 2020;
h) Approves the management and operational savings outlined in Appendix 5 of the Revenue Budget Overview Report;
i) Accepts all policy options listed in Appendix 6 of the Head of Strategic Finance’s Revenue Budget Overview Report except those listed below, to deliver total savings of £1.419m;
· RAS05 – Grounds and Environment
· RAS11 – School Crossing Patrollers
· CSS02 – Customer Service Points
3. Approves the following in relation to fees and charges with effect from 1st April 2019 unless otherwise noted:
a) Approves the proposals for the fees and charges inflationary increase of 3%;
b) Rejects proposed increases to on-street and off-street parking charges in 2019/20 and approves all other charges over and above inflation;
c) Approves new charges in relation to registrars printing copy certificates, pre-application meetings and private water supplies, and agree that these charges will apply from 22nd February 2019;
d) Approves the new charges in relation to the proposed parking pilot for Oban, Lorn and the Isles as per the report to Policy and Resources Committee on 14th February 2019;
e) Approves the changes proposed to Social Work fees and charges;
f) Approves all other charges as noted within the Fees and Charges Schedule;
g) Notes that the income resulting from the above measures totals £0.275m.
4. Approves that, after the changes as noted in points 2 and 3 above, the remaining revenue budget surplus of £0.212m is transferred to the Unallocated General Fund; all summarised in the Administration Revenue Budget model below:
5. a) Approves the capital plan recommendations q) to v) as outlined in the Head of Strategic Finance’s Introductory Report and Recommendations;
b) Approves that the remaining capital grant in respect of Campbeltown Flood Scheme, amounting to £4.153m, is earmarked within the General Fund pending a decision on full business case expected to be submitted in late 2019;
c) Instructs officers to ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Report by Head of Strategic Finance
The Council gave consideration to a report which sought approval of the proposed Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy which set out the Council’s Strategy for borrowing and investment for the forthcoming year. The report also set out the policy for the repayment of loans fund advances for 2019-20 which had been referred without recommendation by the Policy and Resources Committee held on 14 February 2019.
1. Approved the proposed Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy and the indicators contained within.
2. Approved the use of Option 1 (statutory method) for the repayment of loan fund advances in respect of existing capital expenditure and new advances up to 31 March 2021 at an interest rate of 4.095%, with the exception of spend to save schemes where Option 4 (funding/income profile method) will be used.
3. Approved the ability to continue to use countries with a sovereign rating of AA- and above, as recommended by Link Asset Services.
(Ref: Report by Head of Strategic Finance dated 2 February 2019, submitted)