Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Meeting, Cabinet
Tuesday, 3rd September, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Vali  (0161 474 3201)

Note: Extraordinary Meeting 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 August 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 20 August 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Urgent Decisions

To report any urgent action taken under the Constitution since the last meeting of the Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No urgent decisions were reported.

4.

Public Question Time

Members of the public are invited to put questions to the Chair and Cabinet Members on any matters within the powers and duties of the Cabinet, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice.  (Questions must be submitted no later than 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the meeting on the card provided.  These are available at the meeting. You can also submit via the Council’s website at www.stockport.gov.uk/publicquestions)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members of the public were invited to submit questions to the Cabinet on any matters within its powers and duties, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice.

 

Three questions were submitted.

 

(i)     The first question asked what the costs to the Council were of the closure and pumping of the A555 following the flooding in July 2019, and asked why the existing pumping facilities on the existing sections of road had not been upgraded at the time of the new road scheme.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy & Regeneration replied that following flooding in March 2019 there had been an inspection of pumping equipment and plans for made for replacement of that equipment but unfortunately the most recent flooding incident had occurred before that replacement had taken place. The costs of the water pumping and replacement of equipment was approximately £38,000, with the costs of the closure approximately £600. The Council had also commissioned a review into the most recent flooding incident.

 

(ii)    The second question asked what preparations were being made by the Council for the potential ‘no deal Brexit’, particularly in relation to health and food supplies, and when these preparations would be made public.

 

The Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance responded by explaining that previous government preparations for the UK’s departure from the EU in March 2019 were stood down. 3 weeks ago the Secretary of State had provided local authorities with guidance on preparations, but this had not been prescriptive and it was for each council to determine what was needed to suit local circumstances. The Cabinet Member confirmed that a letter had been sent by himself and the Leader of the Council to local MPs urging them to do what was in their power to prevent a ‘No Deal Brexit’ as this was not in the best interests of residents in Stockport.

 

More specifically in relation to current preparations, the Cabinet Member confirmed that there were a number of groups meeting to identify and address possible needs in the event of the possible scenarios. This was replicated across a number of public sector bodies and across Greater Manchester. The Government had also begun its public awareness campaign. The Cabinet Member also acknowledged concerns of the public around food and medicine shortages, but confirmed that the Council had not been given specific advice on this previously, but would respond and address these issues as and when it needed to.

 

(iii)  The third question asked for clarification on the Council’s plans for Bramall Hall [in light of proposals for cultural services elsewhere on the agenda] and sought the assurance of the Cabinet that there were no plans for its closure and sale.

 

In response the Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement gave an assurance that Bramall Hall would not be sold off or closed as it was a valuable asset for the public and the Council. By way of context, the Cabinet Member explained that there was a review proposed of the Council’s cultural assets to ensure that they were open and accessible during peak demand and the most was being made of them.

5.

Quarter 1 2019/20 Budget Monitoring Update pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance

 

The report provides an update on the 2019/20 Quarter 1 revenue forecast outturn and an update on the Capital Programme.

 

Cabinet is asked to:

 

·         approve the virements to the Revenue Budget;

·         note the Cash Limit and Non-Cash Limit forecast positions for 2019/20 as at Quarter 1;

·         note the forecast position for the 2019/20 Capital Programme; and

·         note the changes to the Capital Programme and re-phasing of schemes during Quarter 1.

 

Officer contact: Jonathan Davies, 0161 218 1025, jonathan.davies@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Cabinet to consider an update on the 2019/20 revenue forecast outturn and Capital Programme at the end of Quarter 1.

 

The Cabinet Member highlighted forecast surpluses on some budget areas, offset by some pressures in adults and children’s services. He highlighted possible future challenges surrounding a possible ‘No Deal Brexit’ and likely costs associated with recent flooding.

 

RESOLVED – That in relation to the Quarter 1 2019/20 Budget Monitoring Update:

 

·      the virements to the Revenue Budget as set out in the report be approved;

·      the Cash Limit and Non-Cash Limit forecast positions for 2019/20 as at Quarter 1 be noted;

·      the forecast position for the 2019/20 Capital Programme be noted; and

·      the changes to the Capital Programme and re-phasing of schemes during Quarter 1 be noted.

6.

Reserves Policy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 185 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance

 

The report provides an update on the Council’s Reserves Policy following the reporting of the Council’s 2018/19 outturn position and the annual review of the Council’s Reserves Policy.

 

Cabinet are recommended to:

 

·           note the annual review of Council’s 2019/20 Reserves Policy including the level and rationale for the reserves held;

·           approve the creation and reclassification of earmarked reserves held in line with the recommended amounts; and

·           approve the proposed 2019/20 Reserves Policy.

 

Officer contact: Jonathan Davies, 0161 218 1025, jonathan.davies@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Cabinet to consider an update on the Council’s Reserves Policy following the reporting of the Council’s 2018/19 outturn position and the annual review of the Council’s Reserves Policy.

 

The Cabinet Member highlighted the importance of reserves in providing flexibility and responsiveness for the Council to address unforeseen circumstances. It was also commented that the report and policy had been prepared before the recent announcements about the 1 year Government spending review.

 

The Cabinet Member also highlighted the CIPFA national and local comparator information, indicating the prudence of the Council in approaching reserves, although he suggested there was scope to increase reserve levels in line with CIPFA guidance. Other cabinet members echoed the prudence and transparency in the Cabinet’s approach.

 

RESOLVED – That in relation to the Council’s Reserves Policy 2019/20:-

 

     the annual review be noted, including the level and rationale for the reserves held;

     the creation and reclassification of earmarked reserves held in line with the recommended amounts be approved; and

     the proposed 2019/20 Reserves Policy be approved.

7.

Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Additional documents:

8.

Part A: MTFP Summer Review pdf icon PDF 538 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer

 

This report outlines the outcomes of the Summer Review of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP). The approved forecast savings requirement for 2019/20 to 2022/23 presented to the Budget Council meeting on 26 February 2019 remains robust. However, given the current complexity, volatility and uncertainty of the Local Government financial framework that underpins the MTFP, a Summer Review to retest the main assumptions, both resources and expenditure, is considered prudent. This report details the outcome of this review highlighting where adjustments can be made to these assumptions in order to present the most accurate forecast of the Council’s saving requirement over the medium term period.

 

Cabinet is recommended to:

 

·           Note the outcomes of the MTFP Summer Review;

·           Note that the Council’s savings requirement has not been revised using the available resources identified following the completion of the MTFP Summer Review;

·           Note that the available resources identified will be held to support the Council’s 2020/21 budget setting process and MTFP once further information is made available about the impact of the risks identified; and

·           Note that updates to the MTFP will be reported to Cabinet as part of the 2020/21 budget setting process.

 

Officer contact: Jonathan Davies, 0161 218 1025, jonathan.davies@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Cabinet to consider the outcomes of the Summer Review of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2019/20 to 2022/23. The review has considered the key assumptions included in the MTFP approved at the Council Budget Meeting on 26 February 2019 and determined whether these assumptions are still appropriate.

 

The Cabinet Member reported on a very recent announcement from the Government of a one year spending review that may lead to unanticipated resources being available in the next financial year. Nevertheless the ongoing upward trend in demand for adult social care and children’s services would continue to put pressure on the Council’s finances. The Cabinet Member emphasised the continued unprecedented uncertainty, volatility and risk in local authority finances.

 

The Cabinet Member highlighted a number of assumptions underlying the report conclusions and some of the factors impacting on that assessment.

 

The Leader of the Council highlighted the difficulties created by the uncertainties in future financing on the ability of the Council’s medium term planning but that the Council would continue with its ambitious plans for reform to benefit the residents of Stockport.

 

RESOLVED – That in relation the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Summer Review:-

 

·           the outcomes of the Review be noted;

·           the Council’s savings requirement not having been revised using the available resources identified following the completion of the MTFP Summer Review be noted;

·           the intention be noted that available resources identified to be held to support the Council’s 2020/21 budget setting process and MTFP once further information was made available about the impact of the risks identified; and

·           the intention that updates to the MTFP be reported to Cabinet as part of the 2020/21 budget setting process be noted.

9.

Part B: MTFP Cabinet Response: Our Medium Term Strategy and budget choices for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 486 KB

To consider a report of the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance

 

This report reaffirms the Cabinet’s commitment to addressing the volatile, complex and uncertain financial landscape. This will involve remaining committed to developing the Council’s MTFP Strategy to address the significant financial challenge ahead and strengthen the Council’s long term financial resilience. The MTFP Strategy will continue to focus on the five themes identified to frame the difficult choices that are needed to make. Using the themes as a lens with which to view services, we will ensure these decisions deliver against our ambitions and priorities for Stockport, whilst ensuring the future sustainability of the Council and the services provided to Stockport residents. Whilst recognising that this will require transformational change to the way services are delivered which will be a long term process, the need to support the annual budget setting process for 2020/21 is also recognised. On this basis the saving proposals outlined in this report have identified £4.250m of full year savings to support the Council’s 2020/21 Budget.

 

Cabinet is recommended to:

 

·         discuss the progress outlined within this report;

·         consider the budget options and proposals outlined in section 2 and 3 and within the appendices and with regards to these areas:

o   commence appropriate consultation and engagement on proposals;

o   invite scrutiny committees to discuss and comment upon proposals relating to their remit.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae, 0161 474 3014, holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Cabinet to consider proposals for its response to the financial challenges facing the Council to inform the 2020/21 financial year, and informed by the review of the Medium Term Financial Plan and the principle’s set out in the Cabinet’s MTFP Strategy.

 

The Cabinet Member emphasised the challenges facing the Council and the difficulty of the decisions that will need to be taken. The proposals set out in the report would be subject to consultation with scrutiny committees and the public. He also emphasised that no decisions had been taken on Council Tax level but that the lower any increase in Council Tax was, the greater the savings requirement. The Cabinet Member acknowledged the increasing burden of local taxation on residents, but emphasised the increasing demand for services for the most vulnerable residents.

 

The Leader of the Council emphasised the importance of the Medium Term Financial Strategy and its five key themes, that placed residents at the heart of the budget development process, but also encouraged innovation and ambition.

 

The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport thanked partner bodies, particularly TLC and Life Leisure, for their engagement in the development of the draft proposals.

 

RESOLVED – That in relation to the Cabinet response to the Medium Term Financial Plan and budget choices for 2020/21:-

 

·           the budget options and proposals outlined in section 2 and 3 of the report and within the appendices be noted and with regards to these areas approval be given to commence appropriate consultation and engagement on proposals; and

·           scrutiny committees be invited to discuss and comment upon proposals relating to their remit.

10.

To consider recommendations of Scrutiny Committees

On:-

 

(a)  Matters (if any) referred to the Cabinet Meeting

 

(b)  Any called-in Cabinet Executive Decisions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no recommendations to consider.