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To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting held on the 20th May 2020, which was adjourned and reconvened on 27th May 2020.
The minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 20 May 2020 and 27 May 2020 were received and signed by the Chairman.
To receive apologies for absence.
No apologies for absence were received.
DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS
To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were made by Members.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
To answer any written questions received from members of the public no later than 5 p.m. two clear working days prior to the meeting – for this meeting the deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday 19 June 2020.
No questions had been received from members of the public.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY (STANDING ITEM)*
There were no recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE BOSTON TOWN AREA COMMITTEE (BTAC) (STANDING ITEM)
There were no recommendations from the Boston Town Area Committee.
(Report by the Chief Finance Officer)
REASON FOR DECISION
Cabinet Members presented the headlines of the quarterly monitoring information on performance, risk and finance for Quarter 4 of 2019/20 (April 2019 to March 2020) in relation to their own portfolios.
With respect to performance, the areas of success and improvement were:
· Planning applications (Cllr Welton)
· Supporting business growth and promoting the Borough (Cllr Welton)
· Switchboard (Cllr Welton)
· Relatively small number of complaints, from which learning points will be taken (Cllr Welton)
· Benefit and Council Tax Support processing times (Cllr Howard)
· Collection rates for Council Tax and Business Rates close to target (Cllr Howard)
· Information requests (Cllr Howard)
· Gym memberships (Cllr Skinner on behalf of Cllr Brown)
· Event income (Cllr Skinner on behalf of Cllr Brown)
· Broadly compliant food businesses (Cllr Stevens)
· Car Parking income (Cllr Sharman)
· Housing completions, empty properties and housing standards (Cllr Griggs)
Areas of concern/watching brief were:
· Swim sessions (Cllr Skinner on behalf of Cllr Brown)
· Gym membership (Cllr Skinner on behalf of Cllr Brown)
· Food inspections (Cllr Stevens)
· Household waste and recycling (Cllr Stevens)
· Fly tip response times (Cllr Stevens)
· Market income (Cllr Sharman), which would be considered during the Transformation Programme
The report also listed other items of note:
· Commercial waste growth in income and number of customers (Cllr Stevens)
Members stressed that the significant impact of the pandemic would be reflected in future quarters’ reports.
Councillor Howard presented the quarterly risk information. The strategic risks had been reviewed for Quarter 4 and also to reflect the position as at June 2020, particularly with regard to the impact of Covid-19 and the proposed strategic alliance with East Lindsey DC. A new strategic risk had been identified in respect of the proposed alliance which would be evaluated and scored in Q1 of 2020/21. A summary of strategic risks was set out the report and full details were contained in Appendix B.
Councillor Howard then outlined the financial management information. The key headlines were set out in the report as follows:
· Revenue spending for the year was contained within the budget, with the variances set out in section three of the report.
· Over 80% of the Controlling Migration Fund grant money had been spent at the year end.
· Trading income was slightly below the budget, in part due to CoVid impacts
· Changes to reserves were set out in section 6, relating to capital funding reserve, housing reserve and property funds returns reserve.
· Treasury returns were above the budget, although the capital value of property funds had been affected by both CoVid and Brexit outcome uncertainties
· Spend for the ... view the full minutes text for item 82.
(Report by the Head of Finance)
REASON FOR DECISION
Councillor Howard presented a report,providing an update on the measures introduced by the Government since May 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council’s actions and the impact on the Council’s finances.
The report stated that the last few months had seen unprecedented changes in the way the Council and the wider economy operated as a consequence of the global pandemic. Cabinet had received a report in May which outlined the situation at that time.
The Council had been helping support the Government response through the payment of Business Grants amounting to over £14m, business rate reliefs had been processed totalling £9m, as well as the additional award of Council Tax Support.
Since May the Government had made further announcements which impacted on the Council in terms of administering grants for businesses and those which directly impacted on the Council’s budget and its actions to support the response to the pandemic, namely Discretionary Business Grant Fund and Re-opening of the High Streets.
The most significant pressure facing the Council during 2020/21 would be income losses across a range of discretionary services as well as through its investments. Using current assumptions it was projected that the budget for 2020/21 would be adversely impacted by approximately £1.75m.
Impact on service demands in the short and medium terms were anticipated to include:
In the longer term, there were concerns around the council tax base and business rate income. Future updates would include commentary on the rate of collection of Council Tax and Business Rates to enable a more accurate assessment of the impact of the pandemic to be made.
The Capital Programme would also be affected, key risks identified for future programmes included:
The Local Government Association (LGA) was continuing to lead national lobbying efforts on behalf of all local councils. Lincolnshire’s council colleagues continued to collectively lobby the LGA, the District Council’s Network (DCN) and the Society of District Council Treasurers (SDCT) to highlight the likely consequences for local ... view the full minutes text for item 83.