Agenda and draft minutes

Budget Scrutiny Meeting, Resources Scrutiny Commission
Thursday, 6th February, 2020 4.00 pm

We advise to view meetings via the webcast if possible, rather than in person. Revised arrangements may apply.

Venue: City Hall

Contact: Johanna Holmes 

Link: Watch Live Webcast

Items
No. Item

57.

Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information

Minutes:

The Chair led welcome and introductions.

58.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor’s Margaret Hickman and Graham Morris

59.

Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

60.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To agree the minutes of the last meeting as a correct record.

Minutes:

The Committee Resolved:-

(i) To agree the minutes of the last meeting as a correct record.

61.

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To note the progress of actions from the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the progress of actions from the previous meeting.

 

A brief conversation took place about the ‘Students and University Buildings’ report the Commission received at the December meeting.  The Chair said that although Bristol welcomed students to the University there was some concern about the knock-on effects to the City.  The Mayor who was in attendance said the prosperity of the Universities was very welcome but there was a need to recognise that the benefit of students doesn’t come free and that the situation needed to be carefully monitored to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs. 

 

62.

Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair asked for his thanks to the Members of the Commission and Officers to be included in the minutes.

63.

Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item

 

Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-

 

Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on Friday 31st January 2020.

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 5th February 2020.

 

Minutes:

No Public Forum received.

 

64.

Written Report of the 6th February Budget Scrutiny Meeting

Minutes:

Report from the Resources Scrutiny Commission - Budget Scrutiny Meeting on 06.02.2020

                             

The purpose of this document is to distil the information that has been obtained from six meetings of the Finance Task and Finish Group and a number of Resources Scrutiny Commission sessions.   It is not intended to replace the detailed papers that have been attached elsewhere for this meeting.  It has been prepared as an aide for Members to consider what they feel are the most important and potentially difficult issues with the budget. 

 

As part of this process, the Scrutiny Finance Task and Finish Group posed a number of questions concerning the Mayor’s budget and the answers were helpfully provided by officers.  The full written answers were published with the other meeting papers and can be found here:  Responses to questions from the Finance Task and Finish Group. 

 

Mayor Rees and Deputy Mayor Councillor Cheney attended the most recent Resources Scrutiny Commission meeting and provided some verbal context to their budget.  They reaffirmed the scale of the challenge, highlighting that Councils had experienced significant funding cuts in recent years, equating to around 60 pence in every pound.  Mayor Rees referred to the 8 years of austerity that had been imposed on this Council by central Government.

 

The Commission was assured by the Mayor, however, that despite these pressures a balanced budget had been prepared and no further savings were anticipated in the coming year. 

 

The Chair of the Finance Task and Finish Group, Councillor Clive Stevens, introduced his report advising that they had undertaken a three-stage process that began in September 19 and aimed to add value at each stage.  The Resources Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 6th February 20 was the final step of the budget scrutiny process for 2019/20.

 

Councillor Steven’s summary of the conclusions from the Finance Task and Finish Group was as follows:

 

  • One of the key changes this year was to look at the budget differently i.e. splitting one-off funding from ongoing payments (partially prompted by the large ‘one-off’ funding announcements provided last year by central Government). £18m of one-off payments were promised to Bristol City Council (BCC) this year but it could not be assumed that the Council would receive that much in future years. In the proposed budget before you, the £18m is used to top-up the Council’s reserves and pay for this year’s £6m overspend. Once the overspend (discussed below) was accounted for, that would leave £13m of the one-off payment. £10m of this would go into reserves for future years and the remaining £3m would be allocated for projects such as City Leap and Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for special educational needs.   [The numbers, which don’t appear to add up to £18m, are reconciled by the £1m coming from a different part of reserves.]

 

  • Ongoing funding (referred to in the papers as ‘base-line’) included: £11m from the proposed Council Tax increase; £3m from business rates; £8m from the adult social care grant from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

Finance Task and Finish Group Report pdf icon PDF 75 KB

This will be published shortly after the other meeting papers.  Please see below or at the top of the web-page to see if it has been up-loaded.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the above ‘Written Report of the 6th February Budget Scrutiny Meeting’ for the minutes of this item.

 

66.

Budget Monitoring Out-turn Report (Period 9) pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the above ‘Written Report of the 6th February Budget Scrutiny Meeting’ for the minutes of this item.

 

67.

Budget Recommendations to Full Council, including Treasury Management Strategy (Cabinet Meeting Paper) pdf icon PDF 149 KB

This paper was originally published for the 21st January 2020 Cabinet Meeting. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the above ‘Written Report of the 6th February Budget Scrutiny Meeting’ for the minutes of this item.

 

68.

Budget for the Dedicated Schools Grant 2020/21 (Cabinet Meeting Paper) pdf icon PDF 150 KB

This paper was originally published for the 21st January 2020 Cabinet Meeting. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the above ‘Written Report of the 6th February Budget Scrutiny Meeting’ for the minutes of this item.

 

69.

Housing Revenue Account 2020/21 budget proposals (Cabinet Meeting Paper) pdf icon PDF 149 KB

This paper was originally published for the 21st January 2020 Cabinet Meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the above ‘Written Report of the 6th February Budget Scrutiny Meeting’ for the minutes of this item.

 

70.

Scrutiny Work Programme (For Information) pdf icon PDF 340 KB

To note the work programme.

Minutes:

The work programme was noted.