Agenda and minutes

Finance, Commercial Revenue and Contracts Policy & Accountability Committee
Wednesday, 30th January, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: COMMITTEE ROOM 1 - HAMMERSMITH TOWN HALL. View directions

Contact: Kayode Adewumi  020 8753 2499

Items
No. Item

17.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To approve as an accurate record, and the Chairman to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2018 were approved and signed by the Chair.

18.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted by Councillors Patricia Quigley and Fiona Smith.

19.

Declarations of interest

If a Committee member has any prejudicial or personal interest in a particular item they should declare the existence and nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a prejudicial interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Standards Committee.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance, then

the Councillor with a prejudicial interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration unless the disability has been removed by the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

20.

2019 Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) pdf icon PDF 150 KB

This report sets out the budget proposals for the services covered by this Policy and Accountability Committee (PAC). An update is also provided on any proposed changes in fees and charges.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Hitesh Jolapara, Strategic Director, Finance and Governance, gave a detailed presentation on the national context and the Council’s Budget.  The Committee welcomed the presentation and asked some questions on the issues highlighted below.

 

The Committee noted the general grant funding reduction of £3.3 million from 2018/19 to 2019/20.  The reduction was after receipt of an extra one-off social care funding of £1.5 million and winter pressures funding of £0.9m as per the Autumn Budget Statement.  The receipt of the grants was good news for the Council.  The impact of the reduction from 100% to 75% business rates retention pilot for London initially suggests a £1.2 million benefit for LBHF compared to £2 million under 100% retention.

 

In response to Tony Boys’ question regarding what had the Council done in light of the £73 million reduction in grant since 2010/11.  Councillor Schmid, Cabinet Member for Finance and Commercial Services, responded that the Council had mitigated the impact through 3 major programmes - service reconfiguration, procurement and commissioning, and commercialisation.  The reduction in resources had forced the Council to look at the way we do things differently.  The cut in Government grants had in some way made us a better and smarter organisation.  However, not all authorities have been able respond in a similar way. 

 

Hitesh noted that the Council has a higher than average dependence on government funding.  In 2010/11 the average authority funded 30% (excluding benefits) of expenditure through Council Tax.  The Council’s figure was 20%.

 

We have been harder hit by the Government’s cuts because of the higher level of spend funded through grants.  The Government is currently consulting on a Fair Funding review.  Unfortunately, every time there is such a review London loses out.  London politicians would have to lobby the Government for a better deal for London.

 

It was noted that the Government 2018/19 spending power calculation assumed that local authorities will levy a 3% social care precept and increase council tax by 2%.  The Council did not impose this levy and froze council tax.   However, in the 2019/20 budget, the Council will increase council tax by 4.7% which include a 2% social care levy.

 

Eric Hohenstein inquired if the Council was achieving the 97.5% council tax collection rate modelled by the Government.  In response, it was noted that the Council also models its collection rate at the same level and sometimes exceeds it.  The Government takes into account our council tax base when modelling its figures.  The Council currently models an increase of 800 additional homes per year.  Members asked at what point does council tax become payable on new housing developments?

 

 

 

 

Action

 

Committee asked for:

      a breakdown of borough properties by age and Council tax band.

      confirmation at what point does council tax become payable on new housing developments.

      trend data on the GLA precept.

 

Hitesh Jolapara (Strategic Director, Finance and Governance)

 

Councillor Murphy noted that many shops are closing on our High streets and asked if this has been factored into  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

REFUSE, RECYCLING AND STREET CLEANSING CONTRACT OVERVIEW pdf icon PDF 133 KB

This report provides an overview on waste collection and street cleansing contract for the borough.

Minutes:

The consideration of the report was deferred until March 2019.

22.

Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 78 KB

The Committee is requested to consider the items within the Work Programme attached as Appendix A to this report and suggest any amendments or additional topics to be included in the future.

Minutes:

The work programme was updated.

23.

Dates of future meetings

The following dates are proposed:

·         Tuesday 12th February 2019

·         Wednesday 27th March 2019

 

Minutes:

The following date was noted: -

·         Wednesday 27th March 2019