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Meeting Details

Council
9 Mar 2020 - 09:30 to 13:30
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Visitors
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Webcast

Documents

Agenda

Agenda
Notification
Standard Items
Webcasting of Meeting
This meeting will be filmed for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site – at the start of the meeting the Provost will confirm if all or part of the meeting is being filmed.  Generally the public seating areas will not be filmed.  The cameras focus on the main participants.  If you have any queries regarding this please contact Committee Services on 0141 618 7112.  To find the webcast please navigate to http://renfrewshire.cmis.uk.com/renfrewshire/meetings.aspx and select the meeting from the calendar.
Further Information

This is a meeting which is open to members of the public. 

A copy of the agenda and reports for this meeting will be available for inspection prior to the meeting at the Customer Service Centre, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley and online at http://renfrewshire.cmis.uk.com/renfrewshire/CouncilandBoards.aspx

For further information, please either email
democratic-services@renfrewshire.gov.uk or telephone 0141 618 7112.

Members of the Press and Public
Members of the press and public wishing to attend the meeting should report to the customer service centre where they will be met and directed to the meeting.
Members’ attention is drawn to the enclosed statement regarding declarations in terms of Section 112 of the Local Government Finance Act, 1992.
Copies of the notes of the procedures to be followed in respect of consideration of (i) the Revenue Estimates and Council Tax; and (ii) the Housing Revenue Account Budgets, Rent Levels and Capital Investment Plans are attached to the relevant reports.
Chair
Provost L Cameron presided.
In Attendance
S Black, Chief Executive; S Quinn, Director of Children’s Services; M Crearie, Director of Communities, Housing & Planning Services; G McNeil, Director of Environment & Infrastructure; A Russell, Director of Finance & Resources; L Mahon, Head of Marketing & Communication and L McIntyre, Head of Policy & Commissioning (both Chief Executive’s); K Graham, Head of Corporate Governance, A MacArthur, Head of Finance, J Lynch, Head of Property Services, M Conaghan, Legal & Democratic Services Manager, D Low, Democratic Services Manager and E Currie, Senior Committee Services Officer (all Finance & Resources); D Leese, Chief Officer and S Lavers, Chief Finance Officer (both Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership); and V Hollows, Chief Executive (Renfrewshire Leisure).
Order of Business
In terms of Standing Order 16, the Provost intimated that she proposed to alter the order of business to facilitate the conduct of the meeting by considering item 3 of the agenda before item 1 of the agenda.
Declarations of Interest

Councillor Montgomery declared a financial interest in this item of business as he was an employee of Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau which was referred to in the motion and intimated that he would leave the meeting and not take part in the discussion or voting thereon.

 

Councillor Hughes declared a non-financial interest in this item of business as she was Chair of the Board of Renfrewshire Leisure Limited which was referred to in the motion. Councillor Hughes indicated that as she had a general dispensation from the Standards Commission which allowed her to take part and to vote in relation to such matters it was her intention to remain in the meeting during consideration of this item.

Councillor McCartin declared a non-financial interest in this item of business as she was a member of the Board of Renfrewshire Leisure Limited which was referred to in the motion. Councillor McCartin indicated that as she had a general dispensation from the Standards Commission which allowed her to take part and to vote in relation to such matters it was her intention to remain in the meeting during consideration of this item.

Councillor Dowling declared a non-financial interest in this item of business as she was the Chair of Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau which was referred to in the motion and intimated that she would leave the meeting and not take part in the discussion or voting thereon.

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 9.55 am to allow members to consider the motion and amendment.  The meeting reconvened at 10.10 am.
Declarations of Interest

Councillor Devine declared an interest in this item of business as one of his relatives was a part-time employee of Street Stuff which was referred to in the amendment and indicated his intention to remain in the meeting during consideration of this item.

Councillor Sharkey declared an interest in this item of business as he had attended a Fairtrade Ceilidh, with Fairtrade being referred to in the motion, and he indicated his intention to remain in the meeting during consideration of this item.

Councillor Harte, seconded by Councillor Sharkey, moved as an amendment:

1.That as recommended by the Director, these budget proposals take a holistic view of resources available and include the use of the £0.645 million of available capital resources outlined in Agenda item 2.

2.Further and in line with the recommendations of the Director, that unallocated General Fund balances are budgeted to increase to £7.5 million moving into 2020/21 and that on the closure of the 2019/20 accounts, a transfer to or from the Investment Programme Capital Fund is utilised as required to achieve this recommended position.

3.To invest £0.445 million to support investment in parks and recreational green space across Renfrewshire, recognising the important and positive role such spaces make to the healthy and active lives of our communities.

4.To invest £0.200 million of capital resources in upgrade works on community centres, specifically Bargarran Community Centre, Beechwood Community Centre, Foxbar Youth Learning Centre and Johnstone Castle Community Centre; with specific upgrade proposals to be the subject of a future report to the Leadership Board.

5.To support investment in our school communities and closing the attainment gap commit £1.000 million of revenue resources to the following investment priorities:

£0.600 million to provide mental health support to our Primary Schools over the next three years and for a future report to be provided by the Director to the Education and Children’s Services Policy Board to outline in detail the plans for the delivery of this service.

£0.300 million to provide £0.100 million per annum support to increase the provision of Breakfast Clubs across Renfrewshire’s schools, in recognition of the positive impact such clubs have had to supporting our young people in some of the most deprived areas be ready and prepared to learn each day in school.

£0.100 million to ensure that over the next three years every primary 5 to 7 pupil in Renfrewshire schools has access to a credit union account with a £10 starter balance.

6.In recognition of the highly positive impact tackling poverty and inequality has made in Renfrewshire, commit additional revenue resources of £1.360 million to invest in the following key priorities: -

Invest £0.250 million to provide a £0.083 million per annum top up over three years to the Scottish Welfare Fund in recognition of the ongoing pressure that this fund experiences and the increased requirement that will emerge as Universal Credit is further rolled out across Renfrewshire.

Invest £0.450 million to provide a £0.150 million per annum top up over three years to the Discretionary Housing Payment fund, again in recognition of the increased pressure that will be experienced from hardship applications arising from citizens impacted by their transition to Universal Credit.

Invest £0.150 million to provide £0.050 million per annum over three years to provide home starter packs for new tenants in Renfrewshire, providing much needed support for key items for citizens setting up their new council home.

Invest £0.210 million to employ, over three years, two Health and Homelessness Coordinators, providing a much needed service to some of our most vulnerable citizens in Renfrewshire.

Earmark £0.300 million to provide a £0.100 million per annum boost over three years to the highly successful Street Stuff initiative.

7.To protect services to the most vulnerable in Renfrewshire, and in line with the conditions set out in the 2020/21 financial settlement, agree to the recommendation outlined in the Director’s report to make available £1.800 million of additional recurring resources to manage the net impact of new service and cost pressures within Adult Social Care Services, and continue the implementation of the Carers Act. These additional resources will be made available under delegation to the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (RHSCP) from 1 April 2020. In addition, as part of this delegation process, agree to continue to work in pro-active partnership with the RHSCP and social care providers to secure payment of the living wage to all care staff providing services to Renfrewshire residents in addition to those directly employed by the Council. 

8. To agree the base budget assessment for all services for 2020/21 as recommended by the Director of Finance and Resources, and subject to agreement of item 7 above, agree a 2020/21 base budget of £426.200 million. 

9. To agree to make provision of £7.265 million in 2020/21 for pay inflation as detailed in section 5.1 of the Directors report and make no provision for general non-pay inflation, as recommended by the Director of Finance and Resources.

10. To agree to a general 2% inflationary increase in charges for services, with the exception of charges for community halls which shall have no increase, and subject to the note at paragraph 15 below and as outlined at paragraph 5.3 of the report. 

11. To agree the resource allocations for 2020/21 for all services, as amended by these proposals.

12. To agree the detailed Revenue Estimates for all services be amended to reflect these proposals and the necessary allocation of central support costs, central repairs costs, capital charges, specific grants and loan charges provision with Directors authorised to take any action necessary to implement these decisions.

13. Subject to agreement of the above, to agree that the council tax for 2020/21 be frozen at 2019/20 levels and therefore set Band D subjects at £1,257.09 and for all bandings to be set at:

Band 2020/21 (£s)
A              838.06
B              977.74
C              1,117.42
D              1,257.09
E              1,651.68
F              2,042.77
G              2,461.81
H              3,079.88

14. Subject to agreement of the points above, agree that the Council’s budget is underpinned by appropriate decisions and makes appropriate provision to meet the specified commitments in the package of conditions linked to the Council’s grant settlement.

15. To agree to increase other charges for services by 2% (as detailed in paragraph 10 above) or where appropriate by the rate set in national legislation or guidance, or where charges are based on full cost recovery by the appropriate increase to maintain this position, subject to Directors being authorised

(a) to round the charge up or down to a figure deemed by them appropriate, and 

(b) not to impose any increase, if having reviewed the implications of the increase, he or she determines it would be inappropriate to do so, having regard to any material factor applicable to the goods or services to which the charge relates.

To note the requirement of financial code 13 that Directors review the amounts their departments charge for goods or services and if they think any charge needs to be increase they will recommend this to the appropriate Board.  The Council therefore agrees that when a Director carries out such a review and believes a charge for goods or services should be levied which reflects an increase greater than the increase of 2% or the rate set in national legislation or guidance, he or she will be entitled to recommend the same to the appropriate Board for approval.

On the roll being called the following members voted for the amendment: Councillors Bibby, Binks, Brown, Davidson, Devine, Grady, Graham, Harte, Hood, Kennedy, J MacLaren, McIntyre, Sharkey, Sheridan and Strang.

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Adam-McGregor, Burns, J Cameron, Provost L Cameron, Councillors Campbell, Andy Doig, Audrey Doig, Don, Hughes, K MacLaren, M MacLaren, McCartin, McEwan, McGurk, McNaughtan, Mylet, Nicolson, Paterson, Rodden, Shaw and Steel.

The following members abstained: Councillors Mack and McCulloch.

15 members having voted for the amendment, 21 members having voted for the motion and 2 members having abstained, the motion was accordingly declared carried.

DECIDED:

(a) That this Administration’s third budget would continue to deliver on its commitments set out in its manifesto to the citizens of Renfrewshire to invest in inclusive economic growth, the environment, local communities and support the most vulnerable in Renfrewshire. This budget would build on the significant investment already being delivered by this Administration including £275 million in city deal projects to deliver long term inclusive economic growth, over £115 million in town centre regeneration to redefine and create sustainable town centres that can flourish, £47 million to improve our roads and pathway infrastructure and keep Renfrewshire’s economy moving, over £30 million investment in our schools, over £10 million to support tackling poverty and employability programmes, £4.500 million supporting community projects, assets, green spaces and villages and £2 million to deliver a new digital infrastructure across Renfrewshire. Much of these investments would lever in other public and private investment at scale, growing significantly the overall benefit to communities across Renfrewshire;

(b) That as recommended by the Director, these budget proposals would take a holistic view of resources available and include the use of the £0.645 million of available capital resources outlined in Agenda item 2;

(c) That £5.450 million of capital investment funded by £0.645 million of resources referred to in the capital report at item 2 on the agenda, in conjunction with £4.805 million of capital resources funded from £1.740 million of revenue resources that will provide a combination of capital financed from current revenue and prudential borrowing in 2020/21 be directed to deliver the following priorities: - 

£1.600 million to support a programme of improvement projects across the school and early learning estate with the detailed programme proposals being presented to a future cycle of the Education and Children’s Services Policy Board for approval.

£0.200 million to support investment in Renfrewshire’s core pathways, cycle network and gullies.

£0.150 million to top up the existing uncommitted budget for the Village Investment fund, providing £0.500 million of resources available to support future projects across Renfrewshire.

 

Earmarking £0.500 million as a contribution towards a partnership investment with Renfrewshire Leisure in enhanced internal adventure play facilities at the Lagoon Leisure Centre. This investment would be informed by a feasibility study and business case funded by £0.050 million of resources agreed in the 2019/20 budget, with a specific focus on developing detailed proposals that incorporated at their heart inclusivity of play, ensuring the opportunity to play within a safe, inclusive and high quality indoor adventure playground facility was made available to all children across Renfrewshire.

Invest £0.400 million over the next three years to support additional investment in the infrastructure within Renfrewshire’s cemeteries, augmenting the existing investment agreed in 2019/20 and delivered through the rolling roads infrastructure programme each year.

Invest £2.250 million to provide further investment in town centres across Renfrewshire, building upon the investment supported through the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund grant in 2019/20, with detailed proposals to be brought by officers for consideration and approval to a future cycle of the Leadership Board. 


£0.250 million to improve priority markings across Renfrewshire’s road network.

£0.100 million to augment the existing Retail Improvement Fund directed to support local businesses improve shop fronts;

(d) That £3.079 million of revenue resources be committed to the following projects: - 
Provide £0.100 million to top up the financial capacity within Discretionary Housing Payments recognising the significant amount provided via the Scottish Government that requires to be directed to support those families impacted by the Bedroom Tax flowing from the UK Government’s welfare reform agenda.

£1.000 million to establish a Climate Change Fund that would be available to support the next steps outlined in the report “Climate Change Emergency” approved by Council on 27th February 2020.

Provide £0.200 million to provide resources to provide a new cultural heritage and events fund supporting projects across the whole of Renfrewshire.

£1.000 million to be provided by the Council to support priorities emerging from the Alcohol and Drugs Commission, with a focus of the Council resources being on improving mental health for young people. Further that £1 million in match funding from the HSCP is drawn from the transformation and prevention resources earmarked by the Council for the HSCP, in recognition of the prevention and early intervention emphasis of the Commission’s recommendations to support improving outcomes for adults. This would provide in total £2.000 million of partnership funding to support key priorities emerging from the highly valued insight provided by the Commission and all the participants who supported its work. 

Provide up to £0.150 million to support Rainbow Nursery, Shortroods. Officers to engage with Childcare First management in working in partnership to ensure a long term sustainable future for the Nursery.

£0.210 million over three years to fund Children’s Services to commission complimentary support to families and children of relatives with head injuries being cared for by the Health and Social Care Partnership.

£0.084 million to provide financial support over two years to Citizens Advice Bureau (Renfrewshire) to support joint priorities around providing a welfare rights tribunal representation service. 

Invest £0.150 million of revenue resources to support a programme of tree works across Renfrewshire’s key urban conurbations.

£0.050 million to provide a programme of small kitchen refurbishment works in community facilities.

£0.050 million invested in a feasibility study examining opportunities to improve bus transport across Renfrewshire. 

£0.045 million to support the active schools programme delivered by Renfrewshire Leisure.

£0.030 million to provide ongoing support to the important work being progressed to raise awareness around vulnerability and support victims of domestic abuse.

£0.010 million to provide ongoing support over the next two years to Fairtrade; 

(e) That to protect services to the most vulnerable in Renfrewshire, and in line with the conditions set out in the 2020/21 financial settlement, agree to the recommendation outlined in the Director’s report to make available £1.800 million of additional recurring resources to manage the net impact of new service and cost pressures within Adult Social Care Services, and continue the implementation of the Carers Act. These additional resources would be made available under delegation to the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (RHSCP) from 1 April 2020. In addition, as part of this delegation process, agree to continue to work in pro-active partnership with the RHSCP and social care providers to secure payment of the living wage to all care staff providing services to Renfrewshire residents in addition to those directly employed by the Council;

(f) That resources earmarked for the Council’s School Investment Fund, be increased by £24.850 million, providing in total £51.850 million to support the priorities that had emerged from the review of the School Estate Management Plan. This fund provided significant scope for match funding capacity against opportunities for Renfrewshire to secure resources from the Scottish Government’s £1bn schools investment fund, ensuring the overall investment in our School Estate could grow further beyond this existing financial commitment. This additional £24.850 million of capital investment would be delivered through predominantly prudential borrowing capacity serviced by £1.232 million of recurring revenue resources;

(g) That the base budget assessment for all services for 2020/21 be agreed as recommended by the Director of Finance and Resources, and 2020/21 base budget of £426.200 million be agreed; 

(h) That provision of £7.265 million in 2020/21 be made for pay inflation as detailed in section 5.1 of the Director’s report and no provision be made for general non-pay inflation, as recommended by the Director of Finance and Resources;

(i) That a general 2% inflationary increase in charges for services be agreed, subject to the note in decision (o) below; 

(j) That the resource allocations for 2020/21 for all services be agreed, as amended by these decisions;

(k) That the detailed Revenue Estimates for all services be amended to reflect these decisions and the necessary allocation of central support costs, central repairs costs, capital charges, specific grants and loan charges provision with Directors authorised to take any action necessary to implement these decisions;

(l) That it be agreed that the council tax for 2020/21 be set at £1,315.42 for Band D subjects, representing a 4.64% increase on the 2019/20 level, and for all bandings to be set at:

Band £s
A           876.95
B          1,023.11
C          1,169.27
D          1,315.42
E          1,728.32
F          2,137.55
G          2,576.04
H          3,222.79

(m) That it be agreed that the Council’s budget is underpinned by appropriate decisions and makes appropriate provision to meet the specified commitments in the package of conditions linked to the Council’s grant settlement;

(n) That, in line with the recommendations of the Director, the unallocated General Fund balances are budgeted to be maintained at £7.500 million moving into 2020/21 and that any transfer to or from the Investment Programme Capital Fund was utilised as required to achieve this position on the closure of the 2019/20 accounts;

(o) That a general 2% inflationary increase in charges for services be agreed (as detailed in (i) above) or where appropriate by the rate set in national legislation or guidance, or where charges were based on full cost recovery by the appropriate increase to maintain this position, subject to Directors being authorised

(i) to round the charge up or down to a figure deemed by them appropriate, and 

(ii) not to impose any increase, if having reviewed the implications of the increase, he or she determines it would be inappropriate to do so, having regard to any material factor applicable to the goods or services to which the charge relates; and 

(p) That the requirement of financial code 13 that Directors review the amounts their departments charge for goods or services and if they thought any charge needed to be increased, they would recommend this to the appropriate Board be noted.  That it be agreed that when a Director carried out such a review and believed a charge for goods or services should be levied which reflected an increase greater than the increase of 2% or the rate set in national legislation or guidance, he or she would be entitled to recommend the same to the appropriate Board for approval.

Sederunt
Councillors Montgomery and Dowling returned to the meeting.
Items Of Business
Apologies
Apologies from members.
Councillors Begg, Kerr and Mackay.
Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to declare an interest in any item(s) on the agenda and to provide a brief explanation of the nature of the interest.
There were no declarations of interest intimated prior to the commencement of the meeting.
Report by Director of Finance & Resources
2

There was submitted a report by the Director of Finance & Resources relative to the Revenue Budget and Council Tax for 2020/21, together with appendices detailing revenue estimates for 2020/21; estimates of expenditure and income for the year ended 31 March 2021; and the General Fund probable outturn for 2019/20.

The report provided an overview of the Council’s anticipated financial position on the General Fund revenue budget and set out the information required for the Council to set its budget and council tax for 2020/21. The report also recommended that Councillors considered the medium-term financial context for the Council and the ongoing financial pressures facing the public sector more generally as detailed in the report.

The report intimated that the Scottish Government had not provided detailed spending plans beyond their draft budget for 2020/21 but had through its Medium-term Financial Strategy (MTFS) reaffirmed its stated policy and spending commitments over this parliamentary period to areas of the public sector across Scotland which did not include the existing core grant for local government. 

The Scottish Government had allocated £338.783 million grant funding to Renfrewshire Council for 2020/21 subject to compliance with a number of associated conditions.  This included maintaining at a national level the overall pupil teacher ratio and providing places for all probationers who required one; the continued prioritisation of financial support for social care including the use of £100 million funding provided nationally to support health and social care, as delegated to Integration Joint Boards, as detailed in the report; and the continuation of the Council Tax cap of 3%.

The UK Government’s budget was not due to be announced until 11 March 2020 and it was noted that should this differ materially from the range of assumptions made by the Scottish Government in setting their own budget, the Scottish Government might revisit and adjust funding and spending commitments which could impact on the local government settlement.  If the level of funding available to the Council changed from that allocated, a further report to Council might be required to consider the implications of such a change.

 

 

Councillor Shaw, seconded by Councillor Nicolson, moved: 

1. That this Administration’s third budget will continue to deliver on its commitments set out in its manifesto to the citizens of Renfrewshire to invest in inclusive economic growth, the environment, local communities and support the most vulnerable in Renfrewshire. This budget will build on the significant investment already being delivered by this Administration including £275 million in city deal projects to deliver long term inclusive economic growth, over £115 million in town centre regeneration to redefine and create sustainable town centres that can flourish, £47 million to improve our roads and pathway infrastructure and keep Renfrewshire’s economy moving, over £30 million investment in our schools, over £10 million to support tackling poverty and employability programmes, £4.500 million supporting community projects, assets, green spaces and villages and £2 million to deliver a new digital infrastructure across Renfrewshire. Much of these investments will lever in other public and private investment at scale, growing significantly the overall benefit to communities across Renfrewshire.

2. That as recommended by the Director, these budget proposals take a holistic view of resources available and include the use of the £0.645 million of available capital resources outlined in Agenda item 2.

3. Direct £5.450 million of capital investment funded by £0.645 million of resources referred to in the capital report at item 2 on the agenda, in conjunction with £4.805 million of capital resources funded from £1.740 million of revenue resources that will provide a combination of capital financed from current revenue and prudential borrowing in 2020/21 to deliver the following priorities: - 

£1.600 million to support a programme of improvement projects across the school and early learning estate with the detailed programme proposals being presented to a future cycle of the Education and Children’s Services Policy Board for approval.

£0.200 million to support investment in Renfrewshire’s core pathways, cycle network and gullies.

£0.150 million to top up the existing uncommitted budget for the Village Investment fund, providing £0.500 million of resources available to support future projects across Renfrewshire.

Earmarking £0.500 million as a contribution towards a partnership investment with Renfrewshire Leisure in enhanced internal adventure play facilities at the Lagoon Leisure Centre. This investment will be informed by a feasibility study and business case funded by £0.050 million of resources agreed in the 2019/20 budget, with a specific focus on developing detailed proposals that incorporate at their heart inclusivity of play, ensuring the opportunity to play within a safe, inclusive and high quality indoor adventure playground facility is made available to all children across Renfrewshire

Invest £0.400 million over the next three years to support additional investment in the infrastructure within Renfrewshire’s cemeteries, augmenting the existing investment agreed in 2019/20 and delivered through the rolling roads infrastructure programme each year.

Invest £2.250 million to provide further investment in town centres across Renfrewshire, building upon the investment supported through the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund grant in 2019/20, with detailed proposals to be brought by officers for consideration and approval to a future cycle of the Leadership Board. 

£0.250 million to improve priority markings across Renfrewshire’s road network.


£0.100 million to augment the existing Retail Improvement Fund directed to support local businesses improve shop fronts.

4. Commit £3.079 million of revenue resources to the following projects: - 

Provide £0.100 million to top up the financial capacity within Discretionary Housing Payments recognising the significant amount provided via the Scottish Government that requires to be directed to support those families impacted by the Bedroom Tax flowing from the UK Government’s welfare reform agenda.

£1.000 million to establish a Climate Change Fund that will be available to support the next steps outlined in the report “Climate Change Emergency” approved by Council on 27th February 2020.

Provide £0.200 million to provide resources to provide a new cultural heritage and events fund supporting projects across the whole of Renfrewshire.

£1.000 million to be provided by the Council to support priorities emerging from the Alcohol and Drugs Commission, with a focus of the Council resources being on improving mental health for young people. Further that £1 million in match funding from the HSCP is drawn from the transformation and prevention resources earmarked by the Council for the HSCP, in recognition of the prevention and early intervention emphasis of the Commission’s recommendations to support improving outcomes for adults. This will provide in total £2.000 million of partnership funding to support key priorities emerging from the highly valued insight provided by the Commission and all the participants who supported its work. 

Provide up to £0.150 million to support Rainbow Nursery, Shortroods. Officers to engage with Childcare First management in working in partnership to ensure a long term sustainable future for the Nursery.

£0.210 million over three years to fund Children’s Services to commission complimentary support to families and children of relatives with head injuries being cared for by the Health and Social Care Partnership.

£0.084 million to provide financial support over two years to Citizens Advice Bureau (Renfrewshire) to support joint priorities around providing a welfare rights tribunal representation service. 

Invest £0.150 million of revenue resources to support a programme of tree works across Renfrewshire’s key urban conurbations.

£0.050 million to provide a programme of small kitchen refurbishment works in community facilities.

£0.050 million invested in a feasibility study examining opportunities to improve bus transport across Renfrewshire. 

£0.045 million to support the active schools programme delivered by Renfrewshire Leisure.

£0.030 million to provide ongoing support to the important work being progressed to raise awareness around vulnerability and support victims of domestic abuse.

£0.010 million to provide ongoing support over the next two years to Fairtrade 

5. To protect services to the most vulnerable in Renfrewshire, and in line with the conditions set out in the 2020/21 financial settlement, agree to the recommendation outlined in the Director’s report to make available £1.800 million of additional recurring resources to manage the net impact of new service and cost pressures within Adult Social Care Services, and continue the implementation of the Carers Act. These additional resources will be made available under delegation to the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (RHSCP) from 1 April 2020. In addition, as part of this delegation process, agree to continue to work in pro-active partnership with the RHSCP and social care providers to secure payment of the living wage to all care staff providing services to Renfrewshire residents in addition to those directly employed by the Council

6. Increase by £24.850 million, resources earmarked for the Council’s School Investment Fund, providing in total £51.850 million to support the priorities that have emerged from the review of the School Estate Management Plan. This fund provides significant scope for match funding capacity against opportunities for Renfrewshire to secure resources from the Scottish Government’s £1bn schools investment fund, ensuring the overall investment in our School Estate can grow further beyond this existing financial commitment. This additional £24.850 million of capital investment will be delivered through predominantly prudential borrowing capacity serviced by £1.232 million of recurring revenue resources.

7. To agree the base budget assessment for all services for 2020/21 as recommended by the Director of Finance and Resources, and subject to agreement of item 5 above, agree a 2020/21 base budget of £426.200 million. 

8. To agree to make provision of £7.265 million in 2020/21 for pay inflation as detailed in section 5.1 of the Directors report and make no provision for general non-pay inflation, as recommended by the Director of Finance and Resources.

9. To agree to a general 2% inflationary increase in charges for services, subject to the note at paragraph 15 below. 

10. To agree the resource allocations for 2020/21 for all services, as amended by these proposals.

11. To agree the detailed Revenue Estimates for all services be amended to reflect these proposals and the necessary allocation of central support costs, central repairs costs, capital charges, specific grants and loan charges provision with Directors authorised to take any action necessary to implement these decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Subject to agreement of the above, to agree that the council tax for 2020/21 be set at £1,315.42 for Band D subjects, representing a 4.64% increase on the 2019/20 level, and for all bandings to be set at:

Band £s
A           876.95
B          1,023.11
C          1,169.27
D          1,315.42
E          1,728.32
F          2,137.55
G          2,576.04
H          3,222.79

13. Subject to agreement of the points above, agree that the Council’s budget is underpinned by appropriate decisions and makes appropriate provision to meet the specified commitments in the package of conditions linked to the Council’s grant settlement.

14. Further and in line with the recommendations of the Director, that unallocated General Fund balances are budgeted to be maintained at £7.500 million moving into 2020/21 and that any a transfer to or from the Investment Programme Capital Fund is utilised as required to achieve this position on the closure of the 2019/20 accounts.

15. To agree to increase other charges for services by 2% (as detailed in paragraph 9 above) or where appropriate by the rate set in national legislation or guidance, or where charges are based on full cost recovery by the appropriate increase to maintain this position, subject to Directors being authorised

(a) to round the charge up or down to a figure deemed by them appropriate, and 

(b) not to impose any increase, if having reviewed the implications of the increase, he or she determines it would be inappropriate to do so, having regard to any material factor applicable to the goods or services to which the charge relates.

To note the requirement of financial code 13 that Directors review the amounts their departments charge for goods or services and if they think any charge needs to be increased, they will recommend this to the appropriate Board.  The Council therefore agrees that when a Director carries out such a review and believes a charge for goods or services should be levied which reflects an increase greater than the increase of 2% or the rate set in national legislation or guidance, he or she will be entitled to recommend the same to the appropriate Board for approval.

Report by Director of Finance & Resources
3
There was submitted a report by the Director of Finance & Resources relative to the planned capital investment for non-housing services for the period 2020/21 to 2024/25 which covered a range of corporate projects across all service areas within the Council with the exception of council housing. The report advised that the resources available to support investment included prudential borrowing and capital grant as well as contributions from revenue, partners and external funding bodies.

The report intimated that the Scottish Government had published the draft Scottish Government budget for 2020/21 and the provisional local government finance settlement as outlined in Finance Circular 1/2020 on 6 February 2020. The proposed capital grant for Renfrewshire Council in 2020/21 was £12.337 million, of which £0.292 million was specific grant relating to cycling and walking safer streets. Further to the £12.045 million of general capital grant above, £3.600 million of specific capital grant had been allocated to support the expansion of Early Years Education and Childcare provision. Associated early years investment proposals would be subject to appropriate reporting through the Education and Children’s Services Policy Board as the expansion planning and funding distribution for Early Years progressed.

The Scottish Government subsequently announced on 27 February 2020 an additional £15 million of specific capital funding in relation to cycling, walking and safer streets, of which Renfrewshire’s allocation was £0.491 million, bringing the total capital grant allocation specifically for cycling, walking and safer streets to £0.783 million for 2020/21; also a further £25 million of capital finding to support investment in energy efficiency measures and the allocation of this funding had not yet been agreed with CoSLA.

The level of general capital grant allocated to local government in the draft budget for 2020/21 was substantially reduced from that received in 2019/20 with the general grant allocation for Renfrewshire being 20% lower.  Should the general capital grant continue at the level received in 2020/21 over the coming years, the Council would require to fundamentally reappraise its capital planning approach.

The Scottish Government had previously proposed an intention for there to be multi-year funding settlements for local government from 2020/21 which would assist future capital investment planning.  The delay with the announcement of the UK budget to 11 March 2020 had however limited the ability of the Scottish Government to develop a multi-year settlement.

It was noted that the Prudential Code and Treasury Management Code played a key role in capital finance in local authorities and they required the Council to set prudential and treasury management indicators for the following three years to ensure that the Council’s capital investment plans were affordable, prudent and sustainable. The Treasury Management Code further required the Council to approve, annually in advance, a strategy for its treasury management activities, whilst the Prudential Code also required full Council approval of the Capital Strategy which set out the long term context within which capital investment decisions were made to improve capital, revenue and balance sheet planning.

It was noted that where the Council was making decisions in relation to its spending priorities, it was obliged to comply with the public sector equality duty set out in the Equalities Act 2010 which meant that the Council must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other prohibited conduct; advance equality of opportunity between people who shared a relevant characteristic and those who did not; and foster good relations between people who shared a protected characteristic and those who did not. To meet this requirement, where necessary, the Council must assess the impact of applying a new policy or decision against these three "needs" and at the point where a decision was made elected members must have sufficient information available to them to assess that impact. Members in considering their capital investment proposals prior to presentation at the Council meeting, were therefore encouraged to seek advice from Directors on the equality implications of each proposal.

DECIDED:

(a) That the investment programme covering the period up to 2024/25, as summarised in table 2 of the report and detailed in Appendices 1 to 5 of the report, be approved;

(b) That it be noted that, subject to the approval of the proposed investment programme, there were uncommitted resources of £0.645 million held in the Strategic Asset Management Fund available for allocation to new investment priorities for the Council;

(c) That it be noted that the visibility of the Council’s capital grant funding position beyond 2020/21 might be improved from 2021/22 assuming a three-year settlement was available, however no assumptions were included within the planned programme beyond this financial year in respect of future grant levels with the exception of the commitments agreed by Council in setting the 2019/20 capital plan in relation to roads and infrastructure investment over the medium-terms;

(d) That authority be delegated to the Head of Property Services, the Head of Operations and Infrastructure and the Head of Schools, in consultation with the Director of Finance & Resources, to adjust, where appropriate, resources across individual components of the lifecycle maintenance, roads and structures and schools investment programmes respectively; 

(e) That the suite of prudential indicators, set out in Appendix 6 to the report, be noted, subject to any required adjustments arising from decisions taken by the Council in relation to the capital and revenue budget reports being presented to this Council meeting; 

(f) That the treasury management strategy for 2020/21, including the treasury management indicators, set out in Appendix 6 to the report, be approved;

(g) That the Capital Strategy, set out in Appendix 7 to the report, be approved; and

(h) That it be noted that the equality impacts set out in the report had been considered by members when making the above decisions.
Joint report by Director of Communities, Housing and Planning and Director of Finance & Resources
1
There was submitted a joint report by the Directors of Communities, Housing & Planning Services and Finance & Resources relative to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget for financial year 2020/21 and the Housing Capital Investment Plan 2020/21 to 2022/23.  Appendices to the report detailed budget changes for 2020/21; anticipated expenditure and income for the year ending 31 March 2021; and the Housing Capital Investment Plan 2020/21 to 2022/23.

The report provided an update on consultation with tenants on the annual rent setting process and highlighted that the HRA continued to operate in a period of uncertainty as a result of the UK Government’s Welfare Reform policy changes, which had placed additional financial stress on families, pressure on Council services and presented a significant financial risk to the HRA, particularly in relation to the roll out of Universal Credit. 

DECIDED:

(a) That an average weekly rent increase of 2% for 2020/21 be approved;

(b) That the findings of the recent tenant consultation exercise be noted; 

(c) That the Housing Revenue Account Budget for financial year 2020/21, as detailed in Appendix 2 to the report, be approved; 

(d) That the Housing Capital Investment Plan 2020/21 to 2022/23, as detailed in Appendix 3 to the report, be approved; and

(e) That the continuing requirement to achieve best value in the commissioning of works by having an optimum workflow over the three years of the investment plan be noted and that the Director of Communities, Housing & Planning Services liaise with the Director of Finance & Resources to re-profile the capital programme and available resources, as necessary, in line with the appropriate limits established under the Council’s capital prudential framework arrangements.


Prior to consideration of the following item of business the Provost drew Members’ attention to the provisions of Section 112 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 which restricted the voting rights of Members on certain issues if they were in arrears with Council Tax payments.

Meeting Documents

There are no separate meeting documents but there may be meeting documents assigned to the Agenda.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
Councillor Eddie Devine1relative part time employee of Street StuffNon-Pecuniaryremained in the meeting
Councillor Alison Jean Dowling1Chair of Renfrewshire Citizens Advice BureauNon-Pecuniaryleft the meeting
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes1Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Board of DirectorsNon-Pecuniaryremained in the meeting
Councillor Eileen McCartin1member of Renfrewshire Leisure Board of DirectorsNon-Pecuniaryremained in the meeting
Councillor Kevin Montgomery1employee of Renfrewshire Citizens Advice BureauPecuniaryLeft the meeting

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