Agenda item

REVENUE BUDGET AND COUNCIL TAX 2012/13

Budget papers previously issued for Cabinet attached.  Subject to the Cabinet’s proposals, the formal Council Tax Resolution 2012/13 is attached.

 

Any questions in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.1, of which notice has been given to follow.

 

Minutes:

(a)  In accordance with the notice given, Councillor Knight asked the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources:

 

‘Can the Deputy Leader explain why, after a major recession and years of funding cuts, the Council has bigger reserves and balances than ever before?’

 

Councillor Samuel replied in the following terms ‘I estimate that at the end of next month the reserves will be approximately £2.2million less than was inherited from the last administration. If however, we want to look at a completed year, at the end of last year, the reserves were virtually £5million less than under the last administration.

 

Councillor Knight asked a supplementary question regarding the level of reserves and placement of one-off monies into the reserves which had seen them increase in recent years. Councillor Samuel replied that the reserves also included those belonging to schools which had increased the overall level of balances by 72.6% in the last two years.

 

(b)  In accordance with the notice given, Councillor Williams asked the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources:

 

‘How has the Administration’s budget plan changed as a result of the findings of the public survey it commissioned from Pollsters OPM?’

 

Councillor Samuel replied in the following terms ‘The key findings of the report indicate that there are high levels of financial anxieties amongst our residents. I propose to address those concerns during my speech.

 

Councillor Williams asked a supplementary question about the nature of the types of questions included within the survey and the potential for the results to impact on the budget. Councillor Samuel indicated that the proposed budget met the priorities and eased the anxieties of the residents of the borough.

 

(c)  In accordance with the notice given, Councillor Jaeger asked the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources:

 

‘Why is it that, when adult social care expenditure is the only area of public services to have seen a national increase in expenditure over the last two years, locally we have seen decreases to the ACS budget both in 2011-12 and now proposed for 2012 – 13?’

 

Councillor Samuel replied in the following terms ‘There are three elements to this.  The first is the reablement program which is now delivering the £2.1million savings which were intended. This programme was commenced under the previous administration. Secondly there are a large number of genuine efficiency savings. One example is residential care for those with learning difficulties which is extremely expensive. During the course of the last year, 15% of those receiving this support, as they wanted,  have moved from residential to domiciliary support therefore simultaneously having support that they want and saving the authority money. And the third thing is addressing the £2million shortfall inherited by the Administration in 2010.

 

Councillor Jaeger asked a supplementary question about the impact of increased monies from both the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and NHS upon the proposed budget. Councillor Samuel reported that reductions in the overall budget for ACS had been made as a result of true efficiencies and improved ways of working.

 

(d)  In accordance with the notice given, Councillor Eady asked the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources?’

 

‘’Will the Deputy Leader be offering a revenue subsidy from council tax payers to secondary schools to help them meet any funding shortfall for running 6th forms and will he be differentiating between those schools that are already Academies and those that might convert?’

 

 

Councillor Samuel replied in the following terms ‘It is accepted that starting a new 6th form in its first year or so has a negative effect on a school budget which is very speedily reversed. There are difficulties in the first couple of years and I will be interested to see what representations we receive. As far as the Academies are concerned these are managed by a separate profit making organisation and I would expect them to approach their parent company in the first instance for any financial assistance.’

 

Councillor Eady asked a supplementary question about the timescales for any financial support. Councillor Samuel noted that any representations received with financial workings would be considered at an appropriate time.

 

(e)  In accordance with the notice give, Councillor Acton asked the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources:

 

‘Following his cut of £150,000 to the economic development / tourism budget last year, what plans does the Deputy Leader have for prioritising extra resources for this area of work in the continuing economic downturn?’

 

Councillor Samuel replied in the following terms ‘There is currently in circulation a detailed paper on this for the next meeting of Cabinet in March which will be available to Members in the coming days. I cannot in the time available do justice to what is a very ambitious and detailed report though I can give you some details. A survey of businesses was conducted in 2007 and the thing that all businesses said they wanted more than anything else was more parking and cheaper parking. This was not previously provided. We have decided to give businesses what they has asked for. The cost of this is considerable but is far more valuable to shops than reports, or committees or more bureaucracy.’

 

Councillor Acton asked a supplementary question regarding additional funding for town centre development. Councillor Samuel responded that would be considered by Cabinet on 15 March 2012 in the report regarding this matter.

 

(f)  In accordance with the notice given, Councillor Jones asked the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources:

 

‘Why has the Deputy Leader failed to continue to fund community development work in the five areas of relative deprivation whilst proposed two new posts for community engagement?’

 

Councillor Samuel replied in the following terms ‘Firstly the term an area of deprivation is not one by which residents wish their local area to be known. The last administration made 5 time-limited temporary appointments for these posts which have now finished. The two new Community Link Officer positions being put in place will support the community to facilitate its own development.’ 

 

Councillor Jones asked a supplementary question regarding the lack of mention of communities in greatest need within the budget setting priorities. Councillor Samuel noted that protecting the most vulnerable residents and those in need was a high priority of the current Administration.

 

Councillor Samuel moved, seconded by Lord True:

 

  1. That the Revenue budget for 2012/13 be agreed
  2. That the Richmond Upon Thames’ element of the Band D Council be unchanged at £1,287.39: thereby enabling the Council to accept a further £2.896million one off funding in Council Tax Freeze Grant from Government.
  3. That the overall Band D level of Council Tax for 2012/13, including the GLA element be set at £1,594.1 (a reduction of 0.19% on 2011/12) be agreed.
  4. That the Council agree the Council Tax 2012/13 resolution (Pages 1 and 2 of the Supplementary Agenda.)

 

Councillor Knight moved, seconded by Councillor Williams:

 

At the end of recommendation 1, insert:

 

subject to the following changes:

 

(i)  reductions in the budget requirement by:

 

(a)  £3,100,000 by removing one off capital items from the revenue budget and instead funding them within the Capital Programme in the normal way ;

(b)  £500,000 by removing the one off ‘priority investment’ revenue item from the from the ongoing revenue budget and instead meeting its cost from reserves; and

(c)  £700,000 by continuing to capitalising this amount of revenue expenditure

 

[Total = £4.3 million]

 

(ii)  increases in the budget requirement by:

 

(a)  £1,200,000 to pay for the reversal of front-line cuts to schools support, children’s and youth services;

(b)  £1,500,000 to pay for the reversal of front line cuts to adult social care, including the funding of support for those with ‘moderate’ needs and the removal of the disregard for disability living allowance and the reversal of the 400% increase in the charge for disability blue badges;

(c)  £150,000 to pay for the reversal of cuts to economic development and support for town centres;

(d)  £150,000 to pay for the restoration of community development workers in the 5 areas of relative deprivation;

(e)  £200,000 to pay for the reversal of library cuts including the cost of running a library in Heathfield Ward;

(f)  £300,000 to reverse cuts to the voluntary sector;

(g)  £100,000 to fund a £250 pay rise for council staff paid less than £21,000 a year, in line with other parts of the public sector;

(h)  £500,000 to pay for extra discretionary payment for those families badly affected by cuts to Housing Benefit; and

(i)  £200,000 to pay for the financing costs of the above additions to the capital programme.

 

[Total = £4.3 million]

 

The amendment was put to the vote and FELL.

 

The substantive motion was put to the vote and was CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the Revenue budget for 2012/13 be agreed
  2. That the Richmond Upon Thames’ element of the Band D Council be unchanged at £1,287.39: thereby enabling the Council to accept a further £2.896million one off funding in Council Tax Freeze Grant from Government.
  3. That the overall Band D level of Council Tax for 2012/13, including the GLA element be set at £1,594.1 (a reduction of 0.19% on 2011/12) be agreed.
  4. That the Council Tax Base for the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames for 2012/13 be 89,992.04 in accordance with regulation 3 of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992 (as amended) be agreed. This was in accordance with the report approved by Cabinet on 26 January 2012.
  5. That the following amounts now be calculated by the Council for the year 2012/13 in accordance with Sections 31 – 36 of the Local Government and Finance Act 1992, as amended:

 

(a)  £415, 667,500 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (2) (a) – (f) of the Act

(b)  £299,812,628 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (3) (a) – (d) of the Act

(c)  £115,854,872 being the amount by which the aggregate at 2 (a) above exceeds the aggregate at 2 (b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A (4) of the Act, at its Council Tax requirement for the year

(d)  £1,287.39 being the amount at 2 (c) divided by the amount at 1 above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31 B (1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax (Band D) for the year

(e) Valuation bands

 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

858.26

1,001.30

1,144.35

1,287.39

1,573.48

1,859.56

2,145.65

2,574.78

 

being the amounts given by multiplying the amount at 2 (d) above by the number which, in the proportion set out in Section 5 (1) of the Act, is applicable to dwellings listed in a particular valuation band divided by the number which in that proportion is applicable to dwellings listed in valuation band D, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 36 (1) of the Act, as the amounts to be taken into account for the year in respect of categories of dwellings listed in different valuation bands

 

6.  That it be noted that for the year (2012-2013) the major precepting authority has stated the following amounts in precepts issued to the Council, in accordance with Section 40 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended), for each of the categories of the dwellings shown below:-

 

Precepting

Authority

Valuation Bands

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

GLA

204.48

238.56

272.64

306.72

374.88

443.04

511.20

613.44

 

7.  That, having calculated the aggregate in each case of the amounts at 2 (e) and 3 above, the Council, in accordance with Section 30 (2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended), hereby sets the following amounts of council tax for the year (2012-2013) for each of the categories of dwelling shown below:-

 

  Valuation Bands

 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

1,062.74

1,239.86

1,416.99

1594.11

1,948.36

2,302.60

2,656.85

3,188.22

 

8.  That the Director of Finance and Corporate Services be authorised to institute legal proceedings where necessary for the collection of the aforesaid Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates.

 

 

Supporting documents:

 

Updated: 4 April 2014