Venue: Via Zoom
Contact: Linda Albon Member Services and Governance Officer
To confirm the minutes of 25 January 2021.
The minutes of the meeting held 25 January 2021 were approved.
For Cabinet to consider and recommend to Council the approval of the Final Business Plan 2021-2022
Members considered the Business Plan 2021-22 report presented by Councillor Boden.
Councillor Boden commented that this was a sharper and more focussed report than in previous years, for which he gave thanks largely to Councillor Tierney.
Cabinet AGREED to recommend to Council the approval of the Final Business Plan 2021-22.
For Cabinet to consider and approve the revised General Fund Budget and Capital Programme for 2020/21 and to consider and recommend to Council the General Fund Budget Estimates 2021/22 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021/22 to 2025/26; the Council Tax levels for 2021/22; the Capital Programme 2021-2024; and the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, Capital Strategy and Annual Treasury Investment Strategy for 2021/22.
Members considered the Corporate Budget 2021/22 and Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) report presented by Councillor Boden.
Councillor Boden praised officers for their sterling work on this in the face of such difficult circumstances.
Members made comments, asked questions and received responses as follows:
· Councillor Tierney agreed with the cautious approach undertaken with Cambridgeshire Horizons and the decision not to increase council tax. The pandemic has had huge financial consequences for both residents and businesses and if ever there was a time to tap into reserves, then this is that time.
· Councillor French praised officers for their superb budget in this difficult time. She said that having noted a proposed spend of £182,700 for car parks under Growth and Infrastructure, she hoped that the work on civil car parking enforcement would save that money.
CABINET AGREED that:
(i) the revised estimates for 2020/21 as set out in Section 7 and Appendix A showing an estimated shortfall at outturn in the region of £221,000, be approved.
and AGREED to recommend to Council that:
(ii) the General Fund revenue budget for 2021/22 as set out in Section 8 and Appendix A be approved.
(iii) the Medium-Term Financial Strategy as outlined in this report and Appendix B be adopted.
(iv) the Capital Programme and funding statement as set out in Appendix D be approved.
(v) the adoption of any additional Business Rates Relief measures announced in the budget on 3rd March 2021 as detailed in paragraphs 5.7 – 5.9 be approved.
(vi) the expenses detailed in Section 11 be approved to be treated as general expenses for 2021/22.
(vii) the Port Health levy for 2021/22 be set as shown in Section 12.
(viii) the amendment to the Long-Term Empty Property Premium policy detailed in Section 13 be approved.
(ix) the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, Minimum Revenue Provision, Treasury Investment Strategy, Prudential and Treasury Indicators for 2021/22 and Capital Strategy 2021/22 as set out in Section 15 and Appendix E be approved.
(x) the Band D Council Tax level for Fenland District Council Services for 2021/22 be set at £260.46, no increase on the current year.
For Cabinet to consider a further request for financial assistance from Freedom Leisure in line with the Council's leisure contract.
Members considered the Freedom Leisure Update report presented by Councillor Clark. Councillor Boden elaborated on the financial aspects of the report.
Cabinet AGREED that:
3.1 Fenland District Council (“FDC”) provides the Phase IV financial relief to Freedom Leisure set out in these recommendations.
3.2 FDC defers the monthly management fee of £37,560 per month for April 2021 – June 2021, at a cost to the Council of £112,680, repayable in accordance with the terms set out at paragraph 4 of these recommendations and noting some of these monies may be recoverable through the Government’s Income Compensation Scheme for Councils, should this scheme continue in 2021/22.
3.3. FDC continues to support Freedom Leisure on an open book basis by providing them with an interest free loan payable monthly up to the amounts set out below and repayable in accordance with the terms set out at paragraph 3.4:
Deferred management fees: £112,680
Total Phase IV support: £312,680
3.4 Repayment of the £312,680 described in paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3 of these recommendations shall become payable through an annual deduction of 75% of any profit generated in excess of the levels predicted in the LOBTA (Leisure Operators Base Trading Account). This is a change from the current 50/50 profit share and will be subject to the performance of the business over the contract period.
3.5 The Monitoring Officer and s.151 Officer are authorised to put in place all necessary arrangements to give effect to the agreed recommendations to include entry into the necessary legal arrangements and expenditure of the amounts described from existing budget provisions.
For Cabinetto consider and recommend the adoption oftheCulture and Creativity Strategyto Full Council.
Members considered the Cultural Strategy report presented by Councillor Seaton.
Cabinet AGREED to recommend adoption of the Culture and Creativity Strategy to Full Council.
For Cabinet to note the content of the report and projects due to be submitted to the next CPCA Board Meeting on 24.03.21 as set out in appendix E
Members considered the Growing Fenland & CCC Capital Community Fund Project Update report presented by Councillor Boden.
Councillor Mrs French thanked the officers who had put in a lot of time to this project and the bids that were submitted to the County Council. She pointed out the match funding figures for March Future High Street fund quoted on p.134 of the agenda pack should read £900,000 and £1,100,000 to make the total figure of £2m. Councillor Boden also congratulated officers for the tremendous amount of work they had put in and thanked Councillor Mrs French for the work she had done.
Cabinet AGREED to note the content of the report and projects due to be submitted to the next CPCA Board Meeting on 24.03.21 as set out in appendix E.
CCC Capital Communities Fund:
· No further action required
· Cabinet members are asked to note confirmation of CPCA funding requested in the table below.
For information purposes.
Councillor Boden presented the Cabinet Forward Plan for information.