Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre. View directions
Contact: Eleanor Mulligan Email: email@example.com
Apologies for Absence
Declarations of Interest
The minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2018 were confirmed as a true record.
Cabinet received and considered a comprehensive report prepared by the Head of Finance, dealing with the revenue budget, capital budget and Treasury Management.
The Leader thanked the Cabinet and officers for their hard work on the budget. Cabinet had been working on the proposals since last autumn.
The Leader also thanked the public for their responses on the consultation. Over the last few years, the Council had gathered some 5,000 responses to engagement activities. This consultation itself produced a good response rate with 2,680 individual proposal responses, 47 people attended the market event and 75 people attended specific sessions on individual proposals. Responses also came from the Scrutiny Committees, School’s Forum and the Fairness Commission. All were included and summarised in the Appendices to this report.
Cabinet had to make difficult decisions within the context of austerity, however the budget was built on recent successes, such as -
Capital Investment in:
§ Friar’s Walk
§ Investment in key buildings in the city centre through the VVP scheme - £13m
§ Significant investment in existing and new schools, including a new Welsh Medium School - £52m
Revenue investment in:
§ services which look after the most vulnerable in our society - nearly £9m in our social care budgets over the last 5 years
§ our school budgets – increase of around £7m
There was continued improvement in the Council’s day to day services and the indicators, audited independently, which measured these. This was whilst still spending some £8m under our Standard Spending Assessment and having the second lowest Council Tax in Wales and one of the lowest in the UK.
The draft proposals included:
§ Further capital investment of £70m in our schools.
§ Further regeneration projects in the city centre.
§ Very significant revenue budget investment in our social care and special education services at £5m.
§ Significant investment in schools and funding new schools.
The Leader was pleased to say that the draft revenue budget would be improved even further.
The Leader reminded those present that although the Treasury Strategy would be a Council decision, it had already gone through the Council’s Audit Committee review. The strategy would remain as it was now, which was, on borrowing, to remain internally borrowed wherever possible. Additionally, on investments, to invest any surplus funds within the parameters of security, liquidity and return, in that order.
The Council recently considered and approved a change to the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) method and this was recommended to carry on into 2018/19.
The report highlighted how the Council could maximise capital expenditure and support the ambitions for the city. This would need to be kept under review, as and when the financial situation changed.
There was £70m in the capital programme to continue the investments in school buildings and officers were working on the detailed developments.
A number of key schemes in the city centre, such as the market arcade and the developments of grade ‘A’ offices in Mill Street were included. Other projects included ... view the full minutes text for item 4.