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Apologies and Substitutes
To receive apologies for absence and notification of any substitutes present
Apologies for absence were received from Mr Baldock, Mr Simkins and Mr Whybrow. Mr Terry, Mr Marsh and Mr Harman attended as substitutes for Mr Baldock, Mr Simkins and Mr Whybrow respectively.
Declarations of Interest by Members in items on the Agenda
To receive any declarations of interest made by Members in relation to any matter on the agenda. Members are reminded to specify the agenda item number to which it refers and the nature of the interest being declared.
There were no declarations of interest
To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, the Cabinet Member for Community Services and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement and Deputy Leader, to note the draft budget and Medium Term Financial Plan and suggest any other issues which should be reflected in them, prior to Cabinet on 23 January and County Council on 9 February.
Katie Stewart (Director of Environment, Planning and Enforcement), Kevin Tilson (Finance Business Partner – Growth, Environment and Transport) and Roger Wilkin (Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste) were in attendance for this item
(1) Mr Tilson introduced the report which set out the key assumptions underpinning the 2017/18 budget proposals and savings relevant to the remit of the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee, information from KCC’s budget consultation, the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement and the provisional local government finance settlement. He drew particular attention to: paragraph 2.6 of the report which set out a summary of changes to the 2017/18 budget equation since the Autumn Budget Statement was published for County Council on 20 October 2016; and to paragraph 2.8 which set out the most significant movements between the Autumn Budget Statement and the Final Draft Budget as well as the appendices.
(2) Mr Tilson said that local government spending over the medium term was intended to remain at “flat cash”, which meant that reductions in government funding would need to be offset by growth in council tax and business rates. There would be no additional funding for rising costs or demand pressures and any increases would have to be met by savings or spending reductions elsewhere in the budget.
(3) Mr Tilson said that about 75% - 80% of the gross budget for the Growth, Environment and Transport Directorate (GET) related to contracts and there was a significant pressure from contractual price increases. These were set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and summarised in Appendix 1 of the report. The net budget for the GET Directorate was £163m and £5.2m worth of spending demands had been included in the budget or 2017/18.
(4) In response to questions officers gave the following information.
(i) The authority had a duty to monitor and control pollution from closed landfill sites to ensure public safety and environmental protection.
(ii) Pressures of £4.5m had been identified in the budget for 2016/17 and this had increased to approximately £5.2m for 2017/18.
(iii) The reduction in budget proposed for traffic management services would not damage the service and reflected good commissioning and service management.
(iv) The replacement and improvement of pedestrian signals was funded from the capital budget.
(v) Further detailed information about the data used for calculating inflationary increases could be provided outside the meeting. However the MTFP listed inflationary pressures of £239,000 for energy costs, £394,000 for highway contracts, £1.1million for waste contracts and £477,000 for public transport, all of which were based on recommendations from the Council’s energy and transport consultants and/or based on RPI/CPI/contractual inflationary uplifts
(vi) Income projected from development planning and planning applications reflected both an inflationary increase, an analysis of demand and income generated over the previous four years and the number of planning applications known to be in the “pipeline”.
(vii) The budget for Subsidised Bus Services reflected an inflationary increase and there were no plans to reduce particular services, with the only saving ... view the full minutes text for item 249.