The budget Scrutiny Working Group will be pre-scrutinising this report at a meeting on 7th January 2019. Due to the short time available before the Executive Committee if the group proposes any recommendations on this subject a written record of those recommendations will be circulated at the Executive Committee meeting.
The Executive Director, Finance and Resources presented the report and in so doing highlighted the following:
· The report covered the budget and rent setting for the HRA account.
· The impact of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 and the reduction in rents, together with details of the income that would have been generated.
· The average rent decrease and the impact of the 1% rent reduction over four years, together with the reduction in working balances as a result of this.
· Expenditure, including an increase in repairs and maintenance. It was anticipated that this would improve further following management and procurement changes.
· The need to increase the housing stock and funds set aside for this purpose.
Members commented on the work that had already been undertaken in respect of return void properties to stock and a small number of new housing stock purchases, which would begin to improve the Council’s position.
a) the draft 2019/20 Budget for the Housing Revenue Account attached to the report at Appendix A be approved;
b) the actual average rent decrease for 2019/20 be 1%;
c) the £5,729k allocated to Major Repairs Reserve in 2019/20 be applied to fund the HRA capital programme; and
d) £4,619k be allocated to the acquisition of new dwellings funded from earmarked capital receipts (£1,386k) and the HRA capital reserve (£3,233k).