The following items, arising from meetings of the Executive Committee held on 19th December 2019 and 14th January 2020, were discussed in detail at the meeting:
Review of the One Stop Shops
Members noted that the One Stop Shops had been the subject of a thorough review over a six month period. There were a limited number of customers who utilised the services available from the One Stop Shops and all of those customers who did access the service had been informed about the proposed closure and alternative service options.
During consideration of this item concerns were raised that the closure of the One Stop Shops could have a disproportionate impact on elderly and vulnerable residents. The One Stop Shops also attracted people to the district centres and concerns were raised that their closure could impact on the long-term viability of those district centres. However, it was suggested that support would be made available to effected customers to help limit the impact in the local community.
Finance Monitoring Report Quarter 2
Members discussed the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan for 2020/21 to 2023/24 and the budget challenges facing the Council moving forward. Following the external auditor’s decision to issue the Section 24 Notice to the Council Officers had reviewed action that could be taken to increase income whilst reducing expenditure. During the 2019/20 financial year to date Officers had already identified £571,000 of savings and it was anticipated that further savings would be identified for subsequent years. Officers had also undertaken a review of the Council’s Capital Programme for 2019/20 to 2022/23 and this reprofiling work would result in savings on borrowing costs for the Council.
Housing Revenue Account Rent Setting 2020/21
The report in respect of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Rent Setting for 2020/21 was discussed and Members noted that this was the first year in five years in which the Council had had an opportunity to increase rents for Council tenants. For the previous four years the Council had been required by the Government to reduce rents by 1% per annum, which had had a detrimental impact on the Council’s HRA.
Support to the Voluntary and Community Sector 2020/21
Members discussed the report in respect of support for the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) 2020/21 in some detail and in doing so noted the following:
· The proposals detailed in the report and minutes of the Executive Committee meeting held on 14th January 2020, which would result in the introduction of a single budget to support VCS organisations.
· The total value of this budget at £175,000 each year over a three year period, which would encompass both grant funding and concessionary rent support to some VCS organisations.
· The proposed changes to the concessionary rents scheme over the three years, which would result in a phased reduction in the concessionary rent from 70% support in the first year, to 50% support in the second year and 20% support from the Council in the third year.
· The ... view the full minutes text for item 69