Finance and Governance Cabinet Advisory Board - Tuesday 6 June 2023, 6:30pm - Start video at 1:35:22 - Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Webcasting

Finance and Governance Cabinet Advisory Board
Tuesday, 6th June 2023 at 6:30pm 









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Seat 3 - 0:00:00
Seat 3 - 0:00:14
Good evening.
Good evening I am Councillor Matthew Sankey, vice-chair of the finance and governance Cabinet Advisory Board, I am chairing the meeting today as Councillor Hall is away and welcome to this evening's meeting
as this is the first meeting of the new municipal year I would like to welcome the new members of the Committee Councillors, Alice Holden Macmillan and Moon, and we also have two new brand-new, two brand new Councillors Councillors, Frances and Osborne Walkam.
before we start the meeting, there are a number of procedural issues to go through, for which I would be very grateful for your attention. I shall now pass over to the clerk, Caroline Brit,
thank you good evening everybody. In the event of the fire alarm ringing continuously, you must immediately evacuate the building at walking pace officers will direct you via the most direct available route, and no man is to use the lift. We will make our way to the far assembly point by the entrance to the Town Hall Yard car park, on Munson, Way, once outside a check will be made to ensure everyone has safely left and no one is to re-enter the building until advised. It is safe to do so.
as this is a public meeting and proceedings are being webcast live online. A recording will also be available for playback on the council's website shortly afterwards.
Can I remind everyone to use the microphones when speaking the red light indicates that the microphone is on any comments that are not recorded for the webcast will not be included in the minutes of the meeting.
It is very important the outcomes of the meeting or clear. At the end of each substantive item, the Chairman will ask whether the matter is agreed in the absence of a clear majority, or if the Chairman decides a full vote is desirable about will be taken by a show of hands. Members should raise their hands to indicate their vote when called and keep their hand up until the Countess has been announced. Members requesting a recorded vote must do so before the vote is taken. Thank you
for the benefit of the recording we are going to go, we are going to take a roll call of the Clerk will now call your name and if you are present, please introduce yourself,
thank you Chair Councillor Dorling's
thank you Councillor Ellis
present, thank you Councillor Frances, thank you
Councillor good she doesn't appear to be here Councillor Knight
present, thank you Councillor McMillan presence, thank you Councillor Moon.
present, thank you, Councillor Osborne present, thank you, Councillor Sankey present, thank you and officers to see me Lee Collier. isn't thank you, and Jane Feynman present, thank you.
thank you, members of the committee, should be familiar with the process, but for the benefit of any members of the public who may be watching, I would like to explain a couple of things. committee members have had their agendas for over a week and have had the opportunity to ask any factual questions of the officers ahead of the meeting.
When we come to the substantive items on the agenda this evening, members or members of the public who have registered to speak will be asked to read their statements. They will have a maximum of three minutes. Each
the relevant officer will then set out their report. We will then move to a member to into member discussion at the end of the discussion, I will remind members that without prejudice to any other comments they may have raised, the Committee is asked to come to one of the following positions. One that the recommendations to Cabinet are supported by the Committee to the recommendations to Cabinet would be supported, subject to a particular issue being addressed or 3, that the recommendations to Cabinet are not supported and that this is the case read.
If this is the case, reasons should be stated
I would like to remind everyone that this is a formal meeting and there should be no disorderly conduct, including clapping or interruptions at this evening's meetings,
I don't think I need to say that.

1 Apologies

OK. well, I'm gonna move straight on to agenda item 1.
agenda item, one is to note any apologies for absence from members of the committee, do we have any apologies for
absence, thank you, Chair, we have apologies have received, been received from Councillors Hall and Holden, and for the benefit of reporting Councillor Good Ship is not present.
item number 2 is declarations of interest.

3 Notification of Persons Wishing to Speak

agenda Item 2 is to receive any declarations of interest in items on the agenda, does anyone have any such declarations to make?
I don't see any forthcoming, so we shall move on.
agenda item 3 is to note any members of the public or visiting members of the Council who have registered to speak, do we have such persons, Clerk

4 Minutes of the meeting dated 11 April 2023

super, so we move to agenda item 4, which is to approve the minutes of the meeting held on the 11th of April 2023 and have asked members if there are any amendments to these minutes.

5 Forward Plan as at 23 May 2023

I can't see any so are we all agreed
agenda Item 5 is to consider the Forward Plan as at the 23 of May 2023. do Members have any comments
Tom well, I presume this will be updated to reflect the New portfolios
probably frozen in time for next meeting.
yes, I can answer that, yes,
yes, they in fact
the Forward Plan was issued on the 2nd of June,
it's updated one and the correct portfolio details are should all be on there.
have you got one on the 2nd of June,
thank you sorry.
thank you, sir, if we are all agreed
a great superb.

6 Revenue Management Quarter 4

agenda item 6. the Revenue Management report Quarter 4, which is on pages 25 to 49 Jane Feynman is going to introduce this report, we have no registered speakers, so I'm going to go straight to Jane, thank you.
thank you Chair.
the unaudited year end actual outturn for net expenditure on services was 13.4 million 1.1 million and a budget and an improvement since quarter 3 of 961,000 pounds
as previously reported we started the year, with 944,000 pounds of revenue costs budgeted to be funded from reserves
but as you can see this was unnecessary as the 1.1 million underspend was more than sufficient to balance the revenue budget.
the war in Ukraine and the considerable levels of inflation over the past year have put significant pressure on our already stretched budgets, the main concern has been energy costs, which have increased by point 9 million for 22 23.
this has been offset, however, by a reduction in staff costs of 1.3 million.
the council has struggled to recruit and retain staff as budgets are limited, and it's difficult to compete in a tight labour market.
we're showing over 48 full-time equivalent vacancies at year end.
the council overachieved on its income budget by point 9 million, due mainly to additional parking income
parking income plummeted during the pandemic as working from home and online shopping became the norm for many,
the recovery from Covid was better than expected, however, and in the latter part of the year parking prices were increased to help finance the additional costs of running and maintaining car parks.
as detailed later in the Treasury Management report, there was an increase over budget of 1.1 9 8 million in investment interest and it can also be seen that 1.1 6 2 million was achieved from the growth in business rates.
this is always unbudgeted, as this is how the capital programme is funded,
additional grant funding of 216,000 was received during the year and that was mainly for new burdens, grants from government for, for example, the administration of the energy rebate scheme, which were completed in house in order that we kept the grant rather than spending it.
as can be seen in Appendix D, the council had 32.4 9 3 million of usable reserves, as, at the 1st of April 2022,
some amounts have been transferred in and out of the reserves, as per the budget, or used to fund the capital programme. and 5.5 million has been transferred from the grant volatility reserve to fund the collection fund deficit
a sum of 4.2 3 3 million has been transferred into the capital and revenue initiatives reserve from the surpluses to budget, along with 2.0 6 7 million from transfers from other reserves
the Council has taken the opportunity to do a bit of housekeeping. and to reduce the number of reserves it holds and transfer the balance of those no longer required into the capital and revenue initiatives reserve,
so the reserve now has sufficient funds in it to finance the whole approved capital programme for 23 24.
the closing balance in usable reserves is now 28.7 9 8 million, of which just 1.3 million remains for the collection fund deficit in 23 24 and cannot be spent.
it can also be seen that the Council's internal borrowing has been reduced to 5.1 million by the end of 22 23,
the Council has overpaid its minimum revenue provision by 755,000, therefore reducing this outstanding internal debt
and finally a sum of 18,000 pounds was added to the general fund that being the final surplus to budget following all of the movements to reserves as described previously
this means the closing balance on the General Fund is now 4.3 5 4 million
so, in summary, our finances are in good order at the end of 22 23, but this has been through good fortune, with interest rates and significant staff vacancies, which are affecting the ability of the Council to deliver services and the capital programme
in 23 24.
the increases in interest are already included in the budget and vacancies will need to be filled, so the current 943,000 revenue budget deficit will need to be addressed, along with the sale of capital assets to fund the capital programme into the future.
I'd also like to mention that we have just published our annual financial report,
and these are a statutory accounts, they're up on the website, now all of this information is included therein,
and we achieved the deadline of the 31st of May.
which was a pretty difficult task, because it was two months earlier than last year,
but we did achieve that and we're very proud to have managed to do that again for the Council, thank you.
thank you, Jane am, shall we move on to questions from members to any members, have any questions?
Tom I think you got there, but then de case a Tomlin David.
first to say that I think the
finalising the accounts by the end of May was a fantastic achievement,
and to continue that by saying that I congratulate Lee and Jane for all they do on the Council's finance.
I've been pretty hurt in the course of this year on their behalf, with leaflets going through doors, saying the finances of the council are a shambles that was,
I think, really really uncalled for.
equally uncalled for is to say we fix them by our in-year budget,
so I'd like to just ask Lee or Jane how much how much extra income do we generate from the?
much heralded in-year budget, which, to my mind, was just bringing forward some fees that would have we'd of.
revised in the course of the year anyway.
so the introduction of the new fees was staged,
pretty much towards the end of last financial year, and it generates about 300,000 pounds more than was originally been projected.
thank you.
Councillor Knight.
yes, thank you, Chair
yeah, I just like to endorse what some Councillor Dorling's has just said, fantastic job guys well done really very good indeed, and to get those figures all done by the end of February, I know what the counts in our businesses like trying to get it done on a deadline, so the fantastic job there
now, just a question really jump, just for my simple brain, which has a tremendous amount of detail in there.
So just looking at this, we've got 48 vacancies to fill at the year end. That's where we are, and I think I've asked this before Jane so bear with me, please,
so in the budget with forecasting a deficit of nine for three, and that's assuming that all those vacancies are filled. Have I got that right
yes, that's absolutely right.
super thanks, and that's fantastic.
I'm not sure if this is the venue to ask Bob will ask anyway, have we made any headway or progress on filling some of the vacancies
we're still waiting for the people Strategy to be finalised
and that should help us we continually have adverts out.
but it does seem that the moment we get somebody in we lose somebody, so I can't honestly say that we're making any significant headway
in that direction at the moment.
shortages of equipment chair for a moment so could do we have a timeline for this then, because obviously I asked this some time ago and I think I'm getting the same answer as I had before,
so I just wonder what is what is the timeline for this? Please Jane?
So the people Strategy be one of the Council's core policy documents, so it would need to go through the approval process and hopefully by adoption in February next year.
It's quite detailed there's a need to create a
benchmarking, set of values, consult with staff
and then to test that as well, so we're bringing it through the Cabinet process
this is illiterate process, it's not gonna be the solution, just because the council has a strategy of how it thinks it needs to respond to the market forces that doesn't necessarily mean say that we are going to be able to Sunday start fitting all our vacancies.
thank you really, so I just want more on a for my.
so from what I'm hearing, I can't as far as anchors, we could be sitting here in a year's time and we're still going that 48 vacancy, I think.
and then obviously we will be in credit affecting the deficit won't be there, I think if we if we continue on the path we were on, I'm starting to get a forecast a 12 month idea of where we actually gonna be in 12 months' time, so what I am the vision is envisaging that we're going to have 40 48 vacancies, we won't have a deficit will be in credit, would that be a fair assumption or have I got mum F? Is that not right?
do you know you're right on? That is a possibility, it's not a good position to arrive at that situation. It's not healthy for staff to only have 85% of the staff. The council says it needs to deliver what services in post and goodwill of staff only go so far and
unless we start filling those vacancies through whatever method is necessary, I think this situation could be exacerbated. So you're right if there's no change to that situation, then again we're reporting that actually there's going to be a big underspend on staffing, but at the expense of the existing staff who have have remained here.
I think that I was really concerned about was the expense of the cuts to our residents, because obviously our residents were not able, as a Council, to aid, are able to provide the services that I Wisden should be getting. So our residents will also be suffering, which is why I am so concerned
Jane, you have something to say,
I think that was the point I was about to make is that the services are beginning to suffer quite badly, as staff
are getting very tired, and with the rotation of very new staff, it's difficult to train people up, a lot of the experience has now gone and so training people is very difficult. You'll see in Leeds report later that some of the performance indicators in planning, for example, particularly in the professional areas, are beginning to suffer
staff. Sickness is going up
it's not without effect.
thank you, Councillor McMillan.
and join Lee, I completely appreciate this situation in terms of staffing, especially the people who are here at the moment, who were having to work twice as hard to keep it to keep the keep the lights on, so I do appreciate the position from that it just getting back to the numbers for a second did I do as I write to hear that you saying that you were forecasting that budget is around 950,000 for this year, roughly approximately.
and then we got 46 vacancies, currently
48 forget, so, just to I'm just doing better back of envelope maths right. If those for shape vacancies, total total compensation would be just roughly just go removed. Second, around two and a half million about roughly, or it could be more or less, but do you take that as a rough number
if we fill those spaces which I want us to do over the period of the next over the next 12 months? We're not going to fill them from day one, we we, we just come into going for that mode, hopefully over the period of that period of time. So as I see it, there will be a gradual take-up of hopefully salaries that that's that that number so, but we won't be spent. We won't be spending
48 people's full-time 1 year salaries because we just don't have them as of today or as of tomorrow, so there's going to be a over a period of time. Hopefully we'll fill those vacancies, but I'm saying, is that full amount that we've budgeted for for those 48 people this year, isn't going to work, even if we've got them to be forgotten tomorrow, that's fine, but we won't get them tomorrow, we're going to get them, hopefully over the next six to nine months, so would it be fair, then determines our budget deficit doesn't really exist currently, because if we take a graduated approach to how we're going to employ the paper, if we get everyone in full time then we're going to end up pretty much only spending 1.7 or 1.6 of that 2.5 million currently budgeted for those 40 48 people that we haven't got
so the first thing to say is that in our budget we already have a vacancy factor to account for
that the turnover of staff this year it was to 160,000, and this year we've put it up to 340,000, so it's still a jump of 80,000 because we recognise that we're having problems in recruiting staff.
if you look at the savings over the year through having this number of vacancies, it's been a million pounds on the budget, so if you take of the 80,000
the that we've increased the vacancy factor for divide by for say a couple of hundred thousand, possibly we in the first quarter we can contribute towards the 9 4 3 deficit that we've got for the year.
and of course, come Quarter 1, we'll start projecting where we think we will be, and I mean your I explained at the very beginning that we had quite a large jump
at year, end between where we thought we would be in quarter three and where we actually ended up in quarter 4 and the biggest John was in staff costs because,
our our managers are continually hopeful, but they will actually be able to recruit those staff and they don't want to project that they're not going to get them, they want to try very, very hard to get them, and they very much hope that they will so therefore they were pushing back and pushing back but the bad news if you like as far as they could and that's why in in quarter 4 it sort of caught up with us. so yes, I I completely appreciate what you're saying and you're right, but I very much hope that we do start to pick up, we do start to fill some of these vacancies at least, and we don't end up with a million pound variants on our budget because of staff costs the next year.
I dread to think where we'll all be if if that's the situation, thank you.
thank you, and all that goes with B and M, and I'm I'm with you clearly, I hope we do follow those agencies,
but I still in my mind I can't I can't see how we fill them all away, I can see that we fill them all, but I just can't in terms of the graduate process over that period of time. I don't get to serve cement, it's a semantic argument, whether it's 200,000 or where I think it's 500,000, but it's a get that I'm just saying that there is
there is a there was a number there, somewhere that we haven't budgeted or taking into account.
I mean, the alternative is that we actually just go to agencies and we've been trying to avoid that because it's really expensive and we've buckled down and people have made do amended and they've worked extra hours and they've tried to cover for all of the vacancies, but there comes a point where we just can't do that now if we then end up going and bagging consultancy and agency staff to do it, that will be more expensive than buying a salary person. So I think we've got to be a little bit careful about how quickly we start factoring in savings into the following year's budget,
emotions can I have a follow-up question, something else and definition.
then I've got Mark,
and Andy Kay against Councillor Knight again and
we've just actually just a quick question about the
about, I saw the number of sorry about 394,000.
through the nightshade thousand for the local plan.
zac, in excess of what we were expected to spend or was that was that that budgeted for
this is for last year was that budgeted for, or was that in excess of what were expected to spend?
the local plans really tricky to budget, for we don't really budget for the local plan on a year by year basis, we have a small amount now it's something like 25 grand that we put in, but that's just normal consultancy, the local plan we usually fund from reserves, so we will always make sure that we have enough in the reserves to finish what to.
as best as we can forecast what it's going to take to finish the local plan, we've got about a million pounds sitting in the LDF reserve now ordinarily at the end of the year, we would go to that reserve, we would take the money out of that reserve and funded fund the revenue expenditure from that reserve. this year we didn't do that, and the reason has that I still think we're going to need a million pounds because we've had issues with the local plan so.
ordinarily, we would reduce that that LDF reserve to fund the revenue expenditure, but we couldn't this year because of the issues we've had with the local plan.
thank you, Councillor
and Jeroen, thank you, Liam, thank you Jane as well.
but a few questions that I apologise for that,
first of all, we're looking at the
the people structural review now obviously has to be quite crucial when we look at how we move forward on this.
if you look at this or based on priorities of, would it be fair to say that we should be parties, and certain staff above of was, if we need that she gets agency staff will find it through agencies in order to ensure that we actually are recruiting those people in order to produce best value for the Council.
the all heads of service have a plan to deliver a service levels of performance and they've got the freedom to utilise their budget either by directly recruiting the staff or accessing agencies, wherever it's most cost effective, in order to complete the level of service that they they need to deliver and to meet the expectations of customers.
so on the basis of individual apartments, is there FE an overall strategy that we could look at over and above that on the same is there in practice, needed more of uppers in order, look at recruitment for bats, if you're going to be spending on agency fees actually recruit people
those parts of the price we need to look at.
there are different issues affecting different departments. so you need a separate response in order to recruit planning officers that that that were completely different from trying to recruit civil enforcement officers so HR will work with the recruiting department of how best to tap into the market. We have had some success where we've had some 3D departments, so in Exchequer, that's been a good route to get people into the organisation, to learn finance, to see if they've got the acumen to then go on to progress into a council and then professional qualifications similar would Planning Planning support is a good avenue to come into the Council, and if you've got the right skill set and interested in career in the council, then we can grow out and bring them through to to planning officers because we are struggling to recruit those all qualified within the market. They're out of our reach or the pool of town is too small, so we're using what we can to try to get people into the world of working for the council and local government to see if they can then progress for for the professions we do use agency where where we there's an urgent need, but it is not most cost effective way of of delivering services in the long term. We desperately need a people strategy to set out how this Council can recruit and retain the staff it needs, and also we probably need to look afresh at what services we are trying to deliver. Yet it may not be the Council's best place to be delivering some services in such a competitive market that will be for the cabinet members to sit down with their heads of service when they develop the budget for the year ahead of they all have been given a budget of the the financial resources available. They've got the services they need to deliver and whatever how are they going to ensure they get the right staff in the right place if that's all part of the discussion we go through in setting the budget?
if carrot moving onto past the
the budget and plan for the budget as well, because this time last year we were looking at the five-year
difficulties in the budget and the deficits overall and reduction on reserves as alter attrition level and fully aware is quite difficult to actually plan budget because of the unreliable income source coming in and the fact that you what's a huge variance I mean staffing costs completely appreciate the fact you can't all wait no, what staffing costs overall are indeed be talked about being functions as their business rate which largely not reliable liable sources of revenue as well.
my view, he had been when Councillor Dawn is talked about.
the fact that the in in budget review and how we should look to stability in the budget itself,
how confident are you now, when you plan on the budgets that we are going to actually
achieve a surplus in this year as well, because I've been here five years and we've always seemed to have initial get to sit then potentially serve as Deputy pulled out at the last moment but how competent, I'll be actually gonna continue to affection nor to make sure the five year,
a reduction of actually achieved.
yeah yeah, you have a really good point at that, it's very, very difficult to forecast forward
our funding from government is provided at the moment on an annual basis, so we cannot forward forward forecast further than that there are a number of variables and the that going to business rates growth
and that we've just had a rebasing of the business rates so that's complicated to forecast as well.
there are also lots of other circumstances that completely outside of our control, who would have forecast Covid, who would have forecast the the Ukrainian war in a it's a very, very difficult question to ask at the point at which we put the budget together, we have to use what we know at that stage to put the budget together. and then we extrapolate that for the five years we have to do that at a point in time. the purpose of the quarterly monitoring reports is to try and give you an update on that as we go through the year, so we will forecast any movements that that we see in the year. it is,
I'm a certain, as I can be with the information that I have, but who knows what's going to happen tomorrow.
next, I have
sorry Louis, did
you want to be fair to say we do? try to make use of market intelligence over the Bank of England.
There was only six months ago, the Bank of England is projecting this country's suffer, the worst recession in history, it hasn't happened, we haven't even gone into recession. They are also predicting that interest would come down to their target of 2%. It simply hasn't happened, it's been running at 13%, then 10. It just hasn't come down, so all the national forecasts with which we try to take heed of when we're planning our own budgets over the medium term have been completely wrong. It would be better taken inverse view on some of those and interest rates. Interest rates have continued to climb. That was just not forecast and as we've struggled in staffing, that's meant we've struggled to deliver the capital programme. That means we've got more cash than were expected because we haven't delivered the capital schemes. Therefore, having more cash has meant we've got a lot more interest being received because of higher interest rates, so all of this gears
compounds the situation that when we set the budget
back in February, although most of the work was done in December, we use the information we had available. We make forecasts, but the world is changing quite rapidly and reliable institutions that used to make forecasts can no longer be relied upon. So we had to make our own judgment, but there are many, many variables impacting on on our our budgets.
just finish up on their phone, therefore, looking back to 12 months ago, when we look at the budget, the deficit was fair and reasonable for the cabinet to take appropriate action based on information made available in order to ensure that the bank, the budget balance at the end of the year that's correct,
yes, I do think that's absolutely correct, it wasn't red.
thank you, Jane
Councillor Knight,
sorry, me again
I'll do it all at 1.00 go, so the people Strategy review, who is responsible for that, who's heading that up, please
is there a list of vacancies that we can see some were published on a website where are these 48 vacancies shown, and lastly, the staff that work over time, how is our by remediated and still have time off in lieu or do they get paid over time so three there in one go sorry Jane
so the external auditors undertook a value for money review that went to Audit and Governance Committee and they set out three improvement recommendations, one of which was the council must produce a people strategy, so I took a report to Audit and Governance Committee and allocated responsibility for that to the chief executive and the head of HR to deliver that particular improvement.
the second one.
if you have a look at your Appendix G.
that shows you every single vacancy that there is.
on the three of us from what was number three?
thank you, James or overtime paid, how how is it remunerated, I just wondered whether this time off in lieu always dealt with ours?
yeah, if overtime is paid, it's usually in
single time.
we have flexible working, so we don't have any time off in lieu as such any more, so people just do the hours.
and thank them very much for doing it and just very well might last one I promise, so the person responsible for the strategy review is the chief executive officer and h I say is that a separate is that two people or one person
is two people, so the chief executive is what's called the Head of Paid Service and we also have an HR manager so they will work together in order to bring forward that strategy.
do we actually have a person in that role of HR at the moment or is that a vacancy?
so very tight head of HR and customer service and amassed Nikki Carter at the moment.
thank you, Councillor Knight, I've got one from Mark next and then Councillor Osborne will come to you.
go back on some people benjamin's, the report
obviously be live in West Kent,
which has a significantly higher cost and live in the other areas of Kent, and certainly certainly when you go to a Sussex as well.
how flexible is the pay review locally here, and often short of attracting the right staff in right positions compared for other councils do we have any requirements and limits attached to that Local government Association?
if, if my flexible, there's no requirement to live within 20 miles of the council, which used to be the case. we will take staff from wherever it doesn't matter where they live, provided I get access to our systems and can deliver the work we have staff while systems are very expensive area, not many staff actually can afford to live in the centre of the mutuals we recruit right across the county and predominantly into East Sussex but providing you've got good Wi-Fi connections most of our service can be delivered by working online.
Councillor Osborne.
thank you, Chairman, and in the summary outturn Appendix A 2.5 you say that business rates just surplus to budget of 1.1 6 2 million.
this is due to business rates, growth since the inception of the business rates retention scheme in 13 14, which I seem to remember you saying, was something that our great MP put in place when he was in power, the sharing of business rates, but my question was
given obviously that's a scheme that's been in place now for a decade and gave rise to a surplus of over a million last year.
my first question is, is that likely to happen again this year, and is that something that's capable of being predicted and my follow up is you say that you posted the 1.1 6 2
prudently to reserves is that a prudent policy which is followed by all councils or is it something that is?
sort of more.
councils taking a different view to the normal view of the way in which that surplus should be treated.
so on your first point, we don't know whether we're going to generate business rate growth in the current year, it's inherently difficult to predict there's a number of factors, it's not just business rate growth, it is net growth above your baseline, so you that it's
the biggest change to that will be on revaluation, so the valuation Office Agency carries out the rateable value, we collect the income on that basis, but if a particular business seeks a second successful in winning their appeals that comes off it nets down our growth and we are heavily susceptible to some very large employers who make use of consultants to chase down the rateable value in order to seek that refund.
it's because of that volatility, it's not really prudent to assume that you're gonna continue to get business rate growth money every single year, but even if you were confident you're going to generate business rate growth, it shouldn't really be used in your revenue budget it shouldn't be used to fund,
services which are provided to be used throughout the year. Because then you're making those service delivery depend upon a variable source of income, and if you lose that source and you've still got the service, then you've created a hole within your budget. The correct way to deal with business rate growth income is to use it to fund the capital programme, to reinvest business rate growth into investment in the Council's assets. That will be the sensible way with which to make use of the growth, and that is exactly what we do, because if we don't use it to fund the capital programme, then where are we going to get the funding for the capital programme? From the last two three years we've had no major capital receipts, so that has left the capital program without any source of income and this Council. By virtue of having over 200 properties and needing to maintain very large multi-storey car parks. This building invest in IT. Plant and equipment will always have a need for significant amount of capital expenditures as a gone ongoing requirement to fund the capital programme. So at this moment in time, we use business rate growth in order to ensure that we have a sufficient funding going forward
to justify so, whilst
you would say it would be prudent because it's uncertain to to put into reserves
it, it has sent to me as a layman, it strikes me as very much a revenue item is his business rates was related to business rates. rather capitalism
would I be right in saying that you could, if you wanted?
pass that sum to feed on the revenue budget run the capital budget.
if it were,
yes, that's absolutely true, we we could pass it to the revenue budget if we chose, but then we wouldn't have a capital programme and we would have a big struggle getting through our audit because the auditors would question a going concern because we would have a completely unfunded capital programme.
one more thing just on the business rates and just to try and put a little bit of.
quantity around that, just to say that the level of appeals he may leave was talking about refunds, the level of appeals that we've got is 13.5 million at the moment sitting on ebooks, so
as you can see, there is a lot of risk associated with this and that's just to do with refunds. that's not to do with businesses going bust at all, where you lose the money and they turn into bad debts, bees adjust appeals for refunds.
thank you, Jane am
Councillor Frances is next, but I did write my name down first, some last a very quick question related to business rates, I've asked this before so I'm I'm asking again so it can go on the minute
but Janko and Lee can we have a all Councillor briefing on business rates because they are complicated,
I'm answering a lot of questions to for councillors about them because I pay them.
and I think it'd be really helpful because they are quite hard to understand, so can we have a briefing place,
you absolutely can all I would say, as a cabinet is a busy space or a national tax,
the rateable value is set by the valuation was given agency and the multiplier is also set by central government we are just an agency who collect them,
it's exactly that reason why we should have a briefing, because not everyone understands Attlee, thank you,
Councillor Frances.
hello Jim sorry to keep coming back to the same question again, but these 48 vacancies really worry me.
having a people strategy is sounds to me actually the right idea and where we should go to, but it's putting all our eggs in one basket if that doesn't work, have we got a business continuity plan, we've got a risk analysis for what happens if all of these things if they by the time the people Strategy CAMHS is it's six months out of date or it just doesn't work.
so the Council absolutely does have a business continuity plan because it was put into good effect during the pandemic, where we had
a lack of access to staff availability, so that's something the Council actually
does very well and is prepared for, but
within their business continued plan we set out the prioritisation of services which are those essential services so we will divert staff so, for example, during the pandemic it was essential that the crematorium carried on functioning so we diverted staff away from parking which wasn't essential during the pandemic so as staff already trained to be very versatile and to be redeployed where there was a need,
OK are there any more questions, and shall we now move on to debate if there are none?
would anyone like to open the debate?
well, only to say, I think that we are fully supportive of the recommendation and I think that we should go go straight to them.
and agree them.
thank you, Tom Councillor Moon.
thank you Chair,
it's just
in relation to recommendation to
emulation to.
the removal of the deficit now I recall
car parking charges. were increased on the basis of
a deficit on the budget quite early on after May
the previous year.
and now that we don't have a deficit.
would it be possible for cabinet to
review the parking strategy on charges
across the board
on all proposals were
put in the original
and that includes
Tunbridge Wells,
Paddock Wood sale, for
because if the
Money is there, we have not the deficit, then maybe it would be wise to review that charging policy.
thank you.
thank you Ray.
leave would like to come in on a point
of clarification, what this report shows is that the Council did not have a deficit last financial year,
all councils, by virtue of how they're funded, will have a deficit that they would project going forward simply because their income streams can only go up by 3% they're capped and the expenditure is rising by 10%. so beginning of of last year, when I looked at the the draft budgets for the whole of Kent, only one district council didn't have a deficit, the police had a deficit KCC, deficit so did Medway and so did all the other districts you start off in the position of a deficit and then you need to try to close that the best you can throughout yet the level of funding available to councils is insufficient to meet expenditure and that is why we start off projecting a deficit guide for this report just refers to last financial year's position.
radars that help you it
does, but it's noted by May that the savings are be removed, be transferred over to reserves.
so we were looking at reserves, funding the deficit.
the logic to me is that if it's not there, then there is no reason or reasonable request to review.
and relook booze, you admitted that interest rates and other elements of the economy of changed,
we are probably in a better position in the e-commerce to relocate the the budget and where we're going forward, I just feel it's an opportunity
to that's what we're here for to advise to have a look.
thank you, thank you right, I've I've made that as a no here, I think, what we'll do as we get towards the end, we'll go through them and discuss what we'd like to add, as on our notes has anyone else got any anything further to add,
I do have something to wear myself as sorry Tom
when we delay here, of course, with the quarter 4 reports so we're dealing with a historical issue
the and the recommendations were about that I mean if,
we want to suggest to Cabinet that they should think about something for the current year, I think that falls outside the scope of this this report.
I agree, I was going to do that in my summary one, and then
do forward that the only thing I have to add is is that I think every time we've had this meeting, I've been here, we have this alarm about recruitment and it is always noted the cabinet meeting that do something about this. I was, it was interesting to hear from Jane about the agency expense and it's expensive, but in my view
we need to identify where it gets to a point where that expense outweighs people leaving and theirs get us back a false economy, isn't there need we need to find, and I think cabinet need to look at that, so we should probably know that as well. Regard to re your new tomes right, there is a that this is a past report and also there is a
another some briefings taking place for groups on parking which
thank you Chair, I do accept what Councillor Dawson's say, I am aware it's gone to four
and a decision, but that's the outcome, which then
sets our view for the next year, all I'm saying is, I think you know it should be looked at but yeah I accept the point it's called a full,
Councillor McMillan,
who cares who caught you, I don't think it's necessarily just for the characters, the responsibility for the people is this the Head of Paid Services and the HR that that's was be given responsibility, it's not Cabinet's responsibility to tie the paper with its Head of Paid Services and the Head of HR that's proved to be given the responsibility.
noted, thank you,
shall we move on to the recommendations? I'm not sure we can. We can note these and then noted in the minutes, but I don't think we can add them to the the recommendation says if we'd like to buy, I'd like to maybe move that
we make the following recommendations to Cabinet number 1 that Cabinet note, the unaudited actual revenue expenditure outturn and impact on reserves for the year ended 31st of March 2023 and to the Cabinet note that the withdrawal from reserves of 900,000 for 944,000 pounds to meet the budget deficit will not be needed and in fact a sum of 18,000 pounds will be transferred to the General Fund. are we all agreed
thank you.

7 Capital Management Report Quarter 4

right we move on to now, it is agenda item 8, which is no, it's not, it's this one here, sorry number 7, it is the Capital Management report Quarter 4,
which is pages 50 to 82.
Jane Feynman is again going to introduce this report, however, to the loo a bit to add here that just before the meeting tonight, members received an additional updated.
recommendation which Jane will be covering at the end of her report, with a proposal that that an additional recommendation will be added to the report. I repeat myself there, the goes forward to Cabinet and members of the public, we may be seeing the document online won't see this, so I'll ask Jane to read it out at the end of her report, so it's on the record. Thank you Chair
thank you Chair,
so Cabinet originally approved capital expenditure of 10.4 million for 22 23
by quarter 3, allowing for new schemes, deletions and the rescheduling of some projects the forecast outturn was 8.4 million.
the actual position for the year was expenditure of 4.5 million, which is a net decrease of 3.9 million from quarter 3, but 5.9 million under the budget at the start of the year.
the main areas of spend for 22 23 were disabled facilities, grants 974,000 the Weald leisure centre, decarbonisation project 939,000 the Amelia Scott project 726,000 and affordable housing grant of 664,000.
the net decrease in budgeted spend of 647 is mainly an Amelia Scott accounting issue as the purchase price of the building was reduced by 400,000 rather than Kent County Council passing it over to us as part of their contribution,
the net rescheduling of 3.2 million into 23 24 mainly consists of 862,000 for the Amelia Scott 478,000 for the wheeled leisure centre decarbonisation project and 358,000 for the Temple conversion project.
this report includes three new requests for approval, relating to 23 24, these are 5.4 6 5 million for the local authority housing fund to buy 15 affordable houses which are part funded by government grant and match, funded by Section 1 0 6 money
remember this, because this is what I'm going to be talking to you about at the end of this report but isn't actually documented in the in the published report in front of you.
then there's 625,000 pounds for the Cinderhill additional plot and amenity buildings and 30,000 pounds for a refreshment hut
in the Bayham area.
capital receipt of 64,000 was received this quarter from a staircasing payment, the total received for the year
capital receipts was 104,000, which was transferred to the capital receipts reserve and used to finance the capital projects.
and finally,
and this the extra bit since the report was prepared, we have been offered the opportunity to bid for some additional funding, and this is from the homes for Ukraine, grant held by Kent County Council and the European Housing Fund, which has been applied for by Kent county council but they're still waiting approval for.
if we are successful, cabinet will need to approve certain decisions in order to be able to spend the money swiftly, and an urgent progression is a condition of the grant, so we have to be able to be ready to implement these projects for them to give us the grant money in the first place.
we would like to bid for 1.4 0 3 million pounds worth of funding for our proportion of the local authority's housing fund scheme to deliver those 15 affordable houses
in Tunbridge Wells, that was the project that I was talking to about earlier.
when when we were talking about the 5.4 6 5 million pound project
that there's a new request for.
if we were successful, then we would no longer need to use our own section 1 0 6 developer funding, that is in the original report and that section 1 0 6 money could then be repurposed.
we would also like to bid for 850,000 pounds to refurbish the four properties in Crescent Road into three or four bedroomed homes which may initially be shared by Ukrainian families but subsequently could be bought into the council's housing stock
is successful, we would ask for approval to go ahead and refurbish these project these properties
it has been discussed whether it would be better to divide these properties into smaller units but as there were already three properties in smaller units in the same parade, the variety is thought to be more appropriate.
the council also has a shortage of this property size and it will be cheaper and, importantly, much quicker to deliver a whole house rather than smaller units.
thirdly, we would like to bid for 800,000 pounds to purchase a four or five bedroom property which, again to Ukrainian families, would share
again, this would be brought back into the Council's housing stock once no longer needed by our Ukrainian guests,
affordable larger homes are in really short supply in the borough and a housing are recommended that this is the are recommending that this is the main area of housing shortage that they experience and therefore this is the type of house that we should buy. and so, if successful, we would like approval to purchase the property.
so too, the capital report, I would like to ask if we could add three recommendations for F and G to make to Cabinet, and then, when we finish this evening's meeting, if you're happy to give your recommendation, I will then amend the capital cabinet report before Caroline publishes it and it will include this item along with your recommendations.
so the first is that if we are granted the 1.4 0 3 million Kent County Council funding for a proportion of the local authority's housing fund scheme to deliver 15 affordable homes in Tunbridge Wells, but FMG recommends that the grant money be spent on the scheme and that the allocated section 1 0 6 developer funding should be repurposed.
secondly, that if KCC grants 850,000 pounds to refurbish the four Crescent Road properties into three or four bedroomed houses, that F and G recommends to Cabinet that the grant should be spent as such and that the refurbishment should be completed.
and thirdly, that if KCC grants the 800,000 pounds to purchase a four or five bedroom house in the borough.
Efergy recommends to Cabinet that the grant should be spent as such and a property purchase should be undertaken.
I'm happy to take any questions and I appreciate that this, this is something very new, but we're trying to take advantage of an opportunity that has suddenly offered itself up, thank you.
thank you, Jane am, I'm just wondering if we kind of split this into two so reduc I'm not ignoring that and the duck doesn't blend because there's two
distinct things going on here, there's the quarter four report and then there's this amazing thing you found on the we need to act on, in my opinion,
so if anyone has any questions based on the first four recommendations, the first part before we move on to the to the the addition, if that makes sense, Raymond, thank you, Chair, are you referring to those
just been passed out, OK, and coming on
yeah I've won I've just suggested. Perhaps we cover the initial report that we've all had for over a week and then, if we are just a general question, I'm a little
bit confused because item 6 capital quarter,
4 quarter 4. After that time, no recommendation was advised necessary for CAB, but here we are on this item 7 quarter full to 31st of March. We are actually suggesting we make a repetition recommendation to Cabinet, so I'm a little bit confused what our role is again
doing that and not able to do that in Item 6.
Thank you, so thank you, Councillor Moon. So we are recommendations in Item 6, where the the the the that we, the Cabinet, know the unaudited actual blow of law that they've written down on the on the agenda. We, those were our recommendations we put forward, we have made a note of what you said in the minutes. That Cabinet will read
that we were, and I do believe in the group didn't believe that we were going to make an amendment to those recommendations, to add your those feelings, maybe I'm wrong, but I didn't I didn't get that impression.
well, I've just suggested that it did for Item number, the actual now I do number 7 is that we have questions, I'm sure about the the information we've had for over a week we've had this one for around an hour and the we cannot deal with them just separately because it's otherwise bigger have a lot of crossover and perhaps get confused I might be wrong, I'm just on making a suggestion to make it easier to follow for everyone listening and our minute taker here.
as we go forward, so I appreciate your point re,
but does anyone have any questions on the initial report, firstly?
Tom, sorry, you did you?
although I was any good to say that the initial report is also forward looking because it deals with the the capital expenditure that rolls on from last year into next year,
and that is very different, of course, from what we were dealing with on the revenue side.
I agree, so if we don't have any, we do have some fantastic Councillor Osborne.
really it does actually touch on the on was the second part, but under. section 4 point to section 1 0 6 developer funding.
we say that we've got at the 31st of March, a pot of 9.6 million of this, some 948,000 has been approved and allocated,
you are saying that we've approved an allocated amount.
significantly more than that in respect of these Ukrainian homes, is that correct?
that's the point of bringing it to the FMG and to cabinet they then approve putting it on to the capital programme, so it's included within this report for that approval to be included in the capital programme, so you won't see it yet in there because it hasn't been approved to be included, does that make sense?
you just suggest to clarify, there has been approval, that is, if you like, beyond this report already for a capital amount.
for four hours and because we're saying that if we get this new pub 1.4 million ground, that's replacing 1 point for many in the 1 0 6 and yet I'm only seeing 900,001 0 6 money in the budget.
so there is a report
was dated.
14th of March Cabinet 14th of March, so there's the local authority housing fund
with a report on the local authority, housing fund and a bat report approved the project.
and it split out the funding that would be paid for from the government grant and the funding that would be paid for by the council.
that report was approved separately by cabinet, but then it gets drawn into the capital.
monitoring report to be included within the capital plan. So that's what it's doing here at the moment, we're recognising that that report has gone to Cabinet and that we now need to draw in to the capital plan, so as soon as it's gone through the quarterly monitoring, it will then show on next quarter's as that section 1 0 6 being included as part of the night 900,000 that you're saying
yeah, it just hasn't been included as yet you've got to bear in mind the timings are all very, very different of the reports going through the process, so if a report is taken,
that's of a capital nature between the reporting cycles for the capital monitoring report, we pick up that report,
we noted in the capital monitoring and we say right as of next time, it's going to be included in our report.
does that make sense?
it doesn't make sense Loeb who said 14th and Martín Millican up until the 31st of March here, but I can understand it all because his own, but just to just declare it just to clarify when,
at the end of this process, how much 1 0 6 money will have gone into this total project?
depending upon how successful we are at gaining the KCC money we went have had to spend any of a section 1 6 money on it.
there has also been
a progression, and this this is how fast it moves from this report that was approved on the 14th of March. Since then, Town and Country have agreed to contribute to this project as well, so the amount that we had agreed in that report is no longer required at that level, and now we find another way to try and fund the whole lot completely, in which case we won't be using any of the section 1 0 6 so
just because it's gone through in a report doesn't necessarily mean that that's how it ends up and we have to therefore come back to you and say OK, this was where we thought we were then, but this is where we'd like to land. A complete approved that
very, very happy with that.
very happy Jane, thank you for your explanation. fabulous sorry, so I think I had Steve and then Mark and then Ray.
sorry gently trying to catch up here, what is the Cinderhill additional plot and amenity buildings?
so the Cinderhill is agitating traveller sites.
the Council has, with its local plan, a policy to provide gypsy and traveller pitch supply in a similar way to housing supply, and they the Local Plan requires 33 additional pitches to be provided until 2038. and Cynthia was identified as being suitable for an additional two to three pitchers over the original site, so if this is allocating funding to deliver that part of the local plan.
just a quick question, just this sorry to if if, if they effectively they're there, they're out, there are properties then. if they do, there are properties
in the the people who live at those properties, therefore a rent of renting or LB has a lessons, for example, so to the extent that if they, if they are, if they abuse their positions and such places are there is there any rectitude against that?
exactly the same way of any tenant of a property for the tenancy agreement that everybody needs to adhere to, and yes, they are the council's properties.
thank you for the
re is your question on,
it's a quick one, it's the original report, I gender 7.
4.1 5
I just wanted
clarification definition of
15 units affordable housing,
I would like to see that if Town and Country obviously involved it, the social housing redefined as social housing,
not affordable housing.
rather than a question to the officers or
yes, it was the definition of a about affordable when the report I would like more clarification, I
for shared ownership or in a seven or eight social housing.
there is that
other, as far as we can tell it just the report that was approved by Cabinet just said, affordable housing, it didn't break down to social housing for rent or any other category, it just said, affordable housing.
do you have a follow up right,
well, that's fine, we could maybe advise Cabinet then to do that, thank you.
thank you, OK, are there any more questions on the initial report before we move to our edition that we were handed earlier,
I don't see any so.
Mark Ellis,
thank you, Chair
Aussies is a very quick, moveable feast on this game, and so my question branches between what we discussed initially
and a member of the limits on about the approval, get the full powers to where we are now in the situation here for from my understanding when we started off we were looking at government and central government money partially funding based on Ukrainian and Afghan families.
been supported and reserve and one larger property
for I think we're Afghan families, because there's tend to have larger families in Ukrainian ones. Now, moving on to this, another fan will see the particular funding, five things that we've another fund focus on Ukrainian bond itself. Is there a conflict here between
the government money and also the other money we potentially be looking to approve singles out if we are given up for Afghans, maybe something which is could be a problem
I think KCC are saying that, rather than it being a conflict, there is actually a synergy between the grants and it's supposed to benefit the Ukrainians, as is the Local Authority Housing Fund.
it can still benefit the Afghans in the same way as it ever did before,
but the Ukrainian money can also be put forward for this same project, so, as I say, I think rather than conflict, it's synergy.
once for a question here as well, because I understand and do because I know lots of movie probably fast and the first tranche and a study of the Soviet swing baseline will receive or be used on that basis,
I know that the this target, the first money that the money had to spend a certain time
is that a similar situation, the second charge potentially from KCC,
My understanding is that it is very unlikely that the government will come back to us for the money that they that KCC were given for the Ukrainian fund,
that said.
KCC are very, very keen to make sure that it is spent and spent swiftly so that there is no opportunity for them to do such, which is why I'm coming to you this evening,
we've had to put together some ideas pretty swiftly.
and we need to get the approvals done swiftly so that we can reassure Kent County Council that we will be disposing of their fund money into positive benefit as quickly as possible.
fearing those kind of answered my question, I'll also anyway there's the word if, in front of all of these recommendations,
in your opinion, how likely is this endeavour as you'll spend hours on this, and we already know we're short staffed, how likely is this to kill or be pulled off?
so we did a bit of an analysis on how much KCC have got left in their pot.
we know at the moment they've got over 9 million sitting that they haven't allocated, yet
there is 3.9 million from the European Housing Fund. but if KCC are successful, that's what they would get
throw the two together 13 14 million
and that means that theoretically, if you allocated it equitably overall of the districts in Kent, we'd all end up with one point, something million.
that that's therefore, hopefully, the first section 1 0 6 covered for the local authority housing fund.
however, we know that not all of the districts have
put in
applications for the local authority housing fund,
so therefore not all of the districts may be actually applying for this extra grant money,
so yes, we
are perhaps putting in bids speculatively that there may be leftover money, but we have already done a lot of work looking at the refurbishment of Crescent Road so it's not as if. we we've got an awful lot left to do, it is pretty much good to go
and buying a property.
for the benefit that we would get is well worth the time spent in purchasing another property if we can get allocated the money.
does anyone else have any more questions before we move to debate this,
and I'd say any owner Councillor Knight
Fricke Chair yet, so I'll be brief just to the quick wins, really,
bearing in mind this document was just dropped, unless an hour ago I just wanted to check that we as a committee have the power to look at something that has not been on a publicly published agenda
because I know it, as in a parish council we can't do that. We cannot consider items a breaches of standing orders as the first question that we can actually do this as the first question, the second question or actually or an idea actually really, bearing in mind that this money has to be sent swiftly if we are going to approve this, can I suggest that we amend the wording in all three of these to say spent swiftly, because we're not actually recommending to one cabinet if we do approve this, to spend it swiftly, when in fact the whole point of doing this, it has to be spent swiftly. So I think we should point out the cabinet where it says in each of the lines grant money to be spent. Just add the word swiftly on the scheme swiftly and swiftly. So I think that's that's just my point there said two things, please Chair. Thank you
thank you, David James, the visual arts and the first bit first and OK, sorry,
sorry, in relation to the first point, which was very good point, this is just an advisory board, it's not a decision-making body, and, following the savings meeting that supplementary notes will be published so be viewable by the public and also view by by cabinet so Cabinet will set in good time and Cabinet will also have the benefit of any commentary that this committee wished to make upon it.
thank you Chair.
Stephen Miller,
just going back to just the overarching question in terms of just the capital expenditure, from, obviously that we've moved from year to year to year, outside of the outside of the housing opportunities that have arisen for from central government, Andrew KCC, and what in terms of the homes that were put in we're buying it and stay
outside of that, as it is a capital expenditure budget or taking any any further different direction, I mean in terms of any major different direction but because obviously those amounts of quite significant in terms of what we're spending on capital expenditure but we get getting money coming in but outside of there we forecast two or three years ago I know there's a difference in timings, but overall are we spending as we expected to be spending?
yeah, I mean that the timing differences, it is OK, we're constantly underspending. year on year, on year,
if you're talking about the types of projects coming forward.
there has always been maintenance projects,
but obviously we're trying to bring forward any
projects that help with decarbonisation that help with the climate emergency, so that's probably a new movement, but we've always always dealt with health and safety projects and, very importantly, efficiency projects where a capital investment can help reduce our revenue budgets going forward so
we continue to look for those but we've got limited resources with which to deliver them.
but if something's improved in, say, 2022 23, and it doesn't get spent, it can be rolled over into 23 24 and deserves to be approved by Cabinet, we just said to set this process.
when we put through these reports,
each time we will request of Cabinet that they roll it forward, so at that point they could say actually we don't want to do that anymore.
so every quarter they have the opportunity to do that if we want to roll it.
thank you, if we don't know your questions, we should move into the debate
who would like to kick us off
I think in recently as Eccles has done an absolutely extraordinary job in
looking after the refugees, starting with the Afghans.
continuing with the
is actually starting with the Syrians, continuing with the
with the Afghans and then the Ukrainians, which has significantly, of course, been dealt with through
proving through residents, but of course there is now the impact is, as the residents signed up for six months terms that you know there are families now and have been freeing up and this is I think, where where we have this obligation.
the Crescent Road properties, I think, were
originally repurposed for housing rough sleepers
when we were bringing them in are there was the case Covid Kevin Hayes and I think they've been a huge success as use to use the other properties for this purpose I think he's
is is the right thing to do. and have some properties to accommodate. larger families, I think he is also absolutely the right thing to do.
I think the the first scheme that we did it with developers funds was about six years ago when we bought Dowding House in Paddock Wood, and that's been used, and it's far preferable that
these people are housed in a property like that then sent to bed and breakfast in different different parts of the world perhaps different parts of the south-east so this is, I think,
taking an opportunity of ever grant which is just the thing that we ought to do to provide a an initial benefit to what the Council ought to be doing. and a longer term benefit thereafter,
so I fully support the recommendations
thank you Tom, Does anyone else have anything else anything else, Raman
thank you, Chair,
just to reaffirm my original comments, recommendation 1, the to deliver,
15 social houses or
an advertised proportion of affordable houses,
I support that.
it with item three, I've just got a concern about
the time of occupancy that May will be presented to the new tenants or the individuals renting Gardens, renting a property that might then be put back into all social housing
portfolio after I mean, how long were we potentially gonna give these residents
their tenancy?
thank you to make sure Caroline notes them, and that goes to Cabinet.
does anyone else have an anything else to add?
will be dealing here with the immediate use of these properties and the immediate acquisition of them,
what they're gonna be used for in the longer term, I think, is a slightly slightly separate issue, I mean, the issue here is to proceed swiftly to to to to acquire these things with the grants that have now become available.
thank you
so before we go to these, when I read these out and could actually get a
call these five six and seven instead of one, two and three, otherwise it's gonna get terribly confusing
before we go to that, I just like to thank Jane for bringing this to me and for. as it is.
these things that you keep finding and working on are impressive, so thank you.
so if we are already, we should move to try to move this forward to
number 1, that Cabinet note the unaudited actual gross and net expenditure for the year and the sources of finance, and as shown in Appendices B B to D number 2, that Cabinet approve the proposed variations to the capital programme set out in notes 4.3 to 4.11. number 3, that Cabinet approved the proposed movement between years, set out in Note 4.12 number 4 that Cabinet note the inclusion of new schemes into the capital programme. as set out in notes 4.13 to 4.15 plus.
5, that, if granted the 1.4 0 3 million KCC, funding for our poor proportion of the local authority's housing fund scheme to deliver 15 affordable homes in Tunbridge Wells, the FIG recommend recommends that the grant be spent on the scheme and that the allocated, as 1 0 6, developer funding should be repurposed
6, that if KCC grants 850,000 pounds to refurbish the four Crescent Road properties into three or four-bedroom houses, Efergy recommends to Cabinet that the grant should be spent as such and the refurbishment should be completed, and finally 7 that if KCC grants 800,000 pounds to purchase a four or five bedroom house in the borough,
Efergy recommends to Cabinet that the grant should be spent as sat and the property purchase should be undertaken,
are we all in favour?
thank you, sorry, that was quite a mouthful.

8 Treasury and Prudential Indicator Management Report Quarter 4

this next year, there's always numbers right
the move on now to
delegate the word swiftly, because I think it's important because cabinet needs to know that.
that that will be in the notes and yeah Caroline will make sure that is
highlighted for cabinet.
item number 8. is the Treasury and prudent prudent prudential indicator management report quarter 4, which is on pages 83 to 87
there are no registered speakers and under the last Jane again,
to introduce this item?
thank you, this is the last one from me this evening,
the actual outturn for interest on investments and bank interest for 22 23 was 1.6 4 3 million, an increase of 1.1 9 8 million from the approved budget of 445,000
this was due to an increase in interest rates available and an increase in funds available to invest.
the bank interest rates set by the Bank of England was point 7 5%, at the start of the year, but this has increased steadily to end the year, at 4.00.25%,
and on the 11th of May 23 after year end, there's been a further increase to take the rate to 4.5%
the Council achieved an actual interest rate of 2.37% compared to the original budget of 1.09% showing that we've actively taken full advantage of the interest rates on offer.
the funds available for investment throughout 22 23 were also higher than budgeted, mainly due to a number of projects on the capital programme being deferred from 21 22, and then again from 22, then again in 22 23, and that's due to the lack of resources to deliver them.
in addition, government has asked us to distribute grants over the Covid period and subsequently to residents during the cost of living crisis, so the cash paid upfront we've been investing whilst awaiting distribution.
The 9 million investment with the property fund was valued at 10.00.2000000 as, at the 31st of March 2023,
the value has decreased by around 2 million this financial year as the value of commercial property has fallen
but dividend paid for 22 23 had an interest rate of 4.84%, which is now very close to what can be achieved risk-free from other investments. So the Council has now served notice on the investment and will sell the units currently held in the fund at the end of September 23
and finally just to confirm that none of the prudential indicators were breached in quarter 4
thank you.
thank you, Jane, Does anyone have any questions?
siddle the shaking of heads. therefore, is there any debate?
OK, so we should move to the recommendations to get forward to Cabinet
number 1, the Cabinet note the treasury management and prudential indicator position for
2022 and 23 number 2 that Cabinet note, the unaudited actual for investment and bank interest is 1.6 4 3 1,000,643
an increase of 1.198 million from the approved budget of 444,000 and a further improvement of 48,000 from quarter 3 projection, and we all agreed.

9 Performance Summary Quarter 4

thank you
move on to now number 9, Item number 9, which is the performance summary for Quarter 4 pages 98 to 149,
there are no registered speakers on this item, some go to lie to introduce this item, thank you.
thank you Chairman, this report summarises the performance of the Council's projects and services in quarter, four of the year 22 23 Project performance was unchanged and detailed updates of the projects are in Appendix A, the council is reporting 29 indicators and five are underperforming and our action plan set out for number of households in temporary accommodation working days lost to sickness and the three types of planning applications. after taking questions, Chairman.
thank you, do we have any questions?
I don't see any questions of shaming, then no debate.
we've picked up, Mr. Chairman, the
issues with staffing and how this has impacted on it, and I probably think that that that's the reason why there's no need for debate.
I agree
if we're all happy, we will move forward with the recommendations to Cabinet

10 Complaints Summary Quarters 3 and 4

the Cabinet number 1, the Cabinet notes the summary of project performance over quarter 4 22 23 at Appendix A number 2, that the Cabinet notes a summary of service performance over quarter 4 22 23 at Appendix B and 3 that Cabinet notes the recovery plans for quarter 4 22 23 at Appendices C and G are we all agreed?
agreed, thank you.
we move on to Item 10 now complaints summary courses 3 and 4 on pages 150 to 165 again, there are no registered speakers on this item, so I'll move back to Lee to introduce it.
thank you Chairman. This report provides an overview of complaints closed by the council on the complaints procedure for quarters 3 and 4 of last financial year, the Council will close a total of 92 complaints in period 2, and this is a decrease in the number of complaints recorded in the same period last year and for the period to council agreed with 26 complaints at stage 1 and 6% that then progressed to stage 2,
there were four ombudsman decisions made and also three compensation payments made which are set out within the report appetite and questions Chairman.
thank you, are there any questions, members,
I don't see any questions as two month for no debate, then we should move to the recommendations there is only one.

11 Urgent Business

that Cabinet notes the summary of complaints over the period over period, 2, which is the 1st of October 22 to the 31st of March 2023, and we all agreed.
moves to item number 11, urgent business.

12 Date of the Next Meeting

agenda. Item 11 is to continue to consider any urgent business I can confirm that is new, there is no such business,
we move to agenda item 12, which is the date of the next meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, the 11th of July 2023 at 6.30 p.m.
Webcast Finished - 1:35:39
and that I believe is that we are done, thank you very much.