Council and democracy > Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Digital Meeting - Via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Emma Sullivan 

Items
No. Item

Recording and Voting Arrangements.

The Chair reminded those present that the meeting was being filmed and would be available following the meeting via the Council’s website – Click Here to View.  Members were advised that voting on decisions would take place via Microsoft Forms.

 

1.

Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J. Bevan, P.J. Bevan, C. Bishop, C. Elsbury, C. Forehead, D. Hardacre, D. Harse, A. Higgs, M. James, B. Jones, G. Oliver, B. Owen, Mrs D. Price, M.E. Sargent, J. Scriven, G. Simmonds, S. Skivens, Mrs J. Stone and C. Thomas, together with Co-opted Member Mrs P. Ireland (Education Scrutiny Committee).

 

2.

Declarations of Interest.

Councillors and Officers are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and/or prejudicial interest(s) in respect of any item of business on this agenda in accordance with the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Code of Conduct for both Councillors and Officers.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received at the commencement or during the course of the meeting.

 

3.

Minutes - 21st October 2021. pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Minutes:

It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the meeting held on 21st October 2021 be approved as a correct record and by way of Microsoft Forms and verbal confirmation (and in noting there were 21 for, 0 against and 12 abstentions) this was agreed by the majority present.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Joint Scrutiny Committee held on 21st October 2021 (minute nos. 1 – 5) be approved as a correct record.

 

            Councillors P. Leonard, J. Taylor, D.T. Davies, C. Andrews and D.W.R. Preece confirmed that they had abstained from voting on the minutes as they had not been present at the last meeting.

 

Reports of Officers.

Consideration was given to the following report.

 

4.

Draft Budget Proposals for 2022/23. pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Performance, Economy and Enterprise presented the report, which provided details of the Draft Budget Proposals for the 2022/23 financial year and had been considered at a special meeting of Cabinet on 19th January 2022. 

 

Members were advised that the 8.5% uplift in the Provisional Financial Settlement, along with the proposed 2.5% increase in Council Tax meant there would be no new savings required for the 2022/23 financial year.  Although the significant increase in the Provisional Financial Settlement is very welcome during these challenging times, Members were asked to note that circa £17.3m of the increase will be needed to fund inescapable inflationary pressures. However, this increased uplift, combined with the proposed Council Tax increase of 2.5%, will provide circa £10m available for investment in key service areas as the Authority recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.   Key areas of investment in Council services include £6.2m for Social Services to meet the commitment to pay the Real Living Wage for care workers, addressing increases in demand in both Adult and Children’s Services, and to provide funding to assist with additional costs that may continue to arise as a consequence of the ongoing pandemic.

 

The Draft Budget Proposals will ensure the protection of budgets for schools and provide £250k to support a new apprenticeship scheme across the Council.  Significant investment is also proposed in Public Protection Services to increase capacity in key teams such as Trading Standards, Enforcement and Environmental Health.  There will also be additional investment in the Community Safety Wardens Service, Flood Prevention Team, and in the Business Enterprise and Renewal Team to lever in external funding and to promote the development of town centres.

 

Members were advised that the proposed Council Tax increase of 2.5% for 2022/23 is well below inflation and is the lowest increase for a number of years.  This will increase Caerphilly’s Band D precept from £1,230.57 to £1,261.33, which equate to an annual increase of £30.76 or weekly increase of £0.59.

 

The Scrutiny Committee were reminded that Welsh Government has provided substantial grant funding to Local Authorities in both the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years through the Covid-19 Hardship Fund to meet additional costs and income losses arising from the pandemic.  The Hardship Fund will cease on 31st March 2022 and Local Authorities will be required to meet ongoing financial pressures linked to the pandemic from the funding provided in the Provisional Financial Settlement.  Due to the ongoing financial uncertainty linked to the pandemic, it is proposed to top up the Council’s Covid-19 Earmarked Reserve to £5m by transferring uncommitted balances on other previously approved reserves.

 

Members were advised that as we exit the pandemic, the financial challenges faced by local authorities are unknown and Caerphilly Council must ensure that they are well placed to deal with these challenges as they arise.  Members were referred to the updated Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) as set out in the report that shows a potential savings requirement of £9.753m for the two-year period 2023/24  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.