Agenda and minutes

Economy and Growth Committee
Tuesday, 11th January, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: The Capesthorne Room - Town Hall, Macclesfield SK10 1EA. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves  Tel: 01270 686473 Email:  rachel.graves@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

31.

Apologies for Absence

To note any apologies for absence from Members.

 

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor J Clowes. Councillor S Edgar attended as a substitute.

32.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

33.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2021 be approved as a correct record.

34.

Public Speaking/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Council’s Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes each to speak, and the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.

 

Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no public speakers.

35.

2021/22 Financial Year Review pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To receive an update on the financial position for 2021/22 and to note or approve virements and supplementary estimates as required.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report setting out the financial year review for 2021/22.

 

Concerns were raised in respect of the rise in energy costs, the knock-on effect these would have, and whether there was likely to be any government mitigation for this. Assurances were given that conversations were ongoing with energy providers to secure the best outcomes possible for the Council.

 

Clarification was sought in respect of the projects related to Crewe Town Board, specifically where funding was coming from and where it would be spent. Confirmation was given that the Capital Strategy detailed within the report included projects financed from Future High Streets funding, and that projects to be financed by the Towns Fund initiative would be incorporated when business cases have been further developed. An all-committee Member briefing would be held in respect of the Crewe Regeneration and Towns Fund projects, further to information on the development of the business cases.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

1.    That the report of the Finance Sub-Committee (Agenda for Finance Sub-Committee on Wednesday, 1st December, 2021, 2.00 pm | Cheshire East Council), specifically the recommendations of that committee be noted.

2.    That the financial update and forecast outturn relevant to the committee’s terms of reference be noted.

3.    That it be noted that officers would seek to improve outcomes and the financial outturn across all Committees to mitigate the overall forecast overspend of the Council.

4.    That appendix 6 of the report and the following sections specific to this Committee be noted:

·         Changes to Revenue budget 2021/22

·         Policy Proposals Update

·         Corporate Grants Register

·         Debt Management

·         Capital Strategy

·         Reserve Strategy

36.

Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To respond to the budget consultation.

 

(Appendix 2 to follow)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received a report on the Medium-Term Financial Strategy for 2022/23 – 2025/26. As part of the consultation process the committee was asked to provide comments and feedback to the Corporate Policy Committee on proposals related to the responsibilities of the committee.

 

Concerns were raised by Members that the provisional settlement from Government referred to items over a number of years, but the detail of allocations to individual local authorities only related to the 2022/23 financial year. It was noted that it is not unusual for Government to only give one-year allocations, and that whilst the Council must continue to plan for the medium term the settlement creates limited scope for sustainable changes.

 

A question was raised in respect of the rationale for putting the compensation for under-indexing the multiplier, which related to Business Rates income, into the Collection Fund Reserve, rather than the General Fund. It was agreed that a written response would be provided outside of the meeting and circulated to committee members.

 

The following comments were raised by committee:

 

It was felt that the core headings within the Budget Engagement document did not always align with the proposals listed and therefore the information did not flow for the reader. It was proposed that, in addition to the headings with respect to the Council’s vision, in future documents supplementary wording could be added under each heading to cover the main services relating to each of the Corporate Priorities.

There was some discussion in respect of the one-year settlement funding from Government, and the services this funding could be put towards. The committee agreed that it would like the following items to be considered for funding at the next stage of MTFS development:

 

-          Landlord Licensing Scheme

-          Invest to Save Projects

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

1.    That the committee noted the MTFS 2022 to 2026 Consultation Document (Appendix 1 of the report).

2.    That the following proposals rolling forward from the MTFS 2021-25 relevant to the committee (as part of Appendix 1 (Appendix A of the report) be noted.

 

25) Transfer of Congleton Visitor Information Centre

49) Estates Transformation - Office Accommodation

51) Neighbourhood Estate Review

80) Tatton Park

81) Asset / Service Transfer

 

3.    That the impact of the local government financial settlement as provided at Appendix 2 on the MTFS Consultation Document be noted.

4.    That the minutes of the meeting form the consultation response of the Committee for consideration by the Corporate Policy Committee, including:

a.    That consideration be given to providing a budget for development of the Landlord Licensing Scheme in the final MTFS;

b.    That officers be asked to bring forward proposals for Invest to Save projects for inclusion in the final MTFS;

c.    That the Committee’s comments with regard to the Budget Engagement document be noted for future reference.

 

37.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider the Work Programme and determine any required amendments.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the committee’s work programme.

 

A list of future items for committee to consider was circulated at the meeting. It was agreed the committee would look at a focused approached on decision making reports therefore any reports to note would be subject to a committee briefing, where Members would be able to ask any questions and seek clarification on any actions.

 

A question was raised in respect of the ‘Town Centre Vitality Plans’ item for May 2022 as to whether it would include an update on proposals for car parking charges. Assurance was given that prior to the report being brought to committee, a consultation process would be carried out for the individual towns and that Members would have the opportunity to view the outcome of the consultation prior to committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the work programme be noted.