Venue: Capesthorne Room, Macclesfield Town Hall
Contact: Nikki Bishop Tel: 01270 686462 Email: email@example.com
Apologies for Absence
To note any apologies for absence from Members.
Apologies were received from Councillors C Hilliard and J Priest. Councillors M Brooks and D Edwardes attended as substittues.
Declarations of Interest
To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, other registerable interests, and non-registerable interests in any item on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were made.
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.
Councillor J Clowes spoke in relation to the Conservative Group proposals relating to the Highways and Transport budget proposals which she had circulated to the Committee. She stated that she had taken advice from officers and the S151 Officer and that they were proposals which could be added to the MTFS. The projects may not realise actual savings in year but needed preparation in time for future MTFS discussions and budget programming.
To consider the proposals within the budget consultation relating to the Committee’s responsibilities.
The Committee considered a report which sought feedback on the responsibilities of the Committee as consultees, on the development of the Cheshire East Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2024/25 to 2027/28.
There remained a shortfall of £12.7m across all committees to be resolved and further budget change proposals were sought to help present a balanced budget. The Highways and Transport budget for 2023/24 was £11.0m. Expenditure was forecast to increase by £5.8m next year. The budget could increase by £1.2m due to funding constraints and as a result Highways and Transport would need to find savings of £4.6m to reduce the £5.8m growth pressures to an affordable level of £1.2m. At this stage £1m of savings had been identified.
Officers reported that the High-Level Business Cases would be available for Members in time for the Corporate Policy Committee on the 13 of February.
Members asked questions and provided comments in relation to the proposals. These included:
Pay Inflation –it was asked why 3% figured was being used as in previous year had used 5% and this was below what the actual pay award had been. In response it was stated that the pay award was subject to negotiation and the percentage was difficult to predict particularly when it was a fixed sum. The existing MTFS forecast that the average increase would be around 3% for 2024/25.
High Level Business Cases – it was stated that reference had been made previously to the business cases being considered by the Committee, but they were not included in the report. In response it was reported that the process had changed and that the high level business cases were being collated for the meeting of the Corporate Policy Committee on 13 February.
Ongoing funding for highways – it was asked how much money the Council needed to put into the highways budget to have an adequate maintenance plan. In response it was stated that the funding received was not adequate compared to the level of work necessary to maintain the highways network to the standard the Council would like to achieve. 12 months ago the Council had a £180m backlog of repair work which was now closer to £200m.
Public Consultation – it was asked how the public views would be reflected in the final budget proposals. In response it was stated that the public consultation had closed on 29 January and the outcomes would be reported to the Corporate Policy Committee on 13 February.
Bus Service subsidy – it was asked how the savings were going to be made. In response it was reported that there was £2.5m growth for local buses. The savings related to the level of supported local bus services and the recent tendering offered up savings of £250k.
Conservative Group Highways and Transport budget proposals– Cllr M Sewart reported that the number in the proposals was out of sync and that they should read as follows:
Ai) that the parking disposal strategy ... view the full minutes text for item 37.