To receive and consider the following Cabinet report: 15 February 2021
Medium Financial Plan 2021-22 to 2023-24
Appendix 1 – List of Savings 2021–2022 to 2023-24
Appendix 2 – List of Growth and Service Pressures - 2022 to 2023-24
Appendix 3 – Changes to Previously Agreed Savings
Appendix 4 – Summary of Budgets
Appendix 5 – Summary of EIAs
Appendix 6 – For the corrected Council Tax Resolution please see the attachment below
Appendix 7 – Report and Minutes from Budget Task Group
Capital Strategy 2020-21 to 2034-35
Housing Revenue Account Business Plan
Treasury Management Strategy 2021-22 to 2025-26
Integrated Investment Framework 2021-22
Pay Policy 2021-22
Please refer to the revised final Pay Policy which is attached for approval.
4.1 The report of the Cabinet on 15 February 2021 was submitted. Paragraphs 1-6 were considered together.
4.2 Councillor Rachael Robathan spoke in favour of the recommendations set out in the Cabinet report which was seconded by Councillor Melvyn Caplan.
4.3 Following debate, to which Councillor Robathan replied, the Lord Mayor put the amendment to the recommendations in paragraph 1 of the Cabinet report moved by Councillor Adam Hug and seconded by Councillor David Boothroyd to a vote and on a recorded vote there voted:
Paragraph 1: Text of amendment to be moved by Councillor Adam Hug and seconded by Councillor David Boothroyd
1. In recommendation 1) of the Cabinet, paragraph 1, leave out from “£463.90” to the end, and insert “£461.66 for 2021/22, an increase of £13.45 (3%) for the Social Care precept and frozen for general purposes;”
2. In paragraph 8, add at end “be reduced to £182.445m following the following amendments:
Senior Management Review £175,000
Review of the Communications function £115,000
Deletion from the Members’ Allowances budget of the posts of Vice Chair of Planning and Vice Chair of Licensing £10,000
Vote 1 - Amended
For the recommendations: Councillors Dimoldenberg, Boothroyd, Toki, Noble, Hug, Bush, Lewis, Roca, Carman, Mann, McKie, Butler-Thalassis, Taouzzale, Freeman, Begum and McAllister
Against the recommendations: Councillors Swaddle, Mitchell, Mohindra, Spencer, Robathan, Glen, Beddoe, Caplan, Aiken, Gassanly, Green, Rigby, Dean, Short, Payne, Hall, Wilkinson, Smith, Barnes, Elcho, Burbridge, Acton, Shearer, Murphy, Bott, Hitchcock, Arzymanow, David Harvey, Angela Harvey, Hyams, Warner, Chalkley, Rowley, Bright and Cox
Absence or not voting: The Lord Mayor and Councillors Adams, Devenish, Talukder, Barraclough, Less, Qureshi, Flight and Scarborough.
4.4 The Lord Mayor then put the recommendations in paragraph 1 of the Cabinet report as unamended to a vote and on a recorded vote there voted:
Vote 2 – Unamended
For the recommendations: Councillors Payne, Green, Swaddle, Mitchell, Mohindra, Elcho, Smith, Murphy, Robathan, Hall, Caplan, Hyams, Short, David Harvey, Barnes, Gassanly, Wilkinson, Freeman, Dean, Bott, Aiken, Hitchcock, Warner, Chalkley, Glen, Cox, Rigby, Angela Harvey, Beddoe, Spencer, Shearer, Bright, Arzymanow, Burbridge, Flight, Adams, Scarborough and Rowley
Against the recommendations: Councillors Boothroyd, Taouzzale, Roca, Toki, Dimoldenberg, Hug, Noble, Less, Begum, Barraclough, McKie, Mann, Lewis, Carman, Bush and Butler-Thalassis
Absence or not voting: The Lord Mayor and Councillors Devenish, Acton, McAllister, Qureshi and Talukder
4.5 The Lord Mayor declared the recommendations in paragraph 1 of the Cabinet report as unamended ADOPTED.
1) That the council tax for a Band D property be agreed at £463.90 for 2021/22, an increase of £13.45 (3%) for the Social Care precept and £2.24 (0.5%) for general purposes;
2) That, subject to the previous resolution, the council tax for the City of Westminster, excluding the Montpelier Square area and Queen’s Park Community Council, for the year ending 31 March 2022, be as specified in the Council Tax Resolution in Appendix 6 to the Section 151 officer’s report.
3) That the Precepts and Special Expenses be as also specified in Appendix 6 to the Section 151 officer’s report for properties in Montpelier Square and the Queen’s Park Community Council;
4) That the formal resolution for 2021/22 attached at Appendix 6 to the Section 151 officer’s report including the council tax requirement of £62.078m be agreed;
5) Noted the proposed Greater London Authority precept (Band D) of £363.66, an increase of £31.59 rise in the adjusted Band D Precept;
6) That the Council continues the Westminster Community Contribution to allow the most expensive (Band H) properties in the City to voluntarily contribute towards supporting discretionary services that support the three priorities of youth services, helping rough sleepers off the streets and supporting people who are lonely and isolated;
7) Noted the views of the Budget Task Group set out in Appendix 7 to the Section 151 officer’s report;
8) That the proposed General Fund net budget requirement of £182.745m summarised in Appendix 4 to the Section 151 officer’s report.
9) That the savings and growth proposals for 2021/22 to 2023/24 set out in Appendix 1, 2 and 3 to the Section 151 officer’s report is approved;
10) That the Equality Impact Assessments included in Appendix 5 to the Section 151 officer’s report be received and noted to inform the consideration of the budget;
11) Noted the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2021/22 and 30-Year Housing Investment Plan presented concurrently to Cabinet on 15 February 2021 that recommends the HRA budget and rent levels for 2021/22;
12) Noted the Capital Strategy 2021/22 to 2025/26, forecast position for 2020/21 and future years’ forecasts summarised up to 2034/35 report also presented to Cabinet on 15 February 2021 that recommends the Council’s capital programme and financing;
Reserves, Balances and Budget Estimates
13) Noted the reserves policy as set out in section 13 of the Section 151 officer’s report;
14) Noted the views of the Section 151 Officer with regards to estimates underpinning the proposed budget changes and reserves levels in section 13 of his report;
Treasury Management and Investment Framework
15) Noted the Treasury Management Strategy for 2021/22 including the annual investment strategy, borrowing limits and prudential indicators summarised in this report and set out detail in a concurrent report on this agenda;
16) Noted the 2021/22 Integrated Investment Framework report also concurrently on this agenda, which sets out the policies and framework for future investment decisions for the Council.
4.6 The Lord Mayor put the recommendations in paragraph 2 of the Cabinet report, Capital Strategy Report 2021-2022 to 2025-2026, Forecast position for 2020-2021 and Future Years’ summarised up to 2034-2035 to the vote and there being no objections declared the recommendations ADOPTED.
That full Council:
1) Approved the capital strategy as set out in Appendix 2 to the report.
2) Approved the capital expenditure for the General Fund as set out in Appendix A to Appendix 2 for 2021/22 to 2025/26 and future years to 2034/35.
3) Approved that all development and investment projects, along with all significant projects follow the previously approved business case governance process as set out in section 8 of Appendix 2 to the report.
4) Approved that no financing sources, unless stipulated in regulations or necessary agreements, are ring fenced.
5) Approved the council plans to continue its use of capital receipts to fund the revenue costs of eligible proposals (subject to full business cases for each project). This comes under the MHCLG Guidance on the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts (FCR).
6) Approved the proposed financing of the capital programme and revenue implications as set out in section 13 of Appendix 2 to the report.
7) Approved the financing of the capital programme being delegated to the Executive Director of Finance and Resources to provide sufficient flexibility to allow for the most effective use of Council resources.
4.7 The Lord Mayor put the recommendations in paragraph 3 of the Cabinet report, Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2021/22 and 30-Year Housing Investment Planand there being no objections declared the recommendations ADOPTED.
That the full Council:
1) Approved the HRA revenue budget for 2021-22 (Table 2 and Appendix 3 to the report we considered)
2) Noted the HRA 5-year revenue budgets for 2021-22 to 2025-26 (Table 2 and Appendix 2 to the report we considered)
3) Noted the HRA 30-year revenue budgets for 2021-22 to 2050-51 (Appendix 3 to the report we considered)
4) Approved the HRA 5-year Capital Programme for a total of £952.30m (Appendix 4 to the report we considered)
5) Noted the 30-year Capital Programme for 2021-22 to 2050-51 (Appendix 4 to the report we considered)
6) Noted a rent increase of 1.5% from April 2021 as applicable under the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016.
7) Noted the HRA reserves and balances for the 5-year Business Plan (Table 6 to the report we considered).
4.8 The Lord Mayor put the recommendations in paragraph 4 of the Cabinet report, Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2021/22 to 2025/26to the vote and there being no objections declared the recommendations ADOPTED.
That full Council:
1. Approved the Treasury Management Strategy Statement;
2. Approved the borrowing strategy and borrowing limits for 2021/22 to 2025/26 set out in section 6 to Appendix 4.
3. Approved the prudential Indicators set out in section 8 to Appendix 4.
4. Approved the Annual Investment Strategy and approved investments set out in Appendix 1 to Appendix 4.
5. Approved the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy set out in Appendix 2 to Appendix 4.
4.9 The Lord Mayor put the recommendations in paragraph 5 of the Cabinet report, to the vote and there being no objections declared the recommendations ADOPTED.
That the full Council:
1. Approved and implement the Integrated Investment Framework set out in Appendix 5.
2. Approved that the target for the overall return on Council investments should aspire to match inflation;
3. Approved that the benefits of investing in the Pension Fund should be used as a benchmark when evaluating other investments;
4. Adopted the asset allocation percentages set out in the Framework and work towards achieving these;
5. Agreed that the overarching objective of this Framework is to achieve an overall return on Council investments aspiring to match inflation and to reduce costs and liabilities, whilst maintaining adequate cash balances for operational purposes, and not exposing the capital value of investments to unnecessary risk;
6. Approved that investments allocated to out-of-borough property developments should be considered individually and should outweigh the benefits of investing in-borough (which can have a number of non-commercial benefits, e.g., place making) and in a diversified property portfolio (acquisitions will be made out of borough only on an exceptional basis). Individual decisions should be subject to Cabinet Member approval;
7. Approved that the property and alternative asset allocation should focus on in-borough, with out of borough options being explored on an exceptional basis and subject to Cabinet Member approval;
8. Approved the Investment Executive to implement, monitor and report on the investment strategy.
4.10 The Lord Mayor put the recommendations in paragraph 6 of the Cabinet report, to the vote and there being no objections declared the recommendations ADOPTED.
That the full Council:
Approved the Pay Policy for 2021 – 2022 as revised and attached to the end of this report.