Agenda and draft minutes

Budget Setting, Council
Thursday, 25th February, 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: VIRTUAL - Live on the Council's YouTube channel: Hillingdon London. View directions

Contact: Lloyd White, Head of Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

45.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence. 

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2021 (attached)

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2021 be agreed as a correct record. 

47.

Roll Call & Declarations of Interest

The Head of Democratic Services will ask each Member in alphabetical order to declare that they are present and whether they have any declarations of interest in any matter before the Council.

 

Please wait to be called then:

a)     unmute your microphone on your PC / tablet etc (if you are joining the meeting by telephone only, then please either locate the mute button or remain as quiet as possible until called upon to speak);

b)     state your name and if you have any declarations of interest to make,

c)     then please remember to, once again, mute your microphone or telephone.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services asked each Member in alphabetical order to declare that they were present and whether they had any declarations of interest in any matter before Council. There were no declarations of interest.

48.

Report of the Head of Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Minutes:

i)          Temporary Suspension of Council Procedure Rules for the Virtual Council Meeting Only

 

Councillor Edwards moved, and Councillor Bianco seconded, the recommendation subject to an amendment to allow for three speakers from each Group (in addition to the mover and seconder) on the debate on the budget only (Item 6).

 

RESOLVED: That, under Standing Order 26.1, Council agrees to temporarily suspend the specific Standing Orders set out in the report, as amended above, for the purposes of holding this virtual Full Council meeting, with immediate effect.

 

ii)         Urgent Implementation of Decisions

 

The recent urgent decisions taken were noted.

 

iii)        Members’ Allowances 2021/22

 

Councillor Edwards moved the recommendation with an amendment to delete reference to the in-year increase in line with the annual local government pay settlement thereby freezing Members’ allowances at the existing rate for 2021/2022.  Councillor Bianco seconded the amended recommendation and it was put to a recorded vote:

 

Those voting for: The Mayor (Councillor Barnes), the Deputy Mayor (Councillor Chamdal), Councillors Ahmad-Wallana, Allen, Arnold, Bianco, Birah, Bliss, Bridges, Brightman, Burrows, Chapman, Choubedar, Cooper, Corthorne, Curling, Denys, Deville, Dhillon, Dhot, Duncan, Edwards, Eginton, Farley, Flynn, Gardner, Goddard, Graham, Haggar, Hensley, Higgins, Hurhangee, Kauffman, Lakhmana, Lavery, Lewis, Makwana, Markham, Mathers, Melvin, Milani, D Mills, R Mills, Money, Morgan, Morse, Nelson, O’Brien, Oswell, Palmer, Prince, Puddifoot, Radia, Riley, Rodrigues, Sansarpuri, Seaman-Digby, Simmonds, Singh, Stead, Sullivan, Sweeting, Tuckwell and Yarrow.

 

Those voting against: None.

 

Those abstaining: None.

 

The motion was carried and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the current Members’ Allowances Scheme be revoked as of 31 March 2021 and the new Scheme for 2021/22, as amended, be approved for implementation from 1 April 2021 as shown in Annex A to these minutes.

 

iv)        Programme of Meetings 2021/22

 

Councillor Edwards moved, and Councillor Bianco seconded, the recommendation with the amendments as set out in the Order of Business and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the timetable of meetings for 2021/22 as set out in Annex B to these minutes, be approved and the Head of Democratic Services, in consultation with the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, be authorised to make any amendments that may be required throughout the course of the year

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
iii) Members' Allowances 2021/22 Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 49.

    Mayor's Announcements

    1.    To receive the Mayoral Announcements

     

    2.    The Mayor will call upon the Leader of the Council to make a statement in order to update all Members of the Council regarding the Council’s ongoing response to the Covid19 pandemic.

    Minutes:

    The Mayor encouraged all ethnic minority communities to attend their COVID-19 vaccination appointment when they received their invitations, just as she would be doing when she received hers.  She noted that the vaccination was safe, had been thoroughly tested and had been given medical approval.  The vaccine did not include any animal products so was suitable for all faiths.  It was the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones and save lives.

     

    The vaccination centres were extremely efficient, and the clinicians could support residents if they had any questions.  By having the vaccination, residents would be playing their part in protecting everyone so that they could eventually return to a life where they could safely mix with their friends and loved ones without fear.

     

    The Mayor thanked everyone involved in administering the vaccine and thanked those residents, especially those in her own community, who had already received their vaccinations. 

     

    Statement from the Leader of the Council

    The Leader stated that the Prime Minister had announced his roadmap for ending the lockdown.  It was a cautious plan that was expected to prevent future lockdowns and would see the country moving together.  The temptation was to believe that the battle had been won and the danger was that residents would begin to ignore the restrictions that remained necessary to ensure that the country stayed on track to achieve the ending of all restrictions on 21 June 2021 or thereafter.  Members continued to have an important role to play through their own observance of the regulations as well as by influencing their communities to continue to follow the rules and encouraging residents to get vaccinated. 

     

    Since the last Council meeting on 14 January 2021, the situation in Hillingdon had improved considerably.  The seven-day moving average infection rate per 100,000 residents had fallen from 799 to 120.  The positivity rate (the percentage of residents that had tested positive for COVID-19) had been 22.3% in January 2021 but had now fallen to 6.4% (the London average was 4.8%).  Hillingdon, Hounslow and Ealing continued to have the highest infection rates in London and were amongst the highest rates across the country.  Although good progress had been made, this needed to continue. 

     

    Recently, an additional 9,788 residents had been included on the list of those that were shielding, which had taken the total to 27,464.  With shielding expected to end at the end of March 2021, the additional burden on the Council would be limited.  The Council was required to contact everyone on the list although this had not typically resulted in requests for additional support.  The Government had provided additional funding for the Council to write to all shielding adult residents, inviting them to apply for a postal vote ahead of the GLA election. 

     

    North West London had been amongst the best performers with regard to vaccinations.  The target to vaccinate the top four cohorts (those aged 70 or above, care workers and the clinically vulnerable) had been achieved with more than 87% of each age group vaccinated.  Vaccine coverage (those who had received one dose) had reached 30% of the Borough’s current eligible population (those over the age of 50, care workers and the clinically vulnerable).  Hillingdon was on target to meet the second target date in May 2021. 

     

    Joint working had been undertaken with success in persuading the hesitant to be vaccinated.  A strong network of community groups and leaders had been engaged to spread the message of the importance of being vaccinated.  Videos in second languages had been made by community leaders and Members had offered to help in this endeavour. 

     

    The second strand of the strategy to exit the lockdown had been to ensure strong local asymptomatic testing capability.  Hillingdon had been ahead of others with six testing sites open across the Borough and a seventh opening soon.  A local publicity campaign had been started to encourage those without symptoms to be regularly tested.  The number of asymptomatic tests conducted daily in Hillingdon was amongst the highest in London, with capacity to ramp up the testing even further should the South African or Brazilian variants be identified in the Borough. 

     

    The Council had been working with secondary schools and colleges in the Borough to ensure that they had the equipment and additional staff to allow them to conduct on site testing for their pupils when they reopened. 

     

    The Contact Tracing Service provided the third element of the strategy where Hillingdon had been prepared and performing well.  The Council had contacted 88% of those residents referred by the NHS Track and Trace service.  This performance had been amongst the highest in London. 

     

    The Leader assured Members that the immediate financial impact of the pandemic had been contained within the initial Government grants and the £9.1m earmarked COVID reserves.  However, there continued to be uncertainties with the latest being a Government delay in the Council’s issuing of business rate demands.  Although this was unlikely to impact the Council’s bottom line, it could have a short-term impact on cash flow which the authority would be comfortably able to withstand.  The Leader thanked the Council’s partners, community volunteers and staff who had been working tirelessly to help keep everyone safe. 

     

    In addition to the update above, the Leader reminded Members that Hillingdon had been in dispute with High Speed 2 over the lack of information that they had been providing in support of their planning applications.  A small matter involving a newt pond had gone to the Supreme Court which, on 23 February 2021, had refused to hear an appeal against a decision of the Appeal Court that had ruled in Hillingdon’s favour.  This meant that the law on High Speed 2 planning applications had been settled once and for all.  High Speed 2 Limited would now have to provide the Council with sufficient information in order for the authority to properly determine their applications and which the company had refused to do up until now.  

     

    High Speed 2 Limited had been ordered to pay the Council’s costs which would be approximately £20k.  The Leader thanked the Borough Solicitor and planning officers for securing this ruling which would better enable the Council to mitigate the impact of High Speed 2 on the Borough’s residents. 

    50.

    General Fund Revenue Budget, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 46 KB

    To consider the recommendations of Cabinet which will be published, once agreed. The report to Cabinet is available in the Group Offices, on request to the Head of Democratic Services or online at:

     

    The Council's Budget - Medium Term Financial Forecast 2021/22 - 2025/26

     

    Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 will apply to the recommendations of this item. Any Member who is more than two months in arrears with their Council Tax or has arrears of Council Tax must declare that fact and must not vote on this item.

     

    Budget Conflict Resolution Procedures – Council is asked to consider the Cabinet’s proposals. It may adopt the proposals, submit objections to Cabinet or invite the Cabinet to make amendments specified by Council. If Council votes to object to the Cabinet proposals or to invite Cabinet to make amendments, then the Conflict Resolution Procedure will come into operation.

     

    The Council meeting will be adjourned while a special meeting of the Cabinet is held, after which the Council will resume and consider any revised proposals submitted by the Cabinet or the reasons why the Cabinet disagrees with Council’s objections or proposed amendments. The budget would then be open for debate and amendment until a final decision is made.

     

    Members are asked to note that, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, recorded votes will be taken at the annual budget setting meeting on any motion, amendment to motion or substantive motion regarding the General Fund Revenue Budget, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Flynn moved, and Councillor Radia seconded, the suspension of Council procedure rule 14.4 to allow unlimited speaking time for the mover and seconder of the motion and the principal speaker / mover of the amendment and seconder of the amendment from the Labour Group. 

     

    RESOLVED: That the mover and seconder of the budget motion and the principal speaker / mover and seconder of the principal amendment from the Labour Group be allowed unlimited speaking time on this item.

     

    Councillor Goddard moved, and Councillor Edwards seconded, the budget recommendations, as set out on the Order of Business. 

     

    Councillor Mathers moved, and Councillor Dhillon seconded, the following amendment:

     

    That:

    a)        the Cabinet be invited to consider the Labour Group's amendments to the Cabinet's budget proposals set out in the Council Tax Resolution and report back to the Council;

    b)        in relation to the General Fund Revenue Budget, the proposals are based on the budget proposals approved by Cabinet on 18 February 2021, subject to the following amendments:

     

     

    2021/22
    £'000

    Council Tax Requirement based on Cabinet Proposals

     

    126,536

    One-off Growth Proposals

     

     

    Feasibility Study for Solar Panels on Council owned assets

    200

     

    Residents Climate Emergency Forum

    100

     

    Fund a 10% discount of camera-style doorbells and PIR cameras for residents

    55

     

    Urban Tree Challenge

    50

     

    Independent review of universal youth services

    7

     

    Drawdown from Priority Growth Earmarked Reserve

    (412)

    0

    New Revenue Proposals

     

     

    25% Gym Discount for Low Income Household

    150

     

    Delay Saving: Review of Adult Education

    123

     

    Remove Saving: Review of Universal Youth Services

    100

     

    Crematorium Fees

    93

     

    Business Support Officer and Implement Purple Flags

    54

     

    Introduce a new Care Leavers Council Tax Discount

    50

     

    Domestic Violence

    50

     

    Mental Health Support for Under 16s

    50

     

    Remove Saving: Introduction of Charges for FIESTA

    50

     

    Ruislip Woods Warden

    35

     

    Outdoor Gym Instructors

    20

     

    Reintroduction of Hillingdon Black History Month and LGBTI Pride events

     

    10

     

    Mental Health First Aid Training

    5

     

    Borough Wide Selective Landlord Licensing

    0

    790

    Funding for New Proposals

     

     

    Utilise Remaining Public Health Growth

    (159)

     

    Reduce Production of Hillingdon People

    (40)

    (199)

    Council Tax Requirement based on Labour Group Proposals

     

    127,127

    Change in Council Tax Requirement

     

    591

    Increase drawdown from General Balances

     

    (591)

     

    c)        In relation to the General Fund Capital Budget, the proposals are based on the budget proposals approved by Cabinet on 18 February 2021, subject to the following amendments:

     

     

    2020/21
    £'000

    2021/22
    £'000

    2022/23 to 2025/26

    £'000

    Total
    £'000

    Capital Programme

    23,037

    47,243

    93,421

    163,701

    New Items

     

     

     

     

    Drinking Fountains

    0

    38

    0

    38

    IT equipment to Low Income Households

    0

    67

    133

    200

    Items Removed

     

     

     

     

    New Museum

    (50)

    (1,275)

    (4,307)

    (5,632)

    Purchase of Uxbridge police station

    0

    (5,000)

    0

    (5,000)

    Battle of Britain Underground Bunker

    (288)

    (1,000)

    (174)

    (1,462)

    Youth Provision

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Council Programme

    22,699

    40,073

    89,073

    151,845

     

    d)        In relation to the Housing Revenue Account Budget, the proposals are based on the budget proposals approved by Cabinet on 13 February 2020, subject to the following amendments to the HRA Revenue Budget:

     

    Housing Revenue Account

    2021/22
    £'000

    Total Resources

     

    58,944

    Estate Wardens

    130

     

    Increased Drawdown from Reserves

    (130)

    0

    (Drawdown) / Contribution to Reserves based on Labour Group Proposals

     

    58,944

    Change in Total Resources

     

    0

     

    e)        In relation to the Housing Revenue Account Budget, the proposals are based on the budget proposals approved by Cabinet on 13 February 2020, subject to the following amendments to the HRA Capital Programme:

     

     

    2021/22
    £'000

    2022/23 to 2025/26

    £'000

    Total
    £'000

    Capital Programme

    52,478

    147,472

    199,950

    Introducing CCTV cameras to all Council Housing blocks

    1,200

    4,800

    6,000

    Burglar Alarms for Council Tenants

    100

    0

    100

    Council Programme

    53,778

    152,272

    206,050

     

    Following debate (Councillors Bianco, Eginton, Prince and Sweeting), the amendment was put to a recorded vote:

     

    Those voting for: Councillors Allen, Birah, Bliss, Curling, Dhillon, Dhot, Duncan, Eginton, Farley, Gardner, Lakhmana, Mathers, Milani, Money, Morse, Nelson, Oswell, Prince, Sansarpuri, Singh and Sweeting.

     

    Those voting against: The Mayor (Councillor Barnes), the Deputy Mayor (Councillor Chamdal), Councillors Ahmad-Wallana, Arnold, Bianco, Bridges, Brightman, Burrows, Chapman, Choubedar, Cooper, Corthorne, Denys, Deville, Edwards, Flynn, Goddard, Graham, Haggar, Hensley, Higgins, Hurhangee, Kauffman, Lavery, Lewis, Makwana, Markham, Melvin, D Mills, R Mills, Morgan, O’Brien, Palmer, Puddifoot, Radia, Riley, Rodrigues, Seaman-Digby, Simmonds, Stead, Sullivan, Tuckwell and Yarrow.

     

    Those abstaining: None. 

     

    The amended motion was lost.

     

    Following further debate (Councillors Corthorne, Duncan, Lavery, Morse and O’Brien), the original motion was put to a recorded vote: 

     

    Those voting for: The Mayor (Councillor Barnes), the Deputy Mayor (Councillor Chamdal), Councillors Ahmad-Wallana, Allen, Arnold, Bianco, Birah, Bliss, Bridges, Brightman, Burrows, Chapman, Choubedar, Cooper, Corthorne, Curling, Denys, Deville, Dhillon, Dhot, Duncan, Edwards, Eginton, Farley, Flynn, Gardner, Goddard, Graham, Haggar, Hensley, Higgins, Hurhangee, Kauffman, Lakhmana, Lavery, Lewis, Makwana, Markham, Mathers, Melvin, Milani, D Mills, R Mills, Money, Morgan, Morse, Nelson, O’Brien, Oswell, Palmer, Prince, Puddifoot, Radia, Riley, Rodrigues, Sansarpuri, Seaman-Digby, Simmonds, Singh, Stead, Sullivan, Sweeting, Tuckwell and Yarrow.

     

    Those voting against: None.

     

    Those abstaining: None.

     

    The original motion was carried and it was:

     

    RESOLVED: That the Cabinet budget recommendations as set out below, be approved.

     

    1.      The General Fund revenue budget proposals made by Cabinet be approved, resulting in a Council Tax requirement for 2021/22 of £126,539,460;

     

    Council note that at its meeting on 14 January 2021 the Council calculated the amount of 102,071 as its Council Tax Base for the year2021/22. This was calculated in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, as its Council Tax Base for the year (Item T in the formula in Section 31B (3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992);

     

    2.       The Hillingdon element of Council Tax be set at £1,239.72 for a Band D property. Taking into account the precept levied by the Greater London Authority, this results in an overall Band D Council Tax of £1,603.38 for the Borough.

     

    3.       The following amounts have been calculated by the Council for the year 2021/22, in accordance with Sections 32 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (the Act):

     

    a) £472,322,600         being the aggregate of the amounts that the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (2) (a) to (f) of the Act.  (Gross Expenditure including the amount required for additions to working balances)

     

    b) £344,320,600        being the aggregate of the amounts that the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (3) (a) to (d) of the Act.  (Gross Income including reserves to be used to meet Gross Expenditure)

     

    c) £126,539,460         being the amount by which the aggregate at 4 (a) above exceeds the aggregate at 4 (b) above.  This is calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A (4) of the Act, as its Council Tax requirement for the year.  (Item R under Section 31B of the Act)

     

    d) £1,239.72               being the amount at 4 (c) above divided by Item T (2 above). This is, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year. (Council Tax at Band D for the Council)

    e)

    The London Borough of Hillingdon Council Tax

    Band A

    Band B

    Band C

    Band D

    826.47

    964.22

    1,101.97

    1,239.72

    Band E

    Band F

    Band G

    Band H

    1,515.20

    1,790.71

    2,066.19

    2,479.44

     

    being the amounts given by multiplying the amount at 4 (d) above by the number which, in the proportion set out in Section 5 (1) of the Act, is applicable to dwellings listed in a particular valuation band divided by the number which in that proportion is applicable to dwellings listed in valuation B and D. This is calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 36 (1) of the Act, as the amounts to be taken into account for the year in respect of categories of dwellings listed in different valuation bands;

     

    5     Council note that for the year 2021/22 the Greater London Authority and its functional bodies have stated the following amounts in precepts.  These have been issued to the Council, in accordance with Section 40 of the Act, for each of the categories of dwellings shown below:

     

    The Greater London Authority Precept

    Band A

    Band B

    Band C

    Band D

    242.44

    282.85

    323.25

    363.66

    Band E

    Band F

    Band G

    Band H

    444.47

    525.29

    606.10

    727.32

     

    6     The Council has calculated the aggregate in each case of the amounts at 4 (e) and 5 above. The Council in accordance with Section 30 and 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 hereby sets the Council Tax for the year 2021/22 for each category of dwelling below:

     

    Total Council Tax 2021/22

    Band A

    Band B

    Band C

    Band D

    1,068.91

    1,247.07

    1,425.22

    1,603.38

    Band E

    Band F

    Band G

    Band H

    1,959.67

    2,316.00

    2,672.29

    3,206.76

     

    7     The Council Tax Discount for Older People be retained for 2021/22 with a 1.67% discount on the Hillingdon’s element of the Council Tax for those joining the scheme on or after 1 April 2020, 3.82% for those who joined the scheme before or on 31 March 2019 and 8.21% for those who joined before or on 31 March 2018;

     

    8     The proposed amendments to Fees and Charges set out in Appendix 8 of the background report to Cabinet be approved;

     

    9     The Capital Programme for 2021/22 to 2025/26 as set out in Appendix 9 of the background report to Cabinet be approved;

     

    10   The Housing Revenue Account budget proposals and housing rents set out in Appendix 10 of the background report be approved;

     

    11   The Treasury Management Strategy Statement, Annual Investment Strategy, Capital Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2021/22 to 2025/26 as set out in Appendix 12 of the background report to Cabinet be approved;

     

    12   The London Borough of Hillingdon Pay Policy Statement for 2021/22 as set out in Appendix 13 of the background report to Cabinet be approved;

     

    13   Council note the Corporate Director of Finance’s comments regarding his responsibilities under the Local Government Act 2003;

     

    14   Council (as set out in Schedule G of the Constitution - Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules) resolves that Cabinet may utilise the general reserves or balances or approve virements between the General Fund budget, Housing Revenue Account budget or Capital budgets during the MTFF financial years 2021/22 to 2025/26 in respect of those functions which have been reserved to the Cabinet in Article 7 of the Constitution;

     

    15   Council confirm that the Council’s relevant basic amount of Council Tax for 2021/22 is not excessive in accordance with principles approved under Section 52ZB Local Government Finance Act 1992 and therefore a referendum will not be triggered.

    Recorded Vote
    TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
    General Fund Revenue Budget, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme 2021/2022 Amendment Rejected
    General Fund Revenue Budget, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme 2021/2022 Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • Annex A: Members' Allowances 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

    Annex B: Programme of Meetings 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

    Order of Business pdf icon PDF 485 KB