Agenda and decisions

Cabinet - Thursday, 8th February, 2024 9.30 am

Venue: Walton Suite, Guildhall, Winchester and streamed live on YouTube at www.youtube.com/winchestercc

Contact: Nancy Graham, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01962 848 235, Email:  ngraham@winchester.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To record the names of apologies given.

 

2.

Membership of Cabinet bodies etc.

To give consideration to the approval of alternative arrangements for appointments to bodies set up by Cabinet or external bodies, or the making or terminating of such appointments.

 

3.

Disclosure of Interests

To receive any disclosure of interests from Members and Officers in matters to be discussed.

Note: Councillors are reminded of their obligations to declare disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and/or prejudicial interests in accordance with legislation and the Council’s Code of Conduct.

 

5.

Public Participation

 

– to note the names of members of the public wishing to speak on general matters affecting the District or on agenda items (in the case of the latter, representations will normally be received at the time of the agenda item, after the Cabinet Member’s introduction and any questions from Cabinet Members).

NB members of the public are required to register with Democratic Services three clear working days before the meeting (contact: democracy@winchester.gov.uk or 01962 848 264). 

6.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 24 January 2024 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

7.

Leader and Cabinet Members' Announcements

8.

Waste and Recycling Strategy pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That, in respect of the recycling service offered by the city council it be agreed:

 

1.       That as a result of resident feedback and the options appraisal set out in paragraph 11.40 of report CAB3439, the preferred option is a co-mingled recycling collection service collecting a wider range of materials and that Hampshire County Council be advised accordingly.

 

2.       To seek to introduce a separate collection of food waste by 31 March 2026 with the Council’s current contractor Biffa, including to provide quoted prices for the required food waste collection vehicles.

 

3.       That the Council will pursue the current lowest carbon viable options as a priority for service delivery.

 

 

9.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 395 KB

Decision:

That Cabinet recommend that Council*:-

1.       Note the HRA Financial Plan operating account extract, including annual working balances, as detailed in Appendix 6 of report CAB3445.

2.       Approve the 2024-25 Housing Revenue Account budget as detailed in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report. 

3.       Approve the 10-year indicative HRA capital programme as set out in appendices 3 and 4 of the report.

4.       Approve capital expenditure in 2024-25 of £18.649m for the Maintenance, Improvement and Renewal programme as detailed in Appendix 3 of the report in accordance with Financial Procedure Rule 7.4.

5.       Approve the proposed budget in 2024-25 for new homes of £15.524m as detailed in Appendix 4 of the report subject to individual scheme approvals.

6.       Approve the proposed indicative funding for the HRA Capital Programme as detailed in Appendix 5.

7.       Note the proposed additional investment in the council housing stock of £30m over the next eight years to 2030-31 to retrofit properties on a fabric first basis to help improve their energy efficiency and reduce energy costs for tenants. This additional annual investment brings the total annual investment here to £5.6m a year and £45m in total (see paragraph 12.5 of the report).

8.       Approve the proposed strategic change in direction moving from a plan based upon direct delivery of new homes to one based upon a mixture of actively acquiring s106 affordable housing directly from developers alongside future development with grant funding and using Right to Buy resources (see paragraph 13.7 of the report), including the continuing commitment to rural housing, including through rural exception sites.

9.       Note the current financial viability assessment for new build and that at present all potential development sites based on current assumptions evaluated this year have not been assessed as being financially viable within the existing viability model (see paragraphs 13.1-13.10 of the report).

10.   Approve the proposed move to 80% market rent to help improve the viability of new homes development and to mitigate the increasing cost of delivery (see paragraph 13.5 of the report).

11.   Approve a revenue savings target of £400k over two years to assist with bridging the forecast gap in financing future capital expenditure (see paragraph 14.2 of the report).

12.   Approve the disposal in principle of Barnes house in 2024-25, and in addition the disposal of £0.500m of surplus HRA property per year over the next eight years to generate additional capital receipts to help fund the increased investment requirement over these years (see paragraph 14.3 of the report).

 

13.   Approve the average formula rent increase for 2024-25 for all affordable and social housing of 7.7% based on the September 2023 CPI figure of 6.7% +1% (see paragraphs 15.1-15.4 of the report).

14.   Approve the proposed move from RPI+0.5% to CPI+1% for existing council shared owners in the HRA from 2024-25 onwards, as well as in all future HRA shared ownership leases. Note that the impact of this in 2024-25 will be a reduction in rent rises this year from 9.4% to  ...  view the full decision text for item 9.

10.

General Fund Budget 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Cabinet recommend to Council*:

 

1.    That the level of General Fund Budget for 2024/25 be agreed, and recommend the summary as shown in Appendix A of report CAB3444.

2.    That the Greener Faster and carbon reduction investment proposals set out in section 14 of the report be approved, including:

a.    £200,000 per annum for the carbon reduction measures on waste and recycling vehicles to enable the change to HVO fuel.

b.    £1,400,000 per annum (less assumed 80% government funding) to expand recycling services to include food waste collections.

c.     £400,000 per annum to implement other changes to the collection of recyclables.

d.    £250,000 reduction in the annual waste income budget to reflect proposed changes to the Hampshire Inter Authority Agreement on waste.

3.    That in relation to the Cost of Living focus of the Council Plan, the following be approved:

a.    In the absence of any government funded scheme, the allocation of up to £100,000 from the Cost of Living / Living Well reserve to wholly or partially fund a local Council Tax Support Fund for 2024/25 in accordance with section 19 of the report.

b.    Extending the council tax Exceptional Financial Hardship Fund, with the remaining balance of 2023/24 funding (£38,000 as at Jan 2024), to 2024/25 to support any council tax payers experiencing exceptional hardship, regardless of whether they are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction.

c.     A discretionary 7.7% cap for 2024/25 on the annual increase in rent for Partnered Home Purchase scheme property owners, in line with the increase in social and affordable rents to existing tenants and for shared owners in the HRA.

4.    That in relation to the council’s Homes for All priority the following be approved:

a.    an additional £20,000 per annum contribution to the New Burdens Reserve to support the Preventing Homelessness Strategy, including funding the increased costs of providing temporary accommodation for homeless households where required.

b.    to reduce the long term empty property period from 2 years to 1 year, of the 100% council tax premium which applies to all unoccupied and unfurnished property.

5.    That in relation to the council’s TC25 transformation programme the following be approved:

a.    The £607,000 of immediately recognised TC25 savings set out in section 13 of the report be reassigned to contributions to the Transitional Reserve for 2024/25 and 2025/26 to support the delivery of the wider transformation programme.

b.    A new budget of £100,000 per annum for the support and coordination of digital channel shift work across the council’s services.

c.     The transfer of the £130,000 of additional 4% Funding Guarantee income to the transitional reserve to invest in the TC25 transformation programme.

6.    That the unavoidable budget growth of £100,000 per annum to fund increased external audit fees be approved.

7.    That savings in corporate property budgets for Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) of £177,000 to reflect reduced liabilities be approved.

8.    That service income annual budgets be amended  ...  view the full decision text for item 10.

11.

Capital Investment Strategy 2024-2034 pdf icon PDF 557 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Cabinet recommends to Council*:

1.       The Capital Investment Strategy be approved including:

(i)    the Capital Programme and Capital Programme Financing (Appendices A and B to report CAB3443);

 

(ii)   the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy Statement (Appendix E of the report);

 

(iii)the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy (Appendix G of the report); and

 

(iv)the prudential indicators detailed in the report and Appendix F of the report.

 

That Cabinet:

2.       Subject to Council approval of the capital programme, approves the following capital expenditure in 2024/25:

(i)      IMT equipment and software (£30,000) as detailed in paragraph 11.8.7 of the report;

(ii)     £191,000 (subject to successful UKSPF funding bid) on Friarsgate Medical Centre interim open space (paragraph 11.2.4 of the report);

(iii)    Up to £200,000 for essential repairs works to the Weirs (paragraph 11.2.4 of the report)

(iv)   £40,000 in respect of fees for the replacement of North Walls pavilion (paragraph 11.2.4 of the report); and

(v)     £485,000 for refurbishment works to the Guildhall to improve fire safety (paragraph 11.2.4 of the report).

3.       Notes the requirement to ensure Members have the right knowledge and skills to undertake their governance role and that the ongoing support and training offered to members is continued and enhanced as required.

 

*NB recommendations to Council are not subject to call-in.

 

12.

Treasury Management Strategy 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 572 KB

Decision:

 

That Cabinet recommends to Council*:

 

1.       That the Treasury Management Strategy Statement which includes the Annual Treasury Investment Strategy for 2024/25 (and the remainder of 2023/24) be approved;

 

2.       That authority be delegated to the Section 151 Officer to manage the Council’s pooled property investment and long-term borrowing according to the Treasury Management Strategy Statement as appropriate; and

 

3.       That authority be delegated to the Section 151 Officer, who in turn discharges this function to Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Operations, as agreed in the Service Level Agreement, to manage all Council investments (other than the high yield portfolio) and short-term borrowing according to the Treasury Management Strategy Statement as appropriate.

 

*NB recommendations to Council are not subject to call-in.

 

13.

To note the future items for consideration by Cabinet as shown on the March 2024 Forward Plan. pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Registering to speak at meetings of the council:

The information below relates to the majority of meetings of the council but please note that different rules do apply for registering to speak at meetings of Full Council, Licensing Sub Committees, Planning Committees, Open Forums, and the Standards Hearing and Human Resources Sub Committees and the Appointments Panel. Further information can be obtained using the contact details above.

Members of the public may speak at this meeting, provided they have registered to speak three working days in advance. Please contact Democratic Services via democracy@winchester.gov.uk or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details - which can also be found on the individual meeting agenda front sheets.

 

Cabinet on Thursday, 8th February, 2024, 9.30 am{sidenav}{content}