A) That the actions and feedback from The Scrutiny Committee as set out in Appendix 1 to report CAB3228 be noted.
B) That Cabinet recommend that Council:
1. Approve the medium term financial strategyas set out in report CAB3211.
2. Agree the General Fund Budget for 2020/21, updated forecast for 2019/20, and the summary as shown in Appendix A of report CAB3211.
3. Support the investment proposals set out in section 17 of report CAB3211, including:
a. £50,000 per annum to fund additional parking enforcement officers;
b. An annual provision of £350,000 to the parking reserve to fund additional park and ride initiatives and support investment in other transport and public transport related services;
c. £247,000 to implement a full survey of all council trees and fund associated remedial works (net impact of £84,000 on the general fund, with the remaining costs met from Winchester Town Account and the Housing Revenue Account for trees within the control of those budgets);
d. One off provision of £105,000 to support feasibility studies and building survey work for the central Winchester regeneration project;
e. That £750,000, funded from the transitional reserve, be approved to fund the implementation of the Carbon Neutrality Action Plan with further details of specific proposals to be reported to Cabinet in June 2020;
f. That one-off provision of £500,000, funded from the transitional reserve be made to support the transformation proposals set out in the medium term financial strategy, with specific proposals to be reported to cabinet later in 2020.
4. Approve the savings proposals set out in section 18 of report CAB3211, including:
a. The implementation of an enhanced garden waste service from February 2021, with further details on the proposal including the charging arrangements being reported to Cabinet in June 2020;
b. The closure of public conveniences at Middlebrook St and Worthy Lane, Winchester.
5. Approve the proposals for changes to parking charges, as set out in section 19 of report CAB3211:
a. Parking charges (with the exception of (Park and Ride charges) be increased by 3% (rounded to the nearest 10p);
b. That a “flat rate” charge of £2 be introduced on Sundays in all “central” car parks, the access to which all fall within the City’s Air Quality Management Area. These include:
i. The Brooks
ii. Middlebrook St
iii. Colebrook St
v. Guildhall Yard
vi. Jewry St
vii. Cossack Lane
viii. Upper Brook St
ix. St Peters St
x. Tower St
xi. Gladstone St
c. That weekday charging period for the “central” Air Quality Management Area car parks be extended to 7pm for a pilot 6 month period;
d. That daily Park and Ride charges be increased by 50p;
e. That discounted parking charges for weekly and monthly season tickets at Cattle market and Worthy lane car parks be removed;
f. That a revised Parking Investment programme be brought back to Cabinet by September 2020 with detailed proposals for additional investment in transport related services;
g. That all parking related changes set out above, be implemented with effect from July or as soon as practicable thereafter;
h. That, subject to contract, park and ride bus services be extended in the evenings and introduced on Sundays from the St Catherines Park and Ride site.
6. Confirm the policy as previously agreed by the Council on 14 July 1999 (min 186 refers) to treat all expenses of the Council as General Expenses other than those specifically identified and itemised in the Winchester Town Account. In consequence of which the sum of £1,006,776 be treated as Special Expenses under Section 35 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 in respect of the Winchester Town area, Appendix D.
7. Approve the Council Tax for the Special Expenses in the Winchester Town area at Band D for 2020/21 be increased in line with the Town Forum recommendation.
8. Approve the total deficit balance on the Council Tax Collection Fund calculated in January 2020 of £144,278, £18,676 for this Council
9. Approve that the level of Council Tax at Band D for City Council services for 2020/21 be increased by 3% to £143.09.
Councillor Cutler introduced the report which set out a balanced budget for the following two financial years. He outlined the key proposals in the report which had been amended to take account of consultation responses.
At the invitation of the Leader, Councillors Brook and Horrill addressed the meeting as summarised briefly below.
Highlighted the actions and feedback on the proposals by the Scrutiny Committee held 5 February, including closure of public conveniences. Believed that the Council was unduly relying on proposed increases to both council tax and other charges to balance the budget.
Concurred with comments made by Councillor Brook regarding increases in council tax and charges and believed that there were better alternative proposals available. Disappointed regarding perceived lack of progress on various council projects, including central Winchester regeneration and the Movement Strategy.
Cabinet Members responded to the comments made. The actions and feedback from The Scrutiny Committee held 5 February, as outlined in Appendix 1 of report CAB3228, were also noted. This included support for the proposal that the provision of 24 hour public conveniences facilities be investigated further.
Cabinet agreed the following recommendations to Council and resolution for the reasons set out above and outlined in the report.
That the actions and feedback from The Scrutiny Committee as set out in Appendix 1 to report CAB3228 be noted.