Venue: Guildhall, High Street, Exeter
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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Leadbetter and Sutton.
Councillor Paul Bull
On behalf of the Council, the Lord Mayor paid tribute to Councillor Paul Bull who had tragically lost his fight against cancer on Sunday and that the Members thoughts were with his wife, Councillor Rachel Sutton as well as his family. Paul was a true community champion and having his own interests in theatre and music, his appointment as Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture, could not have been more fitting.
The Leader stated that Councillor Paul Bull was an excellent Ward Councillor who quietly got on with ward work. He had done a fantastic job as the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture and worked well with Councillors from all political parties. He would be very much missed.
This was endorsed by Members.
The Council observed a minutes silence as a mark of respect for Councillor Paul Bull.
To pass the following resolution:-
(1) That the following, as submitted in the Estimates Book, be approved:-
(a) the Revenue estimates for 2017-2018;
(b) the Capital programme for 2017-2018;
(2) that it be noted that, at the meeting of the Executive on the 10 January 2017, the Council calculated the figure of 36,197, as its council tax base for the year 2017-2018 in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 made under Section 33(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992;
(3) that the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2017-2018 in accordance with Sections 31A of the Local Government and Finance Act 1992:-
(a) £105,956,285 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2)(a) to (f) of the Act;
(b) £100,705,910 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3)(a) to (d) of the Act;
(c) £5,250,375 being the amount by which the aggregate at (3)(a) above exceeds the aggregate at (3)(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its council tax requirement for the year;
(d) £145.05 being the amount at (3)(c) above divided by the amount at 2 above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year;
(e) Valuation Bands
Being the amount given by multiplying the amount at (3)(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 band D, 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.
(4) That it will be noted that, for the year 2017-2018, Devon County Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall and the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority have stated the following amounts on precepts issued to the Council, in accordance with Section 83 of the Local Government Act 2003, for each of the categories of the dwellings shown below:-
Devon County Council
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority
Minute 8 (2017/18 Council Tax Base and NNDR1)) of the meeting of Executive held on 10 January 2017 was taken as read and adopted.
The Leader stated that he would be dedicating his budget speech to the memory of Councillor Paul Bull.
The Leader of the Council, moved and Councillor Hannaford seconded the resolution as set out in the agenda and circulated papers in respect of the Council Tax for 2017/18.
The Leader in presenting the budget set the context for this year’s budget by stating that the reductions in Central Government Funding received by local authorities like Exeter over the last few years continued to be amongst the most severe cuts the Council had faced in living memory. This Council had a 10.8% reduction in Government Formula Grant for the year 2017/18 on top of equally drastic cuts in previous years. Last year it was a cut of 12.6% and the year before 15.6%.
Between 2010 and 2018 the City Council’s government grant had dropped from £12m to £5.2m and the City Council had been proactive in facing this and plan for a future when the money the Council gets from Central Government would have been removed completely.
In the financial year 2016/17 the Council had delivered £1m in savings and additional income on top of £1.4m the previous year. It continued to streamline and modernise the services it offers to residents and businesses by:-
· a new customer platform to interact with the Citizens, providing a more efficient, joined up experience and generating savings of over £250,000 a year from 2020
· continuing to work with its partners in the National Health Services, the voluntary sector and Devon County Council to offer the Integrated Care Exeter project
· working with the Devon Wildlife Trust to transfer the management of the Valley Parks and protect this wonderful green asset.
It was important to stop for a moment and reflect on how far the City has come under this Labour administration.
According to the Centre for Cities Exeter had achieved:-
· fastest rate of population growth of any UK city
· private sector employment growth was among the strongest nationally
· fourth in the country for growth in housing stock providing homes for people
· in top ten (ninth) in the country for growth in workplace wages.
Strong growth, more jobs, more homes for people and better wages was what this Labour Group had helped to deliver.
The Leader stated that in setting a balanced budget for 2017/18 much of the lost formula grant was being replaced by a combination of additional efficiency savings and income. Difficult choices had to be made and for the first time in five years car park charges would rise. The Council had ambitious plans to reduce congestion in the city and a reasonable pricing policy would support these objectives.
The Council continued to build on energy savings projects which included the guaranteed income from the Feed in Tariff payments on solar panels, replacing the inefficient boilers at the Civic Centre and ... view the full minutes text for item 14.