Venue: Guildhall, High Street, Exeter
Contact: Sarah Selway, Democratic Services Manager (Committees) Telephone 01392 265275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bull, Crew, Donovan, Shiel and Winterbottom.
Minute 11 (2015/16 Council Tax Base and NNDR1)) of the meeting of Executive held on 27 January 2015 was taken as read and adopted.
Councillor Edwards, the Leader of the Council, moved and Councillor Sutton seconded the resolution as set out in the agenda and circulated papers in respect of the Council Tax for 2015/16.
The Leader stated that the city had enjoyed the country’s highest level of growth productivity and that as the engine of the local economy direct investment in the city centre was essential. The Council was committed to delivering a swimming pool and leisure complex on the bus and coach site and would continue to work with Crown Estates to achieve this redevelopment. He advised that the funding cuts from central government were amongst the most severe the Council had faced and the Council had to contend with a 15.6% reduction in Government Formula Grant in setting the budget for 2015/16.
The Leader outlined the Council’s achievements to date which included 3,468 new homes earning the Council £10.2 million in New Homes Bonus; 58 affordable homes since April 2014; increase in visitor numbers and spend in the city; redevelopment of the Guildhall shopping centre; investment made by the University in the city; decision of the Met Office to invest in a super computer at the Science Park; commitment of the Council to small business and traders and the construction sector; the sporting achievements within the city and the forthcoming Rugby World Cup; the partnership working of the Exeter Health and Wellbeing Board; the energy saving measures implemented; and working with Teignbridge and East Devon District Councils for the development of the Greater Exeter Area. For next year’s budget, the Council had made another £1.4 million of savings to revenue costs by a combination of restructuring and efficiency savings. This had been achieved without a reduction in front line services although this would become more challenging over the next four years.
The Leader continued that the budget proposed aimed to deliver the necessary savings to protect and maintain as far as possible the services which the citizens of Exeter needed the most. The recommendation set out in the papers would result in the setting of a City Council tax of £135.05 for a Band D property, an increase of 1.99% over the previous year, equivalent to an additional £2.63 per year or 5p per week. This would still mean that Exeter City Council had the lowest District Council Tax in Devon.
During discussion the following points were raised:-
· the council would still need to look to work in a more efficient way to protect front line services during the difficult financial times ahead
· the continuing housing development in the city was welcomed as was the investment by the University and Met Office
· support for keeping Council Tax under the 2% Government Cap
· New Homes Bonus monies had been used to deliver local infrastructure projects and to support community groups.
A Member commented that the Council had not ... view the full minutes text for item 2.