Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual Meeting, Extraordinary Meeting of the Council - Tuesday 23rd February 2021 6.00 pm

Contact: Howard Bassett, Democratic Services Officer  Telephone 01392 265107 or email  committee.services@exeter.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Fire in Clayton Road

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor expressed his great sadness over the devastating fire in Exeter in the early hours of Sunday morning. On behalf of everyone at Exeter City Council he expressed condolences to the family and friends of those who had died. Whilst grieving, he commended all aspects of the community who were coming together to offer what help they could. He thanked the emergency services for their prompt response arriving within minutes and doing everything they could to save lives. He paid tribute to everyone involved, from the fire and rescue, police and ambulance services, to the staff at the RD&E and Frenchay Hospital in Bristol. The Lord Mayor stated that flags were flying at half-mast out of respect.

 

The Council observed a minutes’ silence to reflect on those lives lost and those children still in a critical condition. The Lord Mayor highlighted that the city stood with all those affected.

 

 

 

 

2.

Public Questions

Details of questions should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support at least three working days prior to the meeting - by 10am on Thursday 18 February 2021. Further information and a copy of the procedure are available from Democratic Services (Committees) (Tel: 01392 265115) with details about speaking at Council to be found here: Public Speaking at Meetings.

 

Minutes:

Question from Peter Cleasby

 

What was the purpose of the consultancy commissioned from Respublica for which the Council paid £33,000 on 26 November 2020; and what benefit has the public secured from it?

Response

 

Towns and cities across the country have been economically-devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and they will face further pressures moving forward.  As the Exeter Recovery Plan has already set out, this will require significant Government support and investment.

 

As the Government turns its attention to recovery from Covid-19, ambitions for devolution, regional levelling-up and for extending new freedoms and responsibilities to the local state will come to the fore.

 

Respublica is one of the country’s most successful public policy think tanks. We have commissioned them to provide insight and advice on the current and future political landscape and to assess how Exeter can excel as a place, in its role as a leader and economic driver within the sub-region. This includes looking at the future opportunities for wider growth and connection with other localities. This piece of work will be instrumental in identifying the city’s asks and position as it responds to the challenges of Covid-19 and the regional levelling-up agenda and secures essential investment.

 

The project has just got underway but, in terms of public benefit, it is critical that, in a post-Covid world, the importance of Exeter to the sub-region, as an economic and cultural centre with significant assets is recognised and optimised. This is vital for the city’s ambitions for net zero, future skills generation, innovation, productivity growth, housing, the city centre and the health and wellbeing of all of Exeter’s communities.

 

Mr Cleasby asked a Supplementary question.

 

Was there no Devon or Exeter firm suitable for the task?

 

Response

 

The Leader advised that he was not aware of any suitable firm locally.

 

 

3.

Budget 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 9 MB

To pass the following resolution:-

 

RESOLVED:-

 

(1)        That the following, as submitted in the Estimates Book, be approved:-

 

            (a)        the Revenue estimates for 2021-2022;

 

            (b)        the Capital programme for 2021-2022;

 

            (c)        the Treasury Management Strategy for 2021-22

 

(d)        the Prudential indicators for 2021-22 (incorporating the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement

 

            (e)        the Capital Strategy for 2021-22

 

(2)        that it be noted that, at the meeting of the Executive on the 12 January 2021, the Council calculated the figure of 37,377, as its council tax base for the year 2021-2022 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 2021-2022 in accordance with Sections 31A of the Local Government and Finance Act 1992:-

 

(a)        £113,844,595 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)        £107,675,521 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)        £6,169,074 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)        £165.05 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

                                                                                               

A

B

C

D

£110.03

£128.37

£146.71

£165.05

 

 

 

 

E

F

G

H

£201.73

£238.41

£275.08

£330.10

 

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 2021-2022, 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

             

 

A

B

C

D

£xxx.xx

£xxx.xx

£x,xxx.xx

£x,xxx.xx

 

 

 

 

E

F

G

H

£x,xxx.xx

£x,xxx.xx

£x,xxx.xx

£x,xxx.xx

 

            Devon County Council - Adult Social Care

 

A

B

C

D

£xxx.xx

£xxx.xx

£x,xxx.xx

£x,xxx.xx

 

 

 

 

E

F

G

H

£x,xxx.xx

£x,xxx.xx

£  ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Minute 6 (2021/22 Budget Strategy and Medium Term Financial Plan) of the meeting of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 21 January 2021 and Minute 6 (General Fund/HRA Estimates and Capital Programme 2021/22) of the meeting of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 11 February 2021 were taken as read and noted.

 

Minute 8 (Council Tax Base and NNDR 1 2021/22) of the meeting of Executive held on 12 January 2021 was taken as read and adopted. 

 

The Leader moved, and Councillor Sutton seconded, the resolution as set out in the agenda and circulated papers in respect of the Council Tax for 2021/22.

 

The Leader, in presenting his budget speech, detailed the following:-

 

·         in the face of the Pandemic, an Emergency Budget had been set in July 2020 to balance the books in the current financial year highlighting the need to make a substantial reduction of £1.7 million in spending in the current financial year and to make further budget savings of £5.8 million over the next few years. Income losses and additional expenditure incurred during the Pandemic were estimated to total £11.19 million. The Pandemic has had a major impact on finances and financial discipline was essential to face the challenges;

·         the Council, with all major organisations and employers in the city, had worked on a city-wide Recovery Plan with a range of recovery groups set up to address the impact of Covid-19 on the city;

·         the Liveable Exeter Place Board was instrumental in supporting and coordinating the city’s response to the Pandemic and the Building Exeter Back Better Recovery Plan would support recovery for the whole city. These were crucial in helping realise wider social, economic and environmental ambitions and the Council’s commitment to delivering a Net Zero Carbon city by 2030;

·         residents, communities and organisations across Exeter had come together throughout the restrictions and lockdowns to look after and support each other. The Council’s Customer Support Team had set up a virtual contact centre overnight. In addition to the 60,000 calls for existing services taken since the first lockdown, Exeter Community Wellbeing had received more than 4,000 calls and 1,500 online requests for support. The team also administers the Covid-19 Community Wellbeing fund and had helped almost 400 residents with grants totaling over £75,000, to assist with Covid-related financial hardship;

·         since September 2020, the Council has run the Test and Trace Support Payments scheme on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care with flat rate grants of £500 paid to low income working residents who lose income as a result of isolating and £77,000 had been paid out to date with the scheme extended to the end of March 2021;

·         the Council was currently implementing nine differentBusiness Grant Schemes - seven mandatory and two discretionary - as a lifeline for businesses and more than 4,000 awards totalling in excess of £34 million had been made. Another £5 million would be paid out in discretionary grants and a further £1 million used to support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.