Recommendations from Cabinet
To receive recommendations from the meeting of Cabinet held on 28th November 2019. Reports available online at: Cabinet Agenda 28th November 2019
Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2023/24
The Deputy Leader provided an overview of the proposed strategy for the period 2020/21 to 2023/24 in order to establish the context for the Council’s budget and medium term financial planning scenarios and assumptions. This had been done in the context of unprecedented levels of uncertainty. The impact on the Council from the future of business rates and the Fair Funding Review in the 2020/21 budget setting process had been delayed by Government’s parliamentary election and until the UK’s relationship with the European Union was resolved. The funding for the 2020/21 budget year had been prepared based on a ‘same as last year’ theory. However, with the existing political and therefore financial uncertainty being exceptionally high, the actual budget and MTFS that Council would set in February 2020 for 2020/21 could be subject to change.
i) the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2023/24 be approved, and;
ii) the projected budgets and potential actions as detailed in paragraph 3.53 and table 4 of the report be noted.
Wilder Horsham District
The Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture and said that Horsham District Council had already taken measures to protect and enhance the natural environment across the District and particularly on its own land. The report proposed to enhance this approach by establishing a unique partnership with the Sussex Wildlife Trust. The report sought approval to create the partnership and included a document which set out the actions that would be taken over the next five years. Outcomes from the programme would be regularly reviewed to ensure delivery, with associated adjustments to the budget. The Sussex Wildlife Trust were also contributing funding to the partnership. The report also proposed establishing two funding pots in 2020/21. One to provide implementation funding for Parish Councils and communities wishing to undertake projects that complement the partnership and one to plant trees on Council owned land to replace those that were felled due to disease and pests. These would require ongoing funding but would be regularly reviewed.
That the budget for 2020/21 include a green reserve of £571,000 for the costs of the Wilder Horsham District programme.
Horsham District Council’s Carbon Footprint
The Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste and Recycling reported that Horsham District Council was committed to tackling climate change and had a good track record on addressing environmental issues which it could build on. He provided an overview of the Council’s work to examine and reduce its own carbon footprint, as it moved toward a carbon neutral organisation. Once this footprint had been established, this would be followed up with a science based target and a practical and costed action plan as to how this could be achieved. The report and action plan would follow in early 2020. A seed funding pot of £40,000 per annum, commencing in the financial year 2020/21 financial year in order to support community groups and Parish Councils who wanted to implement projects that addressed climate change.
That, in the budget for 2020/21, £200k be transferred into a green reserve to create a seed funding pot for community groups for a five-year period.
CIL Governance Arrangements
The Cabinet Member for Planning & Development reported that Horsham District Council had introduced a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in order to allow funds to be raised from developers to pay for infrastructure that was needed to support growth. The Council adopted its Charging Schedule for CIL on 26 April 2017 and implementation of the levy had commenced on 1 October 2017. The Council had overarching responsibility for the allocation of CIL monies and reporting the amount of money collected and spent. It was needed to establish a clear CIL Governance Structure to oversee the collection, auditing and spending of CIL monies.
i) The arrangements set out in the report for the future governance of the receipts from the Community Infrastructure Levy be approved;
ii) A Joint Officer Working Group be established to prioritise infrastructure projects seeking funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy and provide recommendations to the Director of Place regarding which projects should receive such funding;
iii) An Infrastructure Projects Working Group (IPWG) to receive the recommendations of the Director of Place on prioritised schemes, which shall be funded from the Community Infrastructure Levy, be established;
iv) The prioritisation of and collection and monitoring of CIL spend be delegated to the Director of Place in consultation with the Director of Community Services and the Infrastructure Projects Working Group as charging authority on behalf of the Council;
v) The Planning Obligations Panel be dissolved and the prioritisation, collection and monitoring of any financial contributions arising from agreements made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 be delegated to the Director of Place in consultation with the Director of Community Services.
Approval of Business Cases for Horsham District Homes for Affordable Homes in Billingshurst and Slinfold
It was moved that, under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for this item of business, on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, by virtue of paragraph 3 regarding information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person, including the authority holding that information, and in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
i) The transfer of s106 funds to Horsham District Homes (Holdings) Ltd for the purchase of the two bedroomed house in Slinfold for a sum of no greater than £205,000 plus stamp duty and agents fees be approved;
ii) The transfer of s106 funds to Horsham District Homes (Holdings) Ltd for the purchase of three properties at Roman Way, Billingshurst for a sum of no greater than £675,600 be recommended to Council.