Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne
Contact: Amy Bryan Governance and Civic Manager
Apologies For Absence
Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Tricia Clough,
Tom Kirkham, Evonne Parkin and Graham Parkin.
Declarations of Interest
Members should declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and Non Statutory Interest as defined by the Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of:
a) any business on the agenda
b) any urgent additional items to be considered
c) any matters arising out of those items
and if appropriate, withdraw from the meeting at the relevant time.
Councillor Steve Fritchley declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 8 – Dragonfly Development Ltd – Full Business Case, and would leave the meeting at the relevant time.
To receive any announcements that the Chair of the Council may desire to lay before the meeting.
The Chair informed the meeting that he would bedonating £3,500 to Ashgate Hospice Care (the Chair’s chosen charity for 2022/23), and would be visiting the Hospice on 1st March 2023 to make an official presentation of the money. The Chair would also be donating £1,500 to the Freedom Community Project who worked across the whole District north to south.
To approve the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 7th December 2022.
Moved by Councillor Ray Heffer and seconded by Councillor Nick Clarke
RESOLVED that the Minutes of a Council meeting held on 7th December 2022 be approved as a correct record.
Members considered a detailed report in relation to the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for 2023/24 – 2026/27. The report had been considered by Executive at its meeting held on 30th January 2023.
In particular, financial projections were provided for;
· 2022/23 Current Budget Position – this was the current year budget, revised to take account of changes during the financial year that would end on 31st March 2023.
· 2023/24 Original Budget – this was the proposed budget for the next financial year on which the Council Tax would be based and would commence from 1st April 2023.
· 2023/24 Original Budget, this included proposed increases to rents and fees and charges for the next financial year for the Housing Revenue Account.
· 2024/25 to 2026/27 Financial Plan – In accordance with good practice the Council agrees its annual budgets within the context of a Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP). This included financial projections in respect of the next three financial years.
The Chair reminded Members that a recorded vote would need to be taken on the MTFP (budget setting) motion as per the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014.
Moved by Councillor Clive Moesby and seconded by Councillor Duncan McGregor
For the motion (26):
Councillors Derek Adams, Rose Bowler, Dexter Bullock, Anne Clarke, Nick Clarke,
Jim Clifton, David Dixon, Maxine Dixon, Mary Dooley, David Downes, Steve Fritchley, Donna Hales, Ray Heffer, Mark Hinman, Andrew Joesbury, Chris Kane,
Duncan McGregor, Clive Moesby, Tom Munro, Sandra Peake, Peter Roberts,
Liz Smyth, Janet Tait, Rita Turner, Deborah Watson and Jen Wilson.
Against the motion (2):
Councillors Allan Bailey and Tracey Cannon.
Councillor Natalie Hoy.
RESOLVED that (1) in the view of the Chief Financial Officer, the estimates included in the Medium Term Financial Plan 2023/24 to 2026/27 are robust and that the level of financial reserves whilst at minimum levels are adequate, be accepted,
(2) officers report back to Executive and to the Audit and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee on a quarterly basis regarding the overall position in respect of the Council’s budgets. These reports to include updates on achieving savings and efficiencies for 2023/24 and future years,
(3) a Council Tax increase of £5.72 is levied in respect of a notional Band D property (2.99%),
(4) the Medium Term Financial Plan in respect of the General Fund, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report, be approved as the Revised Budget 2022/23, as the Original Budget in respect of 2023/24, and the financial projection in respect of 2024/25 to 2026/27,
(5) that any further under spend in respect of 2022/23 is transferred to the Council’s General Fund Reserves,
(6) on the basis that income from Planning Fees may exceed £0.500m in 2022/23, the Head of Paid Service, in consultation with the Leader, be granted delegated powers to authorise such additional resources as are necessary to effectively manage the resultant increase in workload,
HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT
(7) that Council increases its rent levels by ... view the full minutes text for item CL81-22/23
Members considered a detailed report in relation to the Council’s Treasury Strategies 2023/24 – 2026/27.
The report outlined the Authority’s proposed suite of Treasury Strategies for the period 2023/24 to 2026/27 and contained;
· The Treasury Management Strategy, which provided the framework for managing the Authority’s cash flows, borrowing and investments for the period,
· The Capital Strategy, which was intended to provide a high level, concise overview of how capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contributed to the provision of the Authority’s services,
· The Corporate Investment Strategy, which focused on investments made for service purposes and commercial reasons, rather than those made for treasury management.
The above strategies provided an approved framework within which officers undertook the day to day capital and treasury activities.
Moved by Councillor Clive Moesby and seconded by Councillor Deborah Watson
RESOLVED that (1) the Treasury Management Strategy at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved, and in particular;
a) the Borrowing Strategy be approved,
b) the Treasury Management Investment Strategy be approved,
c) the use of the external treasury management advisors Counterparty Weekly List – or similar – to determine the latest assessment of the counterparties that meet the Authority’s Criteria before any investment is undertaken, be approved,
d) the Prudential Indicators be approved,
(2) the Capital Strategy as set out in Appendix 2 to the report, be approvedand in particular;
a) the Capital Financing Requirement be approved,
b) the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2023/24 be approved,
c) the Prudential Indicators for 2023/24 detailed in the Capital Strategy, be approved, in particular;
Authorised Borrowing Limit £139.500m
Operational Boundary £134.500m
Capital Financing Requirement £129.501m
(3) the Corporate Investment Strategy as set out in Appendix 3 to the report, be approved.
(Chief Financial Officer)
Members considered a detailed report which provided an update on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Members’ approval was also sought to suspend the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules regarding procurement relating to the UKSPF.
The UKSPF was a central pillar of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provided £2.6 billion of funding for local investments.
In order to access the UKSPF allocation, the Council had been required to submit an Investment Plan setting out measurable outcomes it was looking to deliver, and what interventions would be prioritised. The Council’s Investment Plan was approved on 12th January 2023, and funding was eligible over a three year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25, with payments being£258,349 (2022/23), £476,697 (2023/24) and £1,248,947 (2024/25).
A number of schemes had already been agreed and were outlined in the report. Some of the schemes would be delivered internally with many requiring an element of external procurement. Other schemes would be delivered by external organisations.
For the schemes which required the purchase of external supplies, the Council would need to undertake a procurement exercise. However, as the UKSPF had set conditions for procurement which did not align with the Council’s Contract Procedure rules, it was proposed that the Council suspend its procurement rules so that officers follow the UKSPF rules but only in relation to the UKSPF schemes. Any contracts that required a formal tender would still be undertaken with the support of the Council’s Procurement Team.
Moved by Councillor Tom Munro and seconded by Councillor Ray Heffer
RESOLVED that (1) it be noted that the Council’s UKSPF Investment Plan had been approved,
(2) the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules be suspended in relation to the UKSPF schemes only.
Members considered a detailed report which provided a full business case in relation to Dragonfly Development Ltd. Members’ approval was also sought for the recommendations in the report regarding the future arrangements for the operation of Dragonfly Development Ltd and also the Council.
Councillor McGregor stated that it was with pleasure that he stood in for the Leader on this particular report. He drew Members attention to the purpose and summary of the report which was to provide Council with the full business case in relation to Dragonfly Development Ltd for consideration, and to seek approval of the recommendations regarding the future arrangements for the operation of Dragonfly Development Ltd and the Council, outlined within the report.
On the update within the report on item 1.1, Members will be aware that Woodhead Construction Ltd, the Council’s joint venture partner from 2016, ceased trading on 14th September 2022. On 2nd November 2022, Council received an update regarding arrangements put into place to ensure the continuity and completion of the current and future construction projects and option for the future of Dragonfly Development Ltd, as a wholly owned company of the Council.
I also refer to 1.2 on the report, at the meeting on 2nd November, it was noted that an agreement had been reached with Woodhead Regeneration Ltd, and ratified at the Dragonfly Board for Dragonfly Development Ltd to be converted into a wholly owned company of Bolsover District Council – this process was completed on 4th October 2022.
On 1.6, the case is attached at appendix 1 of the report, which Members have got, as part of the preparatory work undertaken in the development of the business case. All Members were invited to attend a meeting with the independent consultant which took place on 13th December 2022.
1.7 of the report, in addition, all Members were invited to receive a full presentation of the final business case on 19th January 2023, and have been provided with the opportunity to discuss the content and ask questions regarding the options proposed.
Finally, on this particular point in the report on the business case. 2.1 you will note the business case for Dragonfly Development Ltd of which you will see on appendix 1, which I’ll speak to in a moment, provides a detailed analysis on the 5 key themes as follows – and you will see that on page 92 of the front cover of the report further on.
These cover the strategic case, the economic case, the commercial case, the financial case, the management case, and details of each of these cases, together with the analysis and the options to consider, are outlined on page 1 of the business case.
It is worth remembering where we started in 2019. We were engaged as a Council in a strategic alliance with North East Derbyshire District Council. Our workforce was spread over the two authorities. There was already a low morale and it was growing within the authorities. ... view the full minutes text for item CL84-22/23
Chairman's Closing Remarks
The Chair announced that the Council was yet again ahead of the curve and would be hosting a local nature recovery summit on Friday February 10th 2023, in the Council Chamber, at the Arc, from 10am to 3pm. A phenomenal response had been received for the summit including Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, local butterfly groups and other groups involved in flora and fauna, and also larger land owners. This would help drive the Council forward to a really good proactive local nature recovery plan.
Members were also reminded of a presentation which would take place at the conclusion of this meeting in relation to the proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.