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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:  democraticservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

1.

Announcements

Minutes:

1.1            The Chair advised that the meeting was being held under the emergency provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and, specifically, The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.  The meeting was being broadcast live via the internet, it was not being recorded by the Council but, under the usual transparency rules, it may be being recorded by others. 

1.2            The Committee was advised that the Chair had used his discretion to alter the order of the Agenda so that Agenda Item 7 – COVID-19 Financial Impact Analysis – would be taken before Agenda Item 6 – COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

2.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

2.1            Apologies for absence were received from Councillor R J Stanley. Councillor M L Jordan would be acting as a substitute for the meeting.   

3.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

3.1            The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

3.2            There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020.

Minutes:

4.1            The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record.

5.

Items from Members of the Public

To receive any questions, deputations or petitions submitted under Rule of Procedure 12.

 

(The deadline for public participation submissions for this meeting is 4 June 2020)

Minutes:

5.1            There were no items from members of the public.  

6.

COVID-19 Financial Impact Analysis pdf icon PDF 198 KB

To receive an update on the significant financial impact of Coronavirus and to earmark monies to support the financial needs of the Council in the current year and future years.

Subject To Call In:: 1. No - Item to note. 2. & 3. Yes - No action be taken prior to the expiry of the call-in period.

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.       That the current financial impact estimate be NOTED and the financial challenge faced by the Council as a result of COVID-19 be acknowledged.

2.       That the setting aside of the Business Rates Collection Fund Surplus, to support the financial needs of the Council arising from COVID-19, be APPROVED.

3.       That the principle of revising base estimates for the second half of the current year be APPROVED

Minutes:

6.1            The report of the Head of Finance and Asset Management, circulated at Pages No. 16-24, updated Members on the significant financial impact of Coronavirus and asked the Committee to earmark monies to support the financial needs of the Council in the current year and in future years. Members were asked to note the current financial impact estimate and acknowledge the financial challenge faced by the Council as a result of COVID-19; to approve the setting aside of the business rates collection fund surplus to support the financial needs of the Council arising from COVID-19; and to approve the principle of revising base estimates for the second half of the current year.

6.2            The Head of Finance and Asset Management explained that, from early April the Finance team had been monitoring the potential impacts of COVID-19 and the estimates in the report from mid-May were in line with the forecast made to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Appendix A to the report set out the detailed forecast and highlighted a central estimated cost of just under £2.8 million. The report also set out the low and high positions which were 50% and 150% of the central case. The £2.8million had been offset by the support already provided by the government which left £1.8million to be financed by the Council. £3.5million was set to be released from the business rates provision which provided some funding to help cover the cost of COVID-19 in the current year and going forward. This meant the Council was in a good position to meet the deficits faced and unlikely to need to issue a Section 114 Notice this year; however, it would need a pragmatic approach to its spending plans given the financial uncertainties faced in all funding streams. The Council would need to pay a levy before it could get the benefit of the release of provisions and there was likely to be a need to reduce some year-end reserves because of that.

6.3            In response to a query regarding the recovery period, the Head of Finance and Asset Management advised that the figures had been based on a three-month lockdown and then a varying recovery period – the higher level of impact allowed for a second spike in the pandemic. He felt it was unlikely there would be another funding round in the near future as the government was taking stock of financial returns from all authorities and would probably wait until the end of the summer to assess the actual impact of COVID-19. This week he had spoken to colleagues in the south west and they were putting their case to the government as a region, rather than individually, which it was hoped would mean the government would better understand the financial challenges and look to compensate in future years as well as in the current year.

6.4            In response to a Member’s query in relation to the Council’s business rates provision, the Head of Finance and Asset Management  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

Action By: DCE

7.

COVID-19 Recovery Plan pdf icon PDF 400 KB

To consider the principles and a framework for the development of a Tewkesbury Borough Council COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

Subject To Call In:: 1. Yes - No action to be taken prior to the expiry of the call-in period. 2. No - Ongoing matter.

Decision:

1.     That the allocation of £500,000 from the Business Rates Collection Fund Surplus, to support the Tewkesbury Borough Recovery Plan, be APPROVED.

2.     That Officers prepare a detailed recovery plan based on the principles and framework set out in the report for subsequent adoption. 

Minutes:

7.1            The report of the Deputy Chief Executive, circulated at Pages No. 9-15, set out the principles and a framework for the development of the Tewkesbury Borough Council’s COVID-19 recovery plan. Members were asked to approve the allocation of £500,000 from the business rates collection fund surplus to support the recovery plan; and to agree that Officers prepare a detailed recovery plan based on the principles and framework set out in the report and the subsequent adoption of the plan.

7.2            The Deputy Chief Executive explained that COVID-19 had presented local authorities, businesses and the community at large with challenges that had not been experienced in recent times. Across Gloucestershire, there had been a collective effort by all partners to protect, shield and support communities, distribute grant funding to businesses and revise the ways they worked, in order to manage the crisis collectively.It was now important that Tewkesbury Borough Council started to look to the future and, in particular, the rebuilding and recovery phases that would mean it could look to help businesses, communities and the economy at large to bounce back with even stronger resolve and resilience.

7.3            The Deputy Chief Executive explained that recovering from COVID-19 would take a long time which was why it was important that the recovery mechanisms adopted were deliverable, financially viable and, importantly, could be sustained. The report set out a suggestion of close alignment between the recovery plan and the 2020–24 Council Plan. The Council Plan set out the Council’s priorities across a broad spectrum of initiatives, including strategic growth, economic development, community development and a sustainable environment and the suggested alignment would ensure the key actions set out in the recovery plan were recognised as being of strategic importance and would allow monitoring of progress through the Council’s performance tracker programme. In addition, it would enable the Council to use many of its existing governance arrangements e.g. Executive Committee, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Transform Working Group and Council to oversee and manage its response to COVID-19. Locally, the Council’s recovery plan would need to reflect the national approach of setting out the short, medium and long term support needed to address the challenges associated with COVID-19 and it was suggested that this could be done by considering the need to refocus, recover and rebuild communities, businesses and the voluntary sector.

7.4            Members were advised that refocusing wouldreflect the short-term analysis of the implications of COVID-19; the Council would work closely with partners to understand how and what resources may be needed to refocus and where opportunities to collaborate on emerging recovery plans could help gain a better understanding of what recovery looked like. Recovery wouldreflect the medium term, primarily focussing on the creation of a recovery plan that set out the strategy and actions that would support businesses, communities and voluntary groups, allowing them to survive, stabilise and adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. Rebuildingreflected the longer-term measures required to allow businesses, communities and voluntary groups to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

Action By: DCE

8.

Separate Business

The Chairman will move the adoption of the following resolution:

That under Section 100(A)(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

8.1            The Chair proposed, and it was

RESOLVED          That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act                         1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following                            items on the grounds that they involve the likely discussion of                                 exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the                              Act. 

9.

Development Services Review

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

 

To receive an update on proposed revisions to the structure of the Development Management Section of Development Services and to approve consequential changes to the establishment which was approved in April 2018 together with variations to the Agreements entered into with Gloucester City Council.

Minutes:

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

9.1            The Committee received an update on proposed revisions to the structure of the Development Management section of Development Services and approved consequential changes to the establishment, which had been approved in April 2018, together with variations to the Agreements entered into with Gloucester City Council.