The Mayor set out the procedure to be adopted in determining the Council Tax for 2019-20 and the Recommendations of the Executive. The Mayor would take the report on Council Tax first, together with the recommendations of the Executive on 7 February 2019 relating to the General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators, Housing Revenue Account Budgets, the Investment Programme and the Capital, Investment and Treasury Management Strategies.
The remaining recommendations from the meeting of the Executive on 7 February 2019 would be considered once the Council Tax for 2019-20 had been determined. A procedure note had been prepared which clearly set out all the recommendations before the Council.
Councillor D J Bittleston moved and Councillor A Azad seconded the reception and adoption of the report and recommendations of the meeting of the Executive held on 7 February 2019.
EXECUTIVE – 7 FEBRUARY 2019
GENERAL FUND, SERVICES PLANS, BUDGETS AND PRUDENTIAL INDICATORS 2019-20, HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT BUDGETS 2019-20, INVESTMENT PROGRAMME 2018-19 TO 2022-23, CAPITAL, INVESTMENT AND TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES AND COUNCIL TAX 2019-20
The Council had before it the recommendations of the Executive for the General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2019-20, Housing Revenue Account Budgets 2019-20, Investment Programme 2018-19 to 2022-23, and Capital, Investment and Treasury Management Strategies. A report on the 2019-20 Council Tax was also before the Council.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor D J Bittleston, made a statement on the Budget for 2019-20. Councillor A-M Barker, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor M I Raja, Leader of the Labour Group, and Councillor J Bond, Leader of the Independent Group, were invited to respond to the budget statement.
Councillor Hughes moved and Councillor Barker seconded a proposal to amend recommendation (iii) of the General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2019/20 by deleting the words “and the exemption available for unfurnished vacant properties be reduced to 7 days”. The Portfolio Holder raised no objections to the amendment and on being put to the Council it was agreed nem con to amend (iii) to read “a long-term empty premium of 100% be added to the Council Tax payable for properties empty and substantially unfurnished for 2 years or more”.
The Council now had before it the recommendations of the Executive and the proposals for the Council Tax levels in 2019/20. In accordance with Standing Order 10.8, the names of Members voting for and against the recommendations were recorded.
In favour: Councillors H Addison, M Ali, S Ashall, A Azad, A-M Barker, D Bittleston, J Bond, A Boote, M Bridgeman, G Chrystie, G Cundy, K Davis, I Eastwood, D Harlow, K Howard, D Hughes, Mrs B Hunwicks, S Hussain, C Kemp, L Lyons, N Martin, R Mohammed, L Morales, M I Raja, C Rana and M Whitehand.
Total in favour – 26
Present not voting: None
The recommendations, as amended, were therefore carried by 26 votes in favour to 0 votes against.
GENERAL FUND, SERVICE PLANS, BUDGETS AND PRUDENTIAL INDICATORS 2019-20
That (i) the Revenue Estimates and Human Resource requirements for 2019/20 be approved;
(ii) a Band D Council Tax for the Borough of Woking for 2019/20 of £240.46 be approved;
(iii) a long-term empty premium of 100% be added to the Council Tax payable for properties empty and substantially unfurnished for 2 years or more;
(iv) the Prudential Indicators at Appendix 3 to the report be approved, subject to any changes arising from consideration of the Investment Programme, revenue budgets and Final Government Settlement;
(v) the Surrey County Council element of the land charges fee be set at £38 plus VAT for Con29R and £19.20 plus VAT for Con29O from 1 April 2019;
(vi) the Finance Director, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder, submit responses to the ‘Business Rates Retention Reform’ and ‘Review of; Local Authorities’ Relative Needs and Resources’ funding consultations;
(vii) the Service Plans for 2019/20 at Appendix 4 to the report be approved; and
(viii) the Food Safety Plan and Health and Safety Plan at Appendix 4a and 4b to the report be approved.
HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT BUDGETS 2019-20
That (i) the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2019/20 as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be approved; and
(ii) with effect from 1 April 2019, rents be increased by 3.4% for Shared Ownership properties and be reduced by 1% for all other tenancies.
INVESTMENT PROGRAMME 2018-19 TO 2022-2023
That (i) the Investment Programme 2018/19 to 2022/23 be approved subject to reports on projects where appropriate;
(ii) the proposed financing arrangements be approved; and
(iii) capital and revenue grants for Brookwood Cemetery for 2019/20 and 2020/21 be approved.
CAPITAL, INVESTMENT AND TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
That (ii) the Capital and Investment Strategies for 2019/20 be approved;
(iii) from 2018/19 the funding of Thameswey Housing Ltd to be amended from the existing combination of loan and shares with an equivalent margin of 1.5% to loan only at 1.5% margin over the Council’s borrowing costs; and
(iii) the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators set out in table 1 of Section 4 of the Treasury Management Strategy and the MRP policy set out in Appendix A be approved, subject to any changes arising from consideration of the Investment Programme, revenue budgets and Revenue Support Grant Settlement.
COUNCIL TAX 2019-20
That (i) the revenue estimates for 2019/20, as submitted, be approved;
(ii) it be noted that the Chief Financial Officer, in accordance with the terms of his delegated authority, has calculated the following amount for the year 2019/20 in accordance with regulations made under Section 31B (3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended (the Act) as:-
a) 41,323 being the amount calculated by the Council, in accordance with regulation 3 of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992, as its Council Tax base for the year;
(iii) the Council calculates that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2019/20 is £9,936,686;
(iv) the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2019/20 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:-
a) £150,037,666 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (2) of the Act;
b) £140,100,980 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (3) of the Act;
c) £9,936,686 being the amount by which the aggregate at 4 a) above exceeds the aggregate at 4 b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its council tax requirement for the year;
d) £240.46 being the amount at 4 c) above divided by the amount at 2 a) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with section 31 B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year;
(v) it be noted for the year 2019/20 Surrey County Council and Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner have issued precepts to the Council, in accordance with Section 40 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, for each of the categories of dwellings in the Council’s area as shown in the table below.
(vi) the Council, in accordance with Section 30 and 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, hereby sets the aggregate amounts shown in the table below as the amounts of council tax for the year 2019/20 for its area and for each of the categories of dwellings :-
(vii) the Council’s basic amount of Council Tax for 2019/20 is not excessive in accordance with the principles approved under Section 52 ZB of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended.