Agenda item

Budget preparations 2021/22


J Deane gave an in-depth presentation to provide Members with an overview of the draft budget proposal for 2021/2022 and provide the opportunity for committees to scrutinise and provide feedback to Cabinet.


F Jump gave a brief introduction to Members asking for feedback on the budget preparations for next year. She was happy to take questions on the report.


Cllr England asked for the officers to prepare a report for the next Committee on the borrowing options to build council housing, given what we have just heard about the Public Works Loan Board from James Deane?

Cllr England will email the Chair and officers following the meeting with details but did not want to miss the opportunity expressed this evening.”


Action: Cllr England




F Jump said that they plan to refresh this next year and will happily bring it to the committee after.

Action: F Jump


Cllr Freedman enquired as to the top line 2021 figures; in particular the lack of significant difference with the current year budgets. He stated an expectation to see an increase in many areas relating to slippage of works into the future year due to pandemic and other delays.


F Williamson explained that there had been some slippage, due to some elements of work not being delivered moving from this year to next. The total amount of slippage has not been allocated into next year’s budget, as this had been profiled over the next few years to smooth the business plan and allow for investment in areas in preparation for the Building Safety Bill.

Cllr Freedman said that he has over simplified it and that he needed to look at the bigger picture over three years, then he should see a difference.


Cllr Johnson, said seeing the comprehensive spending last week, £254 million to support rough sleepers that was at risk of homelessness will be going to authorities. He asked, Do we have any idea what this money could be used for or what will the Borough be receiving?


N Beresford said that they met with MHCLG last week in relation to the grant funding. Through the ‘everyone in ask’ the COVID response was to bring all rough sleepers in off the streets. The council were allocated 7.5 million pounds; to date we have spent 80 thousand pounds.

We do not have an indication of what we will receive for flexible homeless support grant or homeless support grant but we hope it will be reflective of what we have previously received.

They usually receive an update around October/November but the update they have had is it is currently with treasury. They hope to receive an update soon.


N Beresford said that 18 thousand pound has been allocated to them from County to enable them to support households through the COVID response.

However, she suspects that the funding they do receive will not cover their costs.


Cllr Johnson thanked N Beresford for the comprehensive response.


Cllr England asked if he was right in thinking that, there were some monies to come from central government and asked if it will enable them not to lose the homelessness officer.


N Beresford said that they need to have a conversation with finance as the service is under increasing pressure. Proposals have been submitted for growth items for several posts to alleviate grant funding. The preferences is to continue funding those posts by grant funding allocation, however they would like to have a discussion on freeing up grants to enable them to deliver homelessness prevention initiatives and deal with the increased demand.

This will be discussed further with Members at the Member Development briefing on Thursday.

There has been an increase in figures, which are not likely to decrease any time soon as the pressures have not yet hit, they expect an increase in the New Year after the latest furlough scheme/redundancies. If we cannot access growth funding for the reserves for those posts then we will have to provide these posts via the grant, which means there is less grant for them to provide prevention initiative for the homelessness.


Cllr England referred back to Climate Change, he noticed that there is provision change for the climate officer for 3 years, is there a misunderstanding, as the problem will last more than 3 years.


M Gaynor said that strictly speaking, it is not the purpose of this OSC as such, the climate change officer is permanent and it is the inclusion officer, which is fix term.


Cllr England asked if the papers could be checked and clarified.

Action: M Gaynor/F Jump



Cllr Adeleke referred to page 31, appendix G, Budget relocation of 210k to technical support. He asked what was our justification of taking it out of the budget and transferring it as with COVID we have reduced the maintenance scheduled why so much money? Can someone explain the role of technical support and place?


F Jump said she believes it reflects the work that is required for future years.



F Williamson said that this relates to the increased requirements that will need to be resourced. There are two posts, the buildings safety manager, to address the requirements of the Building safety bill and the pre void surveyor, in order to stream line the voids process and reduce the key to key time and to ensure that they are picking up all compliance areas whilst undertaking the voids work.


She added, there will be a new officer brought in to undertake pre void assessments prior to the works being done by the contractor. They have also managed to get some efficiency gains from Osborne in terms of their overall site management costs, because of the reduced work volumes this year.

It’s more of a re-alignment of the services to re address the areas of pressure.



Cllr Adeleke said, what you are saying is repair and maintenance is firmly under control?


F Williamson said there are still some ongoing issues with repairs and voids due to the backlog that built up during the first lockdown and some of the restrictions. i.e. the rules of social distancing allowing less workers to occupy a property, do increase the time for works on site. There has been an increase from last month’s figures in the number of non-urgent repairs completed in target and are projecting these will be back in target in November



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