Agenda and minutes

Budget, Policy and Finance - Tuesday, 16th February, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: ZOOM

Contact: Olwen Heap 01200 414408  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence from the meeting were received from Councillor J Hill.


Declarations of pecuniary and non pecuniary interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in the agenda.


There were no declarations of pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest.




Public participation


There was no public participation.


Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Report of Director of Resources for information.


The Director of Resources submitted a report for committee’s information providing details of the Spending Review and the Local Government provisional finance settlement for 2021/22. The Local Government Finance Settlement is the annual determination of funding to Local Government and is approved by the House of Commons.


The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, issued a written Ministerial Statement to the House of Commons which set out the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2021/22. The consultation period ended 16 January 2021 and it was expected the final settlement would be laid before the House of Commons in February.


The Spending Review announced on 25 November 2020 was for one year only, and provided a potential increase of 4.5% in council core spending power to support local services, specifically enabling social care authorities to increase their council tax bills by up to 5%.


The Government had stated it would provide over £3 billion in additional support to help local authorities with Covid-19 pressures.


The implementation of the Fair Funding Review had been delayed with no indication of when it would be revisited.


With regard to the rural services delivery grant the Government had announced that they would continue with and increase the level by £4m to £85m. For Ribble Valley this would mean we will receive £113,250.


The Director of Resources informed committee of the new £111m ‘lower tier services’ grant. Ribble Valley would receive £57,680.


She also reported that the Government would maintain the existing New Homes Bonus Scheme for a further year with no new legacy payments. Reforms would be consulted upon with a view to implementation in 2022/23. This would mean our in-year allocation for 2021/22 would increase from £490k to £637k. Our total provisional allocation for next year is £1.516m compared with £1.771m in 2020/21.


The Government was undertaking a fundamental review of the business rate system with a final report expected in Spring 2021. Local authorities would be compensated for the Government’s decision to freeze the business rate multiplier in 2021/22. The Government was also considering options for further Covid-19 related support through business rate reliefs, and had also decided not to proceed with a reset of business rates baselines in 2021/22 but maintain the existing 100% business rates pilots for a further year.


Ribble Valley BC remained a member of the Lancashire Business Rate pool where members benefit form retaining levies on growth above their baseline, and as Lead Authority also received £20k to act as a channel for payments.


With regard to council tax, the Director of Resources informed committee that the Government had decided upon several referendum principles which included Shire District Councils in two tier areas being allowed increases of up to 2% or £5 whichever was higher; this would not apply to parish or town councils.


Overall Revised Capital Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 573 KB

Report of Director of Resources enclosed


The Director of Resources submitted a report informing committee of the overall revised Capital Programme for 2020/21.


The original programme had been approved by Council in March 2020 and regular reports had been presented to all committees on progress with the schemes. There had been a number of further approvals and adjustments made during the year resulting in the total approved Capital Programme for 2020/21 of £3,527,940 over 30 schemes. The revised estimate for each of these schemes had been determined following discussion with budget holders regarding their progress and estimated full year expenditure.


The revised Capital Programme now showed at £1,925,000 for 27 schemes which was a reduction of £1,602,940 from the previously approved capital programme and a reduction of 3 schemes. The main reasons for the budget changes were outlined in the report.


The report went on to outline how the capital programme had been financed with a summary of the movement on the capital earmarked reserve.


The Council relies heavily on the use of its earmarked reserves to fund the capital programme. In 2020/21 the estimated use of earmarked reserves would be £777,730. The balance of the funding comes from grants and contributions of £1,128,910 and borrowing of £8,260 and usable capital receipts of £10,100.


At the end of December2020 £1,201,218 had been spent or committed on capital programme schemes. This equated to 62.4% of the full year proposed revised capital programme budget. 11 of the 27 schemes had been completed; 14 were in progress and 2 were on-going demand-led Housing capital grant schemes. Progress on these schemes with variances were outlined in the report.




Approved the overall revised capital programme for 2020/21.


Four year Capital Programme 2021/22 to 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 423 KB

Report of Director of Resources enclosed.


The Director of Resources submitted a report with details of the previously approved Capital programme schemes for 2021/22 to 2024/25 asking for member consideration of a number of adjustments.


This year there were no new additional bids and the capital programme would go forward to Council on 2 March 2021 as a four-year capital programme.


Heads of Service had reviewed and updated the four-year capital programme, and each committee had considered and approved it for their own committee.


The adjustments and suggested movements of schemes to a different financial year were highlighted in the report.


The final four-year capital programme was summarised for committee to consider.


Committee Expenditure






Community Services Committee






Economic Development Committee






Health and Housing Committee






Planning and Development Committee






Policy and Finance Committee



















Disabled Facility Grants






VAT Shelter Earmarked Reserve






Capital Earmarked Reserve






New Homes Bonus Earmarked Reserve






External Funding towards Castle Keep Repointing






External Funding for Mardale Playing Field Changing Rooms






ICT Renewals Earmarked Reserve






Vehicle Renewals Earmarked Reserve






Fleming VAT Earmarked Reserve






Refuse (Wheeled Bins) Earmarked Reserve






Business Rates Growth Earmarked Reserve






Rural Services Delivery Grant Earmarked Reserve






Usable Capital Receipts



















Committee considered the proposed Capital programme as outlined taking into account the proposed financing of the programme and the impacts of the proposals on the capital reserve.




Recommend to Council the Capital Programme for 2021/22 to 2024/25 as set out in the report.




Overall Revenue Budget 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of Director of Resources enclosed.


The Director of Resources submitted a report asking committee to approve the revised Revenue Budget for 2020/21 and to recommend a Revenue Budget and Council Tax Requirement for 2021/22 to Council on 2 March 2021.


She gave a brief overview of the current year’s revised budget for 2020/21 highlighting the main reasons for net expenditure having increased by £44k.


The impact of Covid-19 had been considerable and to date £803,272 of unringfenced emergency funding had been received from the Government as well as £……... The Director of Resources informed committee how this funding had been allocated over the Covid expenditure pressures. They had also launched an income support scheme to recognise the impact the pandemic has had on income from sales, fees and charges and introduced a co-payment scheme to compensate councils for relevant unforeseen losses that are irrecoverable. The Spending Review had confirmed that the Government would also compensate local authorities for 75% of irrecoverable losses in council tax and business rate income in respect of 2020/21.


The Chief Executive informed committee that impacts of additional work due to Covid-19 had mainly been covered by existing staff including the running of a lateral flow testing site in the council chamber.


A significant element of our income was business rate growth and the Director of Resources outlined the latest estimate of Ribble Valley’s share of business rate income for the current year.


When setting the original budget it had been agreed to use £875,514 to fund the revenue budget and £60,880 to fund the capital programme. Based on the latest position we expect to receive £2.092m, use £100,200 to fund the capital programme, use £875,514 to fund the base revenue budget and use £32,220 of further revenue in year expenditure approved by the Emergency committee; therefore the revised difference of £1,083,776 would be added to the business rate growth reserve.


She informed committee that there were further in year complications due to the late announcement in March 2020 of 100% retail discount and the issuing of new regulations in December to enable the repayment of collection fund deficits arisng in 2020/21 to be spread over the next three years rather than the usual period of a year.


The forecast transfers to and from earmarked reserves compared with the original estimate were highlighted, in particular the addition of £2.999m largely due to timing differences in receipt of section 31 grants paid to us from the Government for 100% business rate retail discount that would need to be carried forward to offset the deficit to be faced next year.


The overall position showed that instead of taking £142k from general fund balances at the end of the year, based on revised estimates it would be £186k from balances.


Looking forward to 2020/21, the Director of Resources briefly highlighted the key elements of the provisional grant settlement for 2020/21; rural services delivery grant; lower tier services grant; future years government funding and the reforms due to come on Fair Funding Review, Business Rate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 996.


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