Councillor Peter Chowney,
Leader of the Council and Finance and Property Portfolio Holder
presented the Draft Budget and Corporate Plan, to inform panel
members about the draft documentation and get their feedback as
part of the consultation process.
The Leader explained that this
year had been a difficult year for the council. The council have
identified savings of £1.9m but still have a deficit of
The Leader ensured that the
future deficit will get smaller because of the savings we are
The Leader discussed the
reserves, and how using these reserves doesn’t address the
problem long term. After next year there aren’t many usable
reserves because we find it necessary to keep the reserves above
£6m, in case of exceptional circumstances with our statutory
The Leader discussed some of
the additional costs which have put strain on the budget this year.
The reduction of income from local land
Redundancy and pension strain costs as a result of
The Cliff Railway income has been lost due to
ongoing maintenance, but this income will come back.
Homelessness Temporary Accommodation Costs are the
major issue. £2m was spent this year.
In reference to the increased
spend on Temporary Accommodation, the Leader explained that the
number of people hasn’t increased much but the length of time
that people are having to stay in Temporary Accommodation has
increased substantially. This is because of a struggle to find
suitable accommodation that they can afford. To alleviate this
council are looking at buying housing across Hastings. Should the
crisis diminish, the housing can be sold or used as permanent
The Leader then went on to
discuss the upcoming financial year and referred to the various
factors that will be significant dents in the budget. Some of the
challenges in the upcoming year will be cuts in grants, volatility
in income and expenditure and increased pressure on council
services. In regards to income generation, the main sources in the
upcoming year will be fees and charges and commercial property
The Leader also discussed the
main examples of how the council plan on reducing spending. The
main points that are proposed in the budget that the leader
The senior management restructure
Land sales, and investing the money in property
Continued reduction of revenues and benefits staff
due to the introduction of Universal Credit.
Reduction in funding for the White Rock
Ending the monitoring of the Hastings Borough
Council CCTV system. The CCTV is proposed to just be monitored by
Sussex Police in the future.
Many more can be found in Appendix K2 of the
The Leader then went on to
discuss the capital programme and the opportunities to progress
The Leader summarised his
presentation by stating that he knows this year has been difficult
for Hastings Borough Council. The council had hoped the savings
this year would help us more than it has. Hopefully these savings
will bring us to stability. A lot ...
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