Agenda and minutes
Venue: This meeting will be held digitally. The meeting can be viewed from the link posted to https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my-council/cm/
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Items No. Item
Apologies for Absence
Declarations of Interest
Personal- Is an ESCC councillor. ESCC currently help administer the councils pension scheme
RESOLVED- (Unanimously) that the minutes of the meeting held on the 9 December 2020 be approved.
Information about the consultation on the draft Budget and Corporate Plan update can be found here;
- CP Draft_Key_activities_update_110121 , item 68. PDF 170 KB
- Draft Budget and Corporate Plan Update 2021-22 , item 68. PDF 271 KB
The Managing Director was unable to attend the meeting but had recorded a video prior to the meeting. Apologies for absence were conveyed along with looking forward to receiving the committee comments on the draft corporate plan refreshed key activities and the draft budget.
The Managing Director would have liked to have seen the draft budget papers presented in a more accessible manner as requested last year. This has not been possible this year due to the pressures of COVID-19. It remains an aspiration for next year’s budget.
This has been an unusual year for the council and all processes of the council have been affected by this including the development of the draft corporate plan updates and the draft budget. The Managing Director drew attention to the hard work of all officers and particularly the Assistant Director, Finance and Revenues, and their team. They have had to administer the COVID-19 grants which has required a massive amount of officer time and hard work. Officers have been working long hours in order to get the money into the community. There are concerns about the workload and the on-going expectation being placed on these teams.
The Finance and Accountancy team have been concurrently working with the External Auditors who are undertaking the audit of last year’s final accounts. This process has experienced delays due to COVID-19 impact. They are also monitoring, assessing and supplying the detailed weekly/monthly returns to government to provide evidence of our financial situation and to support our compensation claims for lost income. The Managing Director is grateful for the Assistant Director, Finance and Revenues and their team’s commitment and dedication.
The Chair thanked the Managing Directors contributions to the meeting and invited the Assistant Director, Finance and Revenues to speak on the draft budget.
The Assistant Director, Finance and Revenues recognised the hard work of officers in their team but also those throughout the council and our community. The draft budget had been put together in unusual circumstances and is complex. There are some corrections needed for spelling errors and there will be further updates for the figures before the report goes to Cabinet. The draft budget is based on the provisional settlement figures from the government. If these figures change the budget will also need to be amended accordingly. There has been financial support from the government to help with the impact of COVID-19 that has helped put the council in good position. The council’s treasury management and reserves have helped with the current situation. Other councils without this have not faired as well, and this has been a challenging period for many people and organisations.
Councillors commented that the government money had helped but the complexities in funding from the changes to tiers had made the work harder. The council should be celebrated given what we have achieved based on continued lower government funding and the current staffing levels. The council is still operating with a deficit and government funding has helped with the loss ... view the full minutes text for item 68.