Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, The Shire Hall, St Peter's Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX

Contact: Tim Brown, Governance Services 

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillors SP Anderson and SD Williams.



To receive details of members nominated to attend the meeting in place of a member of the committee.


Councillor MT McEvilly substituted for Councillor SP Anderson and Councillor RJ Phillips for Councillor SD Williams.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interest by members.


Councillor RJ Phillips declared other declarable interests as a member of SPARSE and the Local Government Resources Board.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2018.


RESOLVED:       That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2018 be approved as a correct record.


Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To receive any written questions from members of the public.


Details of the scheme and related guidance are available here:


Please submit questions to


The deadline for the receipt of questions is Monday 26 November 2018 at 5.00 pm.


Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.


Nine questions had been received. 


It was noted in response that the issues raised were referred to in the separate supplement published as a briefing document and would be explored as appropriate during consideration of the relevant agenda item.




To receive any written questions from members of the council.


Deadline for receipt of questions is 5.00pm on Monday 26 November 2018.


Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.


Please submit questions to




Setting the 2019/20 budget, capital investment and updating the medium term financial strategy pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To seek the views of the committee on the draft medium term financial

strategy (MTFS) 2017-21 and the budget proposals for 2019-20.

Additional documents:


The committee considered the draft medium term financial strategy (MTFS) 2017-21 and the budget proposals for 2019-20.

The chief finance officer (CFO) gave a presentation.  The slides had been circulated separately as a supplement to the agenda papers. 

The acting director – economy and place (AD) presented slides relating specifically to the directorate.

The cabinet member – finance and corporate services (CMFCS) made the following principal points:

·        He commented on the significant savings that the council had been required to make over the past few years and the council’s track record in achieving those savings.

·        The proposed 2019/20 budget would increase council tax by 4.9% entailing a further £3m savings in 2019/20.  This was in line with the approved MTFS.

·        He referenced the new capital strategy document at appendix 5 to the report codifying the approach to capital investment.

·        He noted that the funding picture beyond March 2020 was as yet unclear meaning that a number of assumptions had had to be made about the government’s intentions.   In the next budget cycle there would be a new comprehensive spending review, a green paper on charging for care, details of what would replace the better care fund and the improved better care fund, and clarity on business rate retention.  Some one-off allocations of government funding were also to be expected and the 2019/20 budget may need to be amended to reflect these.

·        He observed that despite the significant reduction in revenue support grant over the past 10 year period the rise in council tax was below the rise in the retail price index.

In discussion the following principal points were made:

·        It was observed that there was little flexibility within the budget given the constraints, meaning the room to explore alternative approaches was limited.

·        Assurance was sought as to the robustness of the assumptions regarding the improved better care fund and the public health grant.  The CFO commented that there was a reasonable assurance that for 2019/20 the assumptions were sound.  There wasn’t the same level of certainty beyond that point and the council would have to respond accordingly. The CMFCS noted the certainty that accepting the four year settlement had brought and it appeared that that level of certainty was now to end.

·        The impact rural sparsity had on the council’s budget should not be overlooked and the council should continue to lobby with other authorities for this to be recognised.

·        It was important to ensure a good working relationship with health bodies in the county to maximise the effective use of resources to deliver care and for health bodies to reciprocate and acknowledge the need for that relationship.

The CFO commented that co-terminosity of boundaries with health bodies was an advantage.  The relationship between the council and health bodies was robust.  Work was ongoing in relation to an integrated care service with one financial control total. Where there was overlap as with the IBCF/BCF that was managed in partnership with health colleagues.  There was ongoing joint work on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


Work programme pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To review the committee’s work programme.

Additional documents:


The committee reviewed its work programme:

It was requested that an invitation to the Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Constable and chief Fire Officer to attend to discuss community safety matters be pursued.

It was noted that there was an indication that an alternative budget may be produced and an additional meeting would be convened if this proved to be the case.

It was also requested that the briefing notes that had been requested were produced.

RESOLVED: That the draft work programme as set out at appendix 1 to the report be approved as amended.



Date of next meeting

The next scheduled meeting is 28 January 2019.


Monday 28 January 2019 at 10.15 am.