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.


Named substitutes

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




Declarations of interest

To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2018.


RESOLVED:       That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2018 be approved as a correct record.


Questions from members of the public

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 Wednesday 30 January 2019 at 5.00 pm.


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





To receive any written questions from members of the council.


Deadline for receipt of questions is 5.00pm on Wednesday 30 January 2019.


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


Please submit questions to


One question had been received.  The questioner was advised that the committee would be scrutinising the evidence and rationale for the proposed alternative budget and would ensure that the issue was explored during the debate.



Alternative budget proposal 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Council is required by law to set a balanced budget every year. It is the responsibility of the executive to formulate the documents that form the budget and policy framework of the council and recommend them to Council. The budget provides details of expenditure on local services in the forthcoming municipal year and the forms of income upon which the council relies to provide those services.

Alternative budget proposals have been submitted by the It’s Our County Group. A copy of the alternative budget to be proposed as an amendment to the substantive budget proposal, and the chief finance officer’s statement are attached. The committee is asked to inform and support the process for Council consideration of the proposals by providing constructive challenge and make recommendations and other appropriate commentsto the It’s Our County Group, and which will be reported to Council.

Protocol for alternative budgets

The council’s constitution requires that where an alternative budget is being proposed:

      The proposing group or member must present their proposals to the scrutiny committees. The scrutiny committee will receive a presentation from the proposing group or member setting out the proposals in the alternative budget. The presentation from the It’s Our County Group is provided in the papers for this meeting.

      The scrutiny committee may make recommendations or other appropriate comments to the proposing group or member. The recommendations of the scrutiny committee to the It’s Our County Group will be attached to the alternative budget presented to the budget meeting of full Council.

      Members proposing amendments to budget proposals must have consulted with the relevant director(s) to determine the context and possible consequences of the proposal.

      The chief finance officer must have provided confirmation that the alternative budget meets statutory requirements. The chief finance officer’s statement is provided in the papers for this meeting.

Additional documents:


The committee considered an alternative budget developed by the It’s Our County Group (IOC).

Presentation by IOC

Councillors EPJ Harvey and AJW Powers (the proposers) presented the alternative budget.  A copy of the presentation is appended.

The proposal “proposed investments in improving the resilience and sustainability of communities and council services and changes in spending priority in 2019/20 whilst retaining the base budgets of the directorates at the levels already proposed by the Administration.”

The proposed investments were funded by £2m from various sources as set out in paragraph 2.3 of the alternative budget proposal.  These sums were as yet unallocated for specific purposes in the budget published by the Administration but had been earmarked to support rural service delivery.

Response to question from member of the Council

In response to the question that had been submitted by Councillor Shaw, under the procedure for questions from members of the council, the proposers commented on the budget proposal for improved signage informing A49 traffic of route options via the A417 from Leominster to the M50 at Ledbury and M5 at Worcester.  The intention was that this would redirect southbound traffic on the A49 so that it was not routed through Hereford City.  This would be a simple and cost-effective way of reducing some of the through traffic on the A49.  There had been investment in improving the A417 and it was not considered that the additional traffic would have a significant negative impact on settlements along the A417.

A Member commented that recent traffic modelling undertaken in Leominster had found that the north-south A49 corridor carried the most traffic in the vicinity.  There was merit in exploring the proposal.

It was observed that the alternative route was longer than the A49 route and haulage firms would have to balance the additional mileage against the time spent in slower traffic on the A49 through Hereford.  Another member was critical of the proposal questioning the suitability of the A417 for HGVs noting the number of traffic lights and roundabouts and maintaining that there would be an adverse impact on settlements adjoining the A417.

Statement by Chief Finance Officer

A statement by the Chief Finance Officer on the robustness of the alternative budget was included within the agenda papers.

He commented that he considered that the proposed budget was balanced and could be delivered.  Although this could not be guaranteed, he considered the proposed budget and medium term financial strategy explained the intentions for the next financial year and the direction of travel.

Discussion of the Alternative Budget Proposals

In discussion of the proposals the following principal points were made, along with the responses by the proposers of the alternative budget:

·        It was observed that about half of the additional £2m that the alternative budget proposed to allocate was a one off grant. 

·        Clarification was sought on the points of difference between the alternative budget and that of the administration.

Response: The proposers commented that there was a total of £2m unallocated within the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.


Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting is to be confirmed.


Wednesday 6 March 2019 at 10.15 am.


Appendix - Presentation on alternative budget proposal pdf icon PDF 617 KB