Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Ben Baugh  Democratic services

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors MJK Cooper, PE Crockett, and JA Hyde.


Named substitutes (if any)

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


Councillor AW Johnson was a substitute member for Councillor JA Hyde.


Declarations of interest

To receive any 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.


There were no declarations of interest.



The draft minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019 will be presented to the next scheduled meeting on 5 March 2019.


The minutes from the meeting of 29 January will be agreed at the adults and wellbeing scrutiny committee scheduled for 5 March.


Questions from members of the public

To receive any written questions from members of the public.

For details of how to ask a question at a public meeting, please see:

The deadline for the receipt of a question from a member of the public is Tuesday 29January 2019 at 5.00 pm.

To submit a question, please email


There were no questions from members of the public.


Questions from councillors pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To receive any written questions from councillors.

The deadline for the receipt of a question from a councillor is Tuesday 29January 2019 at 5.00 pm.

To submit a question, please email


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 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:


Presentation of the alternative budget:


The committee considered a report and presentation from the ‘It’s Our County’ group (IOC) of their proposed alternative budget and alternative medium term financial strategy (MTFS).  The It’s Our County group explained that:

·         The alternative budget retained the executive’s themes of wellbeing and prosperity but introduces sustainability as a third theme.

·         The alternative budget is working within the proposed revenue funding envelope of the executive’s draft budget.

·         For 2019/20 IOC is not proposing any changes to the executive draft base budget, it is only proposing spend from additional income sources resulting from the draft 2019/20 local government financial settlement.

·         The alternative MTFS indicates where IOCs alternative priorities and policies are moving toward longer term; investments for 2019/20 set out in the alternative budget are designed to underpin that direction of travel.

·         IOC is proposing to stay within the capital budget in the draft executive budget but some reprioritisation and sequencing of spend will be undertaken

·         Specific investments, in 2019/20, for the adults and communities directorate will be directed toward arts and creative projects (led by third sector representatives); more funding for wellbeing hubs; investment in community transport (to ensure people can continue to access these services); and digital options (specifically, assistive technologies to enhance care and support at home).


The Chief Finance Officer’s (CFO) view was sought on the robustness of the alternative budget.  The CFO was of the opinion that:

·         The budget is deliverable and balanced.

·         If council were to adopt it, it is likely to be delivered within the budget envelope.


The following principal points were raised in response to the alternative budget proposals:

·         A number of the proposals set out in the alternative budget relate to the city or market towns, and refers only to parishes in their immediate locality.  Yet, access to rural services for some of the more remote parishes is a key issue and requires huge investment.  It was questioned as to whether the relatively small amount of funding proposed by IOC would make any impact on addressing transport needs in our more rural parishes.

·         In regard to the proposals on the council owning its own social housing with it being managed by existing social landlords, it was highlighted that people living in council owned housing would have the right to buy those homes after a three year period.  This would have the effect of removing affordable housing stock and releasing it as local market housing.  As an authority there has been a move away from owning social housing stock to housing association – this ensures that properties stay affordable in perpetuity.

·         Interest was noted in the consultation that IOC had undertaken with stakeholders in preparing their alternative budget and what bearing their views have had on the proposals set out by the IOC group.

·         The proposals on car parking fees being devolved to market towns to use for specific projects was noted.  If this money is to be redirected, what current activity would have to stop?

·         It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


Date of next meeting

The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday 5 March 2019 at 10.00am.


5 March 2019