Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Room 6, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Vishal Seegoolam, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1883 E-mail:  vishal.seegoolam@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

16.

Welcome

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Mr Eric Diamond, from North West London Chamber of Commerce and Mrs Elizabeth Thorpe, a business owner in Harrow, to the meeting.

17.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.

18.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Panel;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

Agenda Item 8 – Information Report – Draft Revenue Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2013-14 to 2016-17

 

Councillors Keith Ferry, Susan Hall and Ajay Maru declared non-pecuniary interests in that they were business owners in Harrow.  They would remain in the room whilst the item were discussed and voted upon.

19.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the remainder of the Municipal Year 2012/13.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To appoint Councillor Ajay Maru as Vice-Chairman of the Panel for the remainder of the 2012/13 Municipal Year.

20.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 71 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2012 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2012, be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

21.

Public Questions, Petitions and Deputations

To receive questions (if any) from local residents or organisations under the provisions of Executive Procedure Rule 51 (Part 4D of the Constitution).

Minutes:

RESOLVED: To note that no public questions were put, or petitions or deputations received at this meeting.

RESOLVED ITEMS

22.

INFORMATION REPORT - Draft Revenue Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2013-14 to 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Joint report of the Corporate Director of Resources and Assistant Chief Executive (to follow)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report setting out the Council’s proposals for the budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2013-14 to 2016-17 and also the Draft Capital Programme 2013-14 to 2016-17 for consultation.

 

The Corporate Director of Resources conducted a presentation which consisted of several themes.

 

Revenue Budget

 

The Corporate Director of Resources reported that:

 

·                     the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010 had been the most challenging funding settlement in decades;

 

·                     the Council had been required to make a 28% cut in its controllable budget over 4 years;

 

·                     several more years of reductions to the Council’s budget were expected;

 

·                     the Council were experiencing growth pressures including demographic changes impacting on social care and school places;

 

·                     there was a historically low level of grant funding provided to the Council;

 

·                     under funded services had recently  been transferred to the Council including Council Tax Support and Social Funds, adding further pressure to the Council’s budget;

 

·                     the proposed budget had been guided by the Corporate Priorities.  In addition to this the budget reflected 5 key principles which included continuing to make savings in the civic centre and ensuring the services residents cared about were protected from drastic cuts;

 

·                     as it currently stood, the Council had a funding gap of £5.2 million for 2013-14 and £3.3 million for 2014-15.  However for the following 2 years after this, the funding gap increased significantly;

 

·                     the draft Budget requirement for 2013-14 was approximately £181 million.  This figure took into account budget pressures, technical changes and an increase in Council Tax;

 

·                     some of the budget pressures included a reduction in Government Grants by £8.5 million, a contingency of £1 million and an extra £1 million to deal with anticipated homelessness;

 

·                     some of the budget reductions included a reduction in Adults Contract Management by £1.3million and a reduction as part of the PRISM project by £1.5 million;

 

·                     the impacts for businesses arising from the budget included an aspiration for discounted on street parking and a linked Harrow Card which also offered promotions with local traders.  The impacts also included further town centre regeneration, investment in highways and  continued employment programmes.

 

During the discussion on this item, Members of the Panel elaborated on the proposal to introduce the Harrow Card.  The Chair explained that following consultation, a large number of businesses in the borough had expressed their concern at unequal on-street parking regimes in the Council.  These businesses had expressed that a fairer system was required and that shoppers should be able to park for an initial period of 15-20 minutes without charge.  The card could also offer promotions for shoppers from traders.  The Harrow Card would operate using smart card technology and parking meters within the borough would need to be upgraded.  The Harrow Card could be sold and priced between £5 to £10.  A Card could last for 3 years.  It was expected that 20 to 30,000 residents would initially sign up to obtain a Harrow Card.  The London Borough of Hillingdon had successfully implemented this scheme and the Council’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.