Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Manize Talukdar, Democratic and Electoral Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1323 E-mail:  manize.talukdar@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

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 the attendance at this meeting of the following duly appointed Reserve Members:-

 

Ordinary Member

 

Reserve Member

 

Councillor Ajay Maru

Councillor Peymana Assad

Councillor Norman Stevenson

Councillor Ramji Chauhan

 

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That Councillor Jeff Anderson be appointed Vice-Chair of the Panel for the 2018/19 Municipal Year.

3.

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:

RESOLVED: To note that the following interests were declared:

 

Agenda Item 8 – Draft Revenue Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/2020 to 2021/22

 

Councillor Jeff Anderson declared a Non-Pecuniary interest in that he was trustee of a local group.  He would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 108 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2018 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2018 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

5.

Public Questions, Petitions and Deputations

To receive any public questions received in accordance with paragraph 16 of the Executive Procedure Rules.

 

Questions will be asked in the order in which they were received.  There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for the asking and answering of public questions.

 

[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm, 17 January 2019.  Questions should be sent to publicquestions@harrow.gov.uk  

No person may submit more than one question].

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that none were received.

RESOLVED ITEMS

6.

Draft Revenue Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 364 KB

Report of the Director of Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received two reports of the Director of Finance which set out the Council’s proposed Draft Revenue Budget to 2019/20 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2021/22.

 

The Chair welcomed a local business representative to the meeting.  He explained that the Council had a statutory duty to consult the business community before setting the Budget and Council Tax for the forthcoming year.

 

Following comments and questions from Members, the Director of Finance advised that:

 

·                     there was a proposal to increase Council Tax by 2.99% in 2019/20 and in the Adult Social Care Precept by 2.0%, which would bring the final figure to 4.99%.  The Director added that the precept had been awarded for a three year period and would end in the 2019/20 financial year.  The Council Tax base had been increased in 2019/20 due to the anticipated increase in the number of new properties in the borough and a commensurate increase in the number of council tax payers.  The Band D tax base had been increased to 86,250.  The Director confirmed that Council tax receipt targets for the 2018/19 financial year had been achieved;

 

·                     London Boroughs retained a portion of their business rates with the remainder going to the GLA.  However, there were plans to allow local authorities to retain 100% of their business rates.  Harrow had been included in the Business Rates Pooling Pilot for the 2018/19 financial year.  Being part of the pool had been beneficial for Harrow as it had been able to benefit from growth in other London Boroughs;

 

·                     on the whole, the proposals contained within the budget reports were not expected to have either a beneficial or adverse effect on local businesses as most of the proposals pertained to Council business.  The proposals contained in the annual Fees and Charges report, would be approved by Council in February 2019, may affect local businesses if they bought the services.  The Council’s Regeneration programme and business rate relief would be likely to benefit local businesses.  1400 local businesses had been identified as eligible to receive the business rates relief grant, which would be funded by the GLA.  Letters informing businesses of this would be sent out in February 2019 and the Inspector would follow these up.   The grant related to business premises with a rateable value of less than £51k.  An officer undertook to verify whether this information would be publicised in the Harrow People magazine.

 

·                     in recent years, a number of small and large businesses had opted to relocate outside Harrow.  This coupled with permitted development rights allowing office space to be converted to residential space had led to a reduction in available office space in the borough;

 

·                     with regard to the Council’s commercialisation agenda, both the Regeneration project and project Infinity had been reversed out of the budget.  There were other commercialisation proposals, such as project Phoenix, which were expected to provide additional income;    

 

·                     other commercialisation initiatives such as HB Public Law (HBPL) had been set up as legal entities in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.