Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday, 29th February, 2024 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Matlock, DE4 3NN. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

Media

Items
No. Item

332/23

Public Participation

To enable members of the public to ask questions, express views or present petitions, IF NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN, (by telephone, in writing or by email) BY NO LATER THAN 12 NOON OF THE WORKING DAY PRECEDING THE MEETING. As per Procedural Rule 14.4 at any one meeting no person may submit more than 3 questions and no more than 1 such question may be asked on behalf of one organisation.

 

Minutes:

There was no public participation.

333/23

Interests

Members are required to declare the existence and nature of any interests they may have in subsequent agenda items in accordance with the District Council’s Code of Conduct. Those interests are matters that relate to money or that which can be valued in money, affecting the Member, her/his partner, extended family and close friends. Interests that become apparent at a later stage in the proceedings may be declared at the time.

Minutes:

Item 8 - Council Second Homes Council Tax Premium

 

Councillors Hughes, Linthwaite and Wilton declared a personal interest in Item 8 due to owning more than one residential property in the Derbyshire Dales.

334/23

Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 199 KB

25 January 2024

 

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Martin Burfoot, seconded by Councillor Peter Dobbs and

 

RESOLVED (unanimously)

 

That the minutes of a meeting of Council held on 25 Janurary 2024 be approved as a correct record.

 

The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.

335/23

Leaders' Announcements

Announcements of the Leader of the Council.

Minutes:

Councillor Steve Flitter, Leader of the Council, gave the following announcements:

 

“I must give my apologies to Members as I listened to your view on the length of meetings and took the view that Leaders Announcements should only be used when necessary and not as an excuse to waffle on. However, I feel tonight that I must recognise two officers of outstanding service and commitment.

 

Tim, our Director of Regulatory Services, is retiring at the end of next month after 36 years. He hails from Somerset and, after graduating, apart from one year’s work experience with Sedgemoor District Council, has spent his entire working career here at Derbyshire Dales, and we are extremely grateful for that. He started out as an Environment Health Officer for the central area, was appointed Manager and, from 2014, has led teams responsible not only for Environmental Health but also Licensing, Development Management, Building Control, Emergency Planning and, in more recent times, Estates and Climate Change.

 

You may not also be aware that Tim played rhythm guitar in the staff band – DD/Dc – and managed and captained the staff cricket team. Indeed, he is proud to still be playing cricket to be a decent level at the age of 60, bamboozling the opposition with his leg spin and googlies! He tells us he is now looking forward to exploring the Derbyshire Dales as a member of the public without any regulatory responsibilities and is also planning to travel the rest of the UK and beyond. I would add only that Tim is a good bloke with vast knowledge, respected and well-liked by all, and we will miss him.

 

Eileen Tierney is also retiring after 36 years with us. She joined us as an Admin Assistant / Committee Clerk at the end of 1987 having worked up the road in the County Council’s Library Service for the previous 10 years. I recall her back then when I was a member of the old Recreation and Environmental Health Committee, and she tells me she struggled to see the Councillors across the room in those days due to the thick fog of cigarette smoke in the room!

 

Eileen was promoted to Administration Officer in the Community Services Department and, in 2001, the transfer of alcohol licensing from the Magistrates’ Court to the District Council resulted in the creation of a specialist Licensing Team, which she has managed ever since, with, it has to be said, many more rules and regulations to implement and enforce in recent times.

 

She too is looking forward to travelling the world to watch cricket and fulfil bucket list dreams. We will miss you too Eileen and wish both you and Tim all the very best for the future in well-deserved retirement.

 

While on the subject of long, distinguished service, can I also add my thanks to Karen Henriksen for which tonight would not be possible. Not retiring yet (we hope) is Karen Henriksen, our Director of Resources, who this week marks  ...  view the full minutes text for item 335/23

336/23

Derbyshire Dales Plan 2024-28 (Corporate Plan) pdf icon PDF 181 KB

This report reiterates the Aims, Themes and Principles approved by Council in December 2023, and proposes priorities, outcomes and delivery plans for adoption as the detailed Derbyshire Dales Plan for the period 2024-2028.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council introduced a report reiterating the Aims, Themes and Principles approved by Council in December 2023, and proposed priorities, outcomes and delivery plans for adoption as detailed in the Derbyshire Dales Plan for the period 2024-2028.

 

The Derbyshire Dales Plan (corporate plan) sets out the aims of the District Council for the coming years and lists the key improvement projects. The Plan is the over-arching strategy for the District Council as it sets out specific areas to maintain and improve service delivery in the coming years.

 

This report updated work on the new Derbyshire Dales Plan since the report to Council on 14 December 2023 at which the high-level plan (Aims, Themes, Principles) were approved. It sought adoption of priorities, outcomes and delivery plans for each of the five themes, which had been developed by Member Working Groups.

 

It was moved by Councillor Steve Flitter, seconded by Councillor Peter Slack that the recommendations be approved with the following amendment to recommendation 2:

 

2.    That the Theme priorities and outcomes and Delivery Plans set out in Appendices 2 to 7 be adopted as the new Derbyshire Dales Plan 2024-28 with an amendment to Appendix 6, Parks and Other Open Spaces, to read ‘Vary the Public Spaces Protection Order in 2024 with focus on BBQ and Open Fires’.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Aims, Themes and Priorities approved by Council on 14 December 2023 as the basis of the new Derbyshire Dales Plan (and set out in Appendix 1) be noted.

 

2.    That the Theme priorities and outcomes and Delivery Plans set out in Appendices 2 to 7 be adopted as the new Derbyshire Dales Plan 2024-28 with an amendment to Appendix 6, Parks and Other Open Spaces, to read ‘Vary the Public Spaces Protection Order in 2024 with focus on BBQ and Open Fires’.

 

Voting

 

28 For

00 Against

01 Abstention

 

The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.

337/23

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2024/25 to 2028/29 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

This report seeks the Council’s approval for the Medium-Term Financial Strategy for 2024/25 to 2028/29. The strategy is intended to set out the Council’s strategic approach to the management of its finances and provide a framework within which  decisions can be made regarding future service provision and council tax levels.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced a report which sought Members approval for the Medium-Term Financial Strategy for 2024/25 to 2028/29. It was noted that the strategy was intended to set out the Council’s strategic approach to the management of its finances and provided a framework within which decisions could be made regarding future service provision and council tax levels.

 

Members were informed that the Council had a statutory duty to set a balanced budget. The Medium-Term Financial Strategy shown in Appendix 1 provided a forecast of the Council’s financial position over the five years for 2024/25 to 2028/29. The MTFS detailed the pressures that the Council faced and the impact of reductions in government funding, at a time when public expectations and pressures on service costs were increasing.

 

It was moved by Councillor Nick Wilton, seconded by Councillor Roger Shelley and

 

RESOLVED (unanimously)

 

1.    That approval is given to the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for 2024/25 to 2028/29, attached as Appendix 1 to this report;

 

2.    That Council agrees that, when setting budgets for 2024/25 and beyond, spending should be focused on the Council’s corporate priorities, wherever possible;

 

3.    That approval is given to the approach set out In the Medium-Term Financial Strategy for achieving the savings required to set balanced budgets i.e. that:

 

i.              Steps are taken in 2024/25 to identify measures required to enable a balanced budget to be set for the financial year 2025/26.

 

ii.             Savings for 2026/27 and beyond be put on hold pending the outcome of the government reviews of local authority funding (the Fair Funding Review) and business rates retention.

 

The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.

338/23

Second Homes Council Tax Premium pdf icon PDF 471 KB

This report seeks approval from the Council to adopt the 100% premium for Council tax relating to second homes with effect from 1st April 2025.

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced a report which sought Members’ approval from the Council to adopt the 100% premium for council tax relating to second homes with effect from 1st April 2025.

 

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill received Royal Assent on 26 October2023. The new Levelling Up and Regeneration Act provided powers for Councils to double the Council Tax payable on second homes. Nationally, rural councils and lobby groups had been campaigning for this power for many years, reflecting the impact of second homes in national parks, other rural areas and coastal authorities. Details of the legislation were provided in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Members were informed that the key issue for the Council concerned the use of the second homes premium in an effort to curb the growth in second homes and potentially reduce the total number over the long term. The government’s intention behind the policy is a response to the chronic shortage of lower cost market homes in housing markets distorted by people from outside an area buying an additional property. People in housing need typically report the number of second homes in their locality as one reason why they can’t afford to buy a home of their own.

 

The recommendations as set out in the report were moved by Councillor Sue Burfoot and seconded be Peter Dobbs. It was then moved by Councillor Martin Burfoot that a recorded vote be taken, this was seconded by Councillor Sue Burfoot. The recommendations were out to a recorded vote as follows:

 

For: 25, Councillors: Robert Archer, Anthony Bates, John Bointon, Geoff Bond, Kelda Boothroyd, Martin Burfoot, Sue Burfoot, Bob Butcher, Neil Buttle, David Chapman, Peter Dobbs, Steve Flitter, Marilyn Franks, Dawn Greatorex, Susan Hobson, David Hughes, Stuart Lees, Joanne Linthwaite, Laura Mellstrom, Lucy Peacock, Simon Ripton, Roger Shelley, Peter Slack, Steve Wain and Nick Wilton.

 

Against: 1, Councillor: Gareth Gee

 

Abstentions 2 Councillors: Sue Bull and Nigel Edwards- Walker

 

It was therefore RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Council determines to adopt the 100% premium for council tax relating to second homes with effect from 1st April 2025.

 

2.    That the Director of Resources is granted delegated powers to introduce exemptions/exceptions from Council tax premiums in line with legislation or government requirements. 

 

3.    That, subject to the outcome of the government consultation on exemptions, exceptions and discounts, further work takes place during 2024/25 to consider whether amendments are required to the Council’s policy on Council Tax Discretionary Discounts in respect of council tax premiums and that a report will be presented to a future Council meeting if changes to the Council’s policy are necessary.

 

4.    That, subject to the adoption of the second homes premium policy position, negotiations take place with Derbyshire County Council concerning the use of the additional income generated for DerbyshireCounty Council and that Members will be informed of the outcome.

 

The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.

 

19:02pm - Councillor Burton left the meeting during consideration of this item.

339/23

Capital Programme Update pdf icon PDF 340 KB

This report outlines spending for each project against the approved 2023/24 capital programme as at 31st January 2024 and seeks approval for an updated capital programme for 2023/24 to 2028/29 and associated financing. Two new projects are proposed for inclusion in the revised programme.

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced a report which outlined spending for each project against the approved 2023/24 capital programme as at 31st January 2024 and sought approval for an updated capital programme for 2023/24 to 2028/29 and associated financing.

 

The report indicated that forecast expenditure for 2023/24 was £10,755,16 (a reduction of £2,100,086 from the current budget) and described the main reasons for the underspending.

 

Two new projects were proposed for inclusion in the revised programme; these were £125,00 for urgent repairs to a retaining wall at Stoney Way, Matlock and £40,969 in respect of grant-funded improvements at Ashbourne Leisure Centre.

 

It was moved by Councillor Bob Butcher, seconded by Councillor Steve Flitter that the recommendations be accepted with the following addition:

 

7. That project 652 Matlock Bath Lovers Walk Shelter Rebuild is amended to be Matlock Bath Lovers Walk and Derwent Gardens general improvements project.

 

It was therefore,

 

RESOLVED (unanimously)

 

1.    That the Capital Programme expenditure to 31st January 2024 is noted.

 

2.    That re-phasing of existing projects for completion over the next 5 years is approved.

 

3.    That two new projects totalling £165,959, set out in paragraphs 2.13 to 2.21 of the report, are approved for inclusion in the programme.

 

4.    That the revised capital programme for 2023/24 to 2028/29, as shown in Appendix A, totalling £39,629,590 is approved.

 

5.    That financing of the Capital Programme from sources summarised at paragraph 2.24 and shown in Appendix C is approved.

 

6.    That the balance of funds available over the 5-year programme, shown at Appendix C, is noted.

 

7.    That project 652 Matlock Bath Lovers Walk Shelter Rebuild is amended to be Matlock Bath Lovers Walk and Derwent Gardens general improvements project.

 

The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.

340/23

Revenue Budget 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 357 KB

This report seeks approval for the District Council’s and Revenue Budget for 2024/25 and updated Medium Term Financial Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced a report seeking approval for the District Council’s Revenue Budget for 2024/25 and updated Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

The revenue spending proposals for all the Council’s services and activities, together with a budget summary, were given in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report. The forecasts of revenue spending requirements included both the revenue financing costs and running/operating expenditure associated with the Capital Programme.

 

In addition to considering the spending proposals for the forthcoming year, the financial management Code produced by CIPFA required the preparation of a Medium-Term Financial Plan. This showed the known changes in financial commitments for future years, in order that the implications for future spending requirements were identified in advance and included in the strategic planning process. An updated Medium Term Financial Plan was provided in Appendix 4.

 

The report also covered the following topics:

 

           Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024/25

           Net spending and Council tax requirement

           Council Tax

           Medium-Term Financial Plan

           Reserves and Balances

           Savings

           Chief Finance Officer’s Statutory Report

           Financial Management Code

           Town and Parish Council Precepts

           Pay Policy Statement

 

It was moved by Councillor Steve Flitter, seconded by Councillor Peter Slack and

 

RESOLVED (unanimously)

 

1.    That the level of the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Council Tax (excluding parish requirements) for 2024/25 set at £236.98 for Band D, being an increase of £6.88 per band D (2.99%) from the 2023/24 level.

 

2.    That the estimated net revenue expenditure for 2024/25 totalling £13,750,161, as detailed in the Summary Revenue Account in Appendix 1, be approved.

 

3.    That approval be given to the transfer of £400,000 from the General Reserve to increase the level of uncommitted working balances from £1m to £1.4m at 31st March 2024.

 

4.    That approval be given to the transfer of the balance of £508,406 from the Funding Uncertainties Reserve to the Corporate Plan Priority Reserve at 31st March 2024.

 

5.    The net sum of £439,628 be transferred from strategic reserves in 2024/25, as shown in Appendix 1 and detailed in Appendix 5.

 

6.    The following amounts are calculated by the Council for the chargeable financial year 2024/25 in accordance with Section 31A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:-

 

i.              aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2)(a) to (f) thereof is £35,453,949;

 

ii.             aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3)(a) to (d) thereof is £26,075,635

 

iii.            calculation under Section 31A(4) being the amount of which the aggregate at (i) above exceeds the aggregate of (ii) above, as the Council Tax Requirement for 2024/25 is £9,378,314;

 

7.    That the updated Medium Term Financial Plan, shown in Appendix 4, be approved.

 

8.    That the Director of Resources’ report on the robustness of the budget and the adequacy of reserves in accordance with clause 25 of the Local Government Act 2003 be noted. 

 

9.    That Council adopts the Pay  ...  view the full minutes text for item 340/23

341/23

Council Tax Setting 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 248 KB

This report enables the Council to calculate and set the Council Tax for 2024/25.

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced a report enabling the Council to calculate and set the Council Tax for 2024/25.

 

The Local Government Finance Act 1992, amended by the Localism Act 2011, required the billing authority to calculate a Council Tax requirement for a year.

 

The 2024/25 Council Tax requirement for the Council was subject to a separate report on the agenda. If approved, the Council Tax requirement (excluding town and parish council precepts) would be £7,303,179, resulting in a band D Council Tax of £236.98.

 

The precept levels of other precepting bodies were detailed in section 2 of the report. The detailed recommendations were set out in the formal Council Tax Resolution in Appendices A – C to the report and subject to their approval the total Band D Council Tax would be as tabled in 2.8 of the report.

 

It was moved be Councillor David Hughes, seconded by Councillor Nick Wilton and

 

RESOLVED (unanimously)

 

1.    That the Council approves the formal Council Tax resolution set out in Appendices A to C of the report.

 

2.    That the Council endorses the following in respect of the empty homes premium:

 

a)    That the Council continues to apply council tax empty homes premiums as follows except where statutory exemptions apply:

 

i)              100% premium in respect of any dwelling that has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least 2 years but less than 5 years;

 

ii)             200% in respect of any dwelling that has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least 5 years but less than 10 years;

 

iii)           300% in respect of any dwelling that has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least 10 years.

 

 

Statutory legislation required a recorded vote in respect of Council Tax Setting in accordance with rule of procedure 19e.

 

The recorded vote was as follows:

 

For: 28, Councillors: Robert Archer, Anthony Bates, John Bointon, Geoff Bond, Kelda Boothroyd, Sue Bull, Martin Burfoot, Sue Burfoot, Bob Butcher, Neil Buttle, David Chapman, Peter Dobbs, Nigel Edwards-Walker, Steve Flitter, Marilyn Franks, Gareth Gee, Dawn Greatorex, Susan Hobson, David Hughes, Stuart Lees, Joanne Linthwaite, Laura Mellstrom, Lucy Peacock, Simon Ripton, Roger Shelley, Peter Slack, Steve Wain and Nick Wilton.

 

Against: 0, Councillors:

 

Abstentions: 0, Councillors:

 

The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.

342/23

Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 288 KB

This report determines the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2024/25.

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced a report determining the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2024/25, as required by The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice 2021 Edition (the CIPFA Code).

 

It was noted that treasury management was the management of the Council’s cash flows, borrowing and investments, and the associated risks. The Council borrows and invests substantial sums of money and is therefore exposed to financial risks including the loss of invested funds and the revenue effect of changing interest rates.

 

Investments held for service purposes or for commercial profit were considered in a different report: the Investment Strategy.

 

It was resolved by Councillor Nick Wilton, seconded by Councillor David Hughes and

 

RESOLVED (unanimously)

 

That the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2024/25 and the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators contained within be approved.

 

The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.

343/23

Capital and Investment Strategy Report for 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 195 KB

This report seeks approval for the Council’s Capital Strategy, Minimum Revenue Provision policy and the Corporate Investment Strategy for 2024/25.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced a report seeking approval for the Council’s Capital Strategy, Minimum Revenue Provision Policy and the Corporate Investment Strategy for 2024/25.

 

The report gave Members a high-level overview of how capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contribute to the provision of local public services, along with an overview of how associated risk is managed and the implication for future financial sustainability.

 

It was noted that the decisions made this year on capital and treasury management would have financial consequences for the Authority for many years into the future. They were therefore subject to both a national regulatory framework and to local policy framework policy, as summarised in the report.

 

Members were informed that The Prudential Code (2021 edition) stipulated that it was not prudent for local authorities to make any investment or spending decision that would increase the Capital Financing Requirement and so may lead to new borrowing, unless directly and primarily related to the functions of the authority and where any commercial returns are related to the financial viability of the project in question. The UK Government’s rules for accessing the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) funding required statutory chief officers to verify that their local authority’s capital spending plans do not included the acquisition of assets primarily for yield.

 

Members were also informed that the Council had not borrowed from the PWLB for the acquisition of assets primarily for yield.

 

It was moved by Councillor Nick Wilton, seconded by Councillor David Chapman and

 

RESOLVED (unanimously)

 

That the Capital Strategy, Minimum Revenue Provision policy and the Corporate Investment Strategy for 2024/25 be approved.

 

The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.