Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX
Contact: Marianna Ritchie, Democratic Services Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: For Council to consider the Chief Finance Officer's Section 114 report and any response
Minutes of the Previous Meeting PDF 108 KB
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 19 October 2022 as an accurate record.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 19 October 2022, be agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendment:
That, at Minute No. 28/21 (Disclosures of Interests), it be noted that it was Councillor Esther Sutton that had declared an interest in respect of being a resident of Oval Road and not Councillor Claire Bonham as recorded.
Disclosure of Interests
Members are invited to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) they may have in relation to any item(s) of business on today’s agenda.
There were no declarations of interest received from Members.
Section 114 (3) Report and Response PDF 220 KB
It is the Council’s top priority that it will live within its means, balance the books and provide value for money for our residents.
This report recommends the steps the Council must take to return it to financial sustainability into the future.
The Deputy Civic Mayor (Vice-Chair) stated that the meeting was being held in accordance with Section 114 (3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which stated that the Section 114 Reports must be considered by Members at a meeting of the Council within 21 days of the report being issued.
She added that it was a further requirement that the Council must decide whether it agreed or disagreed with the views contained within the report and what action it proposed to take as a consequence.
The Deputy Civic Mayor (Vice-Chair), having discussed with Members, and advised in the agenda of the proposed format for tonight’s main item of business, moved (which was duly seconded and agreed by Council) that the matter commence with a presentation on the report provided by the Corporate Director of Resources, for up to ten minutes, after which Members would have up to 30 minutes to ask factual questions regarding the report. Then, she said, the Council would move to up to 30 minutes of Member questions to the Executive Mayor and Executive. The meeting would, she said, conclude with a debate and vote on the recommendations contained in the officer’s report.
The Section 151 Officer said, by way of introduction that following the serving of the Notice, the Council should focus on understanding its overall financial position, today and for the future and that the Opening the Books Project had been an important aspect of this.
She said that although much work had also been done on identifying potential savings for future years and developing the Transformation Programme (£44m in 2023/24 – 15%), the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement had made it very clear that the Council was not going to be able to balance its budget in 2023/24 or beyond.
The Section 151 Officer summarised the significant issues that faced the Council. She said that the Council’s current General Fund debt was £1.3bn and the annual cost of servicing this debt was £47m. She said that the Provision for Bad Debt currently had a shortfall of at least £20m and that parking and traffic income budgets had been overstated, which meant that expectations of a further increase next year, was not achievable.
The Section 151 Officer went on to say that whilst Housing Benefit overspend had crystallised at £9m per annum, charges to the Housing Revenue Account had been overstated by £10m per annum. She warned that the Council still had three years ... view the full minutes text for item 40/21