Agenda and decisions

Budget, Cabinet - Wednesday, 14th February, 2024 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting (TO FOLLOW) pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 31st January 2024 as an accurate record.

3.

Disclosure of Interests

Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that, in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, they are required to consider in advance of each meeting whether they have a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI), an other registrable interest (ORI) or a non-registrable interest (NRI) in relation to any matter on the agenda. If advice is needed, Members should contact the Monitoring Officer in good time before the meeting.

 

If any Member or co-opted Member of the Council identifies a DPI or ORI which they have not already registered on the Council’s register of interests or which requires updating, they should complete the disclosure form which can be obtained from Democratic Services at any time, copies of which will be available at the meeting for return to the Monitoring Officer.

 

Members and co-opted Members are required to disclose any DPIs and ORIs at the meeting.

-      Where the matter relates to a DPI they may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not stay in the meeting unless granted a dispensation.

-      Where the matter relates to an ORI they may not vote on the matter unless granted a dispensation.

-      Where a Member or co-opted Member has an NRI which directly relates to their financial interest or wellbeing, or that of a relative or close associate, they must disclose the interest at the meeting, may not take part in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not stay in the meeting unless granted a dispensation. Where a matter affects the NRI of a Member or co-opted Member, section 9 of Appendix B of the Code of Conduct sets out the test which must be applied by the Member to decide whether disclosure is required.

 

The Chair will invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3, to be recorded in the minutes.

4.

Urgent Business (If any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

5.

Mayor's Business Plan 2022-2026 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 251 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: To

 

Note the Mayors Business Plan performance report (Appendix A and B) with latest data available on 30 November 2023 (unless otherwise stated) regarding overall council and partnership performance, and actions being taken to improve outputs.

6.

Brick by Brick Closure Report pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.          To approve that Brick by Brick Croydon Ltd be closed down on a solvent basis as detailed under Option 1 of Section 8.

 

1.2.          To delegate to Corporate Director of Resources (S151 Officer), in consultation with Director of Legal Services, Corporate Director Housing and Director of Commercial Investment & Capital to decide whether the Council under its Housing Revenue Page 82 Account (HRA) and/or General Fund (GF) acquire all or part of the remaining assets and liabilities of BBB if not disposed within a reasonable time frame.

 

1.3.          To delegate to Corporate Director of Resources (S151 Officer), in consultation with Executive Mayor, Lead Member of Finance, Director of Legal Services, Director of Commercial Investment & Capital to negotiate the sale of Brick by Brick Croydon Ltd should an offer that improves the Council’s financial position, against the winddown position, be received before the proposed winddown date of the company.

 

1.4.          To delegate to Corporate Director of Resources (S151 Officer), in consultation with Executive Mayor, Lead Member of Finance, Director of Legal Services and Director of Finance to enter into any final legal agreements on behalf of the Council as Shareholder and/or Lender and make any necessary shareholder resolutions, where relevant to give effect to the recommendations and delegated decisions in this report as part of the winddown process.

 

1.5.          To delegate to Corporate Director of Resources (S151 Officer), in consultation with the Executive Mayor, Lead Member of Finance, Director of Legal Service and Director of Finance to approve the final loan principle write off amount, up to £70m, at the point of winddown.

 

1.6.          To delegate to the Corporate Director of Resources (S151 Officer), in consultation with the Executive Mayor, Lead Member of Finance, Director of Legal Service and Director of Commercial Investment & Capital to issue letters to current Directors requesting their resignations and to approve indemnification of liability in line with the Outside Bodies Protocol approved by Ethics Committee on 8th February 2023.

 

1.7.          To delegate to Corporate Director of Resources (S151 Officer), in consultation with the Executive Mayor, Lead Member of Finance, Director of Legal Service and Director of Commercial Investment & Capital to appoint new Directors on the Board of the BBB.

7.

Budget 2024-25 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2024-28 pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: To

 

1.1.          Consider the responses to the budget engagement with residents and statutory consultation with businesses (set out in Section 10 of this report and detailed more fully in Appendix J).

 

1.2.          Consider and have due regard to the equalities impact assessment undertaken on the budget proposals as set out in Appendix N.

 

1.3.          Approve the responses to the Scrutiny and Overview Committee recommendations (to follow after publication of this report – Appendix O) on the budget proposals as set out in Section 20.

 

1.4.          Approve that (subject to Full Council approving the budget and any further decisions required of the Executive) that Corporate Directors be authorised to implement their respective growth and savings proposals for 2024-25 in accordance with the recommendations within this report, the Council's Constitution, Financial Regulations, relevant Schemes of Delegation and undertake any further consultation required, including regarding the Equalities Impacts of specific decisions within the Budget envelope as approved by Full Council.

 

1.5.          Propose to Full Council for approval an increase in the Croydon element of the 2024-25 council tax charge by 2.99% (Band D £53.98).

 

1.6.          Propose to Full Council for approval a 2% increase (Band D £36.11) in the 2024-25 Adult Social Care precept levy.

 

1.7.          Note, based on the Mayor of London’s draft consolidated budget, a proposed 8.58% (Band D £37.26) increase regarding the Greater London Authority precept.

 

1.8.          Propose to Full Council for approval, the calculation of budget requirement and council tax as set out in Appendix I and note that the inclusion of the GLA precept will result in a total increase of 5.69% (Band D £127.35) in the overall Croydon council tax bill.

 

1.9.          Propose to Full Council for approval the setting of the Council’s own total net expenditure budget for 2024-25 at £361.267m.

 

1.10.       Propose to Full Council for approval the detailed programme of revenue savings, income, demand pressures and legacy budget corrections, by directorate, as set out in Appendix C.

 

1.11.       Propose to Full Council the proposed £5m budget in 2024-25 to support delivery of the transformation programme.

 

1.12.       Propose to Full Council the Reserves Policy set out in Appendix M.

 

1.13.       Propose to Full Council for approval that the Corporate Director of Resources be authorised to collect and recover National Non-Domestic Rate and council tax in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended) and the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

1.14.       Note the revenue budget assumptions detailed in the report and budget projections to 2027- 28 made by the Corporate Director of Resources in agreement with the Chief Executive and with the Corporate Management Team.

 

1.15.       Note the Council’s request for a Capitalisation Direction from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities [DLUHC] of up to £38m for 2024-25, £9.439m relating to 2019-20 and current assumption that up to a further £38m per annum in exceptional financial support will be required for future years.

 

1.16.       Note that all Directors will be required to report on their projected financial position compared  ...  view the full decision text for item 7.

8.

2023-24 Period 8 Financial Performance Report pdf icon PDF 362 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.          To note the General Fund revenue budget outturn is forecast to underspend by £1.3m at Period 8, after the budgeted utilisation of £63m capitalisation directions requested from DLUHC.

 

1.2.          To approve within budget the inter-directorate virement of £2.1m non-pay inflation budget from the Adult Social Care & Health directorate to the Housing directorate on a one-off basis in 2023-24, as set out in paragraph 4.12.

 

1.3.          To note the progress in MTFS savings achievement as set out in paragraph 4.103.

 

1.4.          To note the work that has commenced on the Council’s Transformation Programme as set out from paragraph 4.98.

 

1.5.          To note the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) revenue budget outturn is forecast to overspend by £12.0m.

 

1.6.          To note the General Fund capital programme 2023-24 forecast underspend of £20.7m against the revised capital budget of £127.1m. The 2023-24 General Fund capital budget has been updated to reflect the changes agreed through the Capital Programme and Capital Strategy 2023-29 report at the Cabinet meeting on 6 December 2023.

 

1.7.          To note the HRA capital programme 2023-24 forecast overspend of £1.8m against the revised capital budget of £37.2m. The 2023-24 HRA capital budget has been updated to reflect the changes agreed through the Capital Programme and Capital Strategy 2023-29 report at the Cabinet meeting on 6 December 2023.

 

1.8.          To note the Council’s historic borrowing and subsequent debt burden continues to be critical to the non-sustainability of the Council’s revenue budget. Dialogue with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) continues, and the Council is seeking further financial support from Government in regard to its level of structural indebtedness to ensure it can deliver sustainable local government services.

 

1.9.          To note that the Council continues to operate Spend Control Panels to ensure that tight financial control and assurance oversight are maintained.

 

1.10.       To note that current forecasts are based on the best available information at the time and will be subject to review and change during the financial year.

9.

Repairs Contracts Update pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.          To note the progress following mobilisation of the new housing repair contracts on 1 August 2023.

 

1.2.          To agree the actions proposed as outlined in this report and to report back to Members with an update within six months.

10.

HRA Rent Setting 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.          To agree the social rents increase of 7.7% from April 2024 based on the current final year of the government’s Social Housing Rent Policy, (applying September 2023 CPI + 1%)

 

1.2.          To agree the request to set the tenants service charges increase at the same level as the rents (7.7%) for the financial year 2024-25.

 

1.3.          To agree the continuation of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) hardship fund aimed at assisting tenants who are financially impacted by the 2024-25 rent increase, subject to obtaining a further Direction in appropriate terms from the Secretary of State.

 

1.4.          To agree, the nil increase to the garage rents on the proviso that a full review of the viability of assets is carried out in 2024-25 and reported back to Cabinet.

 

1.5.          To agree the request to set the increase in the caravan site plot charges in line with September CPI of 6.7%.

11.

HRA Business Plan and Budget Update 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.          To recommend Full Council to agree the proposed HRA budget for 2024-25.

 

1.2.          To recommend Full Council to agree the update to the HRA 30 years Business plan based on the HRA budget for 2024-25.

 

1.3.          To note the assumptions in the Business Plan and the associated risk.

 

1.4.          To note the ongoing work required on the asset management strategy and the enhanced stock condition surveys that are underway which will further inform the next iteration of the Business Plan.

12.

The Future of the Experimental Healthy Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 8 MB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.          A) To proceed with making permanent the Healthy Neighbourhood ref 1,2,3,4,6 and 7 as outlined below and to continue to work with residents to ensure signage is improved as where necessary to raise awareness.

 

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B) To remove The Kemerton Rd Healthy Neighbourhood, detailed below:

Ref 

Healthy Neighbourhood 

Ward 

Experimental Order  

Order Ref  

Kemerton Rd (single residential road between two residential roads with a point closure at its end with Jesmond Rd) 

Addiscombe West 

The Croydon (Prohibition and Restriction of Stopping, Loading and Waiting) and (Free Parking Places) (No 3) Experimental Order 2022 

2022 No 32 

Kemerton Rd was closed at its junction with Jesmond Rd with lockable bollards which the emergency services can unlock in an emergency. There is no evidence to demonstrate that it was a road used by through traffic, and it does not form part of a wider healthy neighbourhood scheme. Residents who came to the drop-in sessions were not supportive of it remaining. The opening of the road to traffic would not necessarily create an opportunity for through traffic to by-pass any roads as it is a short length of highway between two main roads, no real gains in using it to access the road on either side.

1.2.          To agree that officers will work with residents on adjustments to improve the following Croydon Healthy Neighbourhoods (CHN), Ref 1, 4 ,and 7 Subject to Paragraph 1.1 A

 

A) To work with residents of Albert Rd (Ref CHN 1) to agree adjustments that can be made between Eldon Rd and Harrington Rd. This section is currently unrestricted due to the on-going development requiring a temporary closure.

B) To work with residents of 1) Holmesdale HN (Ref CHN 4) to reduce the impact in Dixon Rd due to displaced traffic, and 2) to work with residents of Priory Rd and Wentworth Rd (Ref CHN 7) to reduce the impact caused by displaced traffic. Any adjustments to 1) and 2) will be integral to the 2024-25 TfL funded LIP programme to ensure the Healthy Neighbourhoods deliver a coherent approach to improving conditions in residential roads through reducing the degree on impact.

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1.3.          Subject to approval of recommendations 1.1 above, to delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery to undertake all measures necessary to make the above referenced experimental orders permanent Traffic Management Orders, including pursuant to the statutory requirements of the Road Traffic Management Act 1984 and Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 and make arrangements for the enforcement thereof.

13.

Capital Programme and Capital Strategy 2023-29 pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.          Approve the Council’s 2023-29 General Fund Capital Programme which includes planned expenditure of £479.68m (including capitalisation directions) across the six years.

 

1.2.          Approve the Council incurring nil General Fund borrowing for financial years 2023-24 and 2024-25 and borrowing of £164.67m over 2025-29. The cost of this future borrowing is factored into the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

1.3.          Approve the 2024-25 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme with investment planned of £57.24m with borrowing of nil.

 

1.4.          Approve an increase to the 2023-24 HRA capital budget from £33.248m to £37.162m, owing to increased major repairs and improvements, with this £3.914m increase funded by HRA reserves.

 

1.5.          Approve the Council’s Capital Strategy, as detailed within Appendix A of this report.

 

1.6.          Note the Council’s historic legacy borrowing and debt burden continues to be critical to the sustainability of the Council’s revenue budget. Dialogue with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) continues, and the Council is seeking further financial support from Government in regard to its level of indebtedness to ensure it can deliver sustainable local government services.

 

 

14.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement, Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 955 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.         The Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2024/25 as set out in this report;

 

1.2.         The Prudential Indicators as set out in Appendix A of this report;

 

1.3.         The Annual Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement (required by the Local Authorities (Capital Financing and Accounting) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2008SI 2008/414) as set out in Appendix B;

 

1.4.         The Borrowing Strategy and Investment Strategy; and

 

1.5.         Note the requirement for Members to undertake training in order to have the appropriate knowledge and skills to enable them to understand and scrutinise the Council’s treasury management.

15.

Review of Council Tax Care Leavers Relief Scheme pdf icon PDF 189 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: To

 

1.1 Consider the outcome from the consultation as per 6.14, 6.15 and 6.16 below and the equalities impact assessment.

 

1.2 To agree that the CLRS is updated to only support care leavers where Croydon is the Corporate Parent.

 

1.3 To agree that the CLRS is updated to include only care leavers where they are named as a liable party in line with the Council Tax hierarchy of liability, as per 4.16 below.

16.

Croydon Companies Supervision and Monitoring Panel - Update Report pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.1.          To note the status of Croydon Council companies, excluding Brick by Brick (Croydon) Limited.

17.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

18.

Brick by Brick Closure Report - PART B - Appendix 1

Decision:

RESOLVED: