· General fund budget 2020/21 and capital programme
· Housing revenue account budget 2020/21
· Treasury Management and Prudential Indicators 2020/21, Capital Strategy & Investment Strategy
Homira Javadi, Chief Finance Officer, presented the Draft Budget report which provided detail on the updated forecast financial position for the Council in 2020/21. During discussion, the following points were highlighted.
Concern was expressed that the financial presentations for the second and third quarters had not been made available and that the 2018/2019 accounts had not yet been audited and that, without this, a financial base for the current year and 2020/2021 could not be set. It was confirmed that this did not affect the setting of the budget, and the budget report was before the Committee for comment prior to consideration by Cabinet. It was advised that the Finance Team was working on a management accounting presentation to supplement the information already provided.
The income from the crematorium was forecast to reduce and this reflected a national trend whereby the death rate was slowing. There was also increased competition from the new crematorium opened by Wealden District Council. Eastbourne Borough Council was projecting an increase to its revenue for civic burials by £100,000.
A question was raised on the percentage of increase on car parking charges. It was confirmed that the results of the East Sussex County Council (ESCC) consultation on parking charges would be needed before a thorough assessment could be made. In relation in Hyde Gardens in particular, there was an agreement in place with East Sussex County Council that both authorities had parking machines, with matched charges. It was confirmed that enforcement was undertaken by officers from Neighbourhood First rather than by a dedicated team, but that compliance in Hyde Gardens was not an issue. A public consultation on how recycling rates could be driven up to the Council’s target of 50 % was expected later in the year.
The Committee did not resolve to send any particular comments to Cabinet on the draft budget proposals for 2020/21.
RESOLVED - To note the Draft Budget proposals for 2020/2021