Democracy - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: This meeting will be held virtually via MS Teams

Contact: Zoey Foakes (01277 312 733) 

No. Item

Live broadcast


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Cllr Kendall with Cllr Mynott substituting and apologies from Cllr S Cloke with Cllr Aspinell substituting. 


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 326 KB


The minutes of the Policy, Resources and Economic Development meeting held on 16th December 2020 were approved as a true record.


Budget 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 269 KB

Additional documents:


The report and appendices set out all the relevant information in support of setting the Councils Budget for General Fund services and Council Tax for 2021/22, together with financial forecast information through to 2023/24. Also included is information on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget for 2021/22 and the Capital Programme 2021/22 to 2023/24.


The Chair, echoed by members of the committee thanked Mrs Van Mellaerts, Ms Barnes and the Finance team for producing the budget during this difficult year. 


After a full discussion, Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Parker SECONDED the recommendations in the report.


A vote was taken and it was RESOLVED.


Members were asked:

R1. Approve the proposals for the General Fund Budget and Medium- Term Financial Strategy as set out in Appendix A and recommend to Ordinary Council for approval on 24th February 2021.


R2. Recommend that Council Tax has a 0% increase for 2021/22, the charge of Band D property remaining at £193.63 per annum for Brentwood Council services only.


R3. Approve proposals for the HRA budget 2021/22 including the 30 year HRA Business Plan within Appendix B and recommend to Ordinary Council for approval on 24th February 2021.


R4. Approve an increase to rents for 2021/22 by CPI plus 1%.


R5. Approve the Capital and Investment Strategy in Appendix C including the Capital Programme and recommend to Ordinary Council for approval on 24th February 2021.


R6. Approve the Fees & Charges Schedule in Appendix D and recommend to Ordinary Council for approval on 24th February 2021.


R7. To note the Pay Policy Statement in Appendix E and recommend for approval at Ordinary Council on 24thFebruary 2021.


R8. To note the Section 151 Officers Assurance Statement in Appendix F when recommending all for approval to Ordinary Council on 24th February 2021.


Reasons for Recommendation

Effective financial management underpins all of the priorities for the Council and will enable the Council to operate within a sustainable budget environment.


The Council is required to approve the Budget as part of the Budget and Policy Framework.


Brentwood Borough Council and Seven Arches Investment Limited pdf icon PDF 540 KB


At the Ordinary Council on the 7th October 2020 a Motion, as set out below, was received from Cllr Lewis having been previously deferred from the 16thSeptember 2020 Ordinary Council meeting and was resolved unanimously.


Due to the changes to the Committee timetable and resource implications this has been the first opportunity for Officers to provide the report to the Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee.


In February 2020 the National Audit Office said “Local authorities face potential investment risks from buying commercial property, such as in the event of aneconomic recession or a downturn in a particular economic sector, particularly where authorities are dependent on their rental income to keep up with debt repayments or fund local services”.


In the light of the National Audit Office concerns and the United Kingdom now being in severe economic recession, this Council resolves in order to understand the impact of the Council purchasing commercial property may have on the Council’s finances moving forward that members of the Council call upon the officers to undertake a full review into the risks, rewards and relationship between Brentwood Borough Council and its wholly-owned subsidiary company SAIL. A full report must be submitted to the Policy Resources and Economic Development Committee within three months of today’s date.


Following a discussion the committee noted the report.




Urgent Business


The chair varied the agenda to take Urgent Business prior to the exempt item where the public and press would be excluded.


There was no items of urgent business.   


EXEMPT - Less than Best Consideration - Hutton FC

The report/appendices are confidential by virtue of the likely disclosure of information exempt under para. 1 and 3 of Part 1 to Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely information relating to any individual and information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Council).


(Cllr Aspinell declared an interest on the virtue of being a County Councillor) 


After a full discussion, Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Poppy SECONDED the recommendations in the report.


A vote was taken by a show of hands and it was RESOLVED.


The meeting concluded at 8:30pm.