Agenda and draft minutes

Executive - Thursday, 14th May 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Graham Watts, Democratic and Elections Manager  (01522 873439)

Items
No. Item

117.

Confirmation of Minutes - 24 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 24 February 2020 be confirmed.

118.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

119.

Procedure Rules Relating to Remote Executive Meetings pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To consider the adoption of procedure rules to facilitate remote meetings of the Executive.

 

Decision

 

That the revised procedure rules relating to remote meetings, be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The adoption of revised procedure rules relating to remote meetings of the Executive covered the period in which Council members were unable to meet in person, due to the impact of the coronavirus, and included provision for video conferencing and live interactive streaming.

 

The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 mad provision for remote attendance at, and remote access to, council meetings held on or before 7 May 2021.

 

The regulations enabled the Council to hold meetings without all, or any, of the members being physically present in a room. This allowed for remote meetings through electronic, digital, virtual locations, live webcast, live interactive streaming, video and telephone conferencing.

120.

Covid19 - Financial Challenges

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To set out the likely high-level financial challenges arising as a result of Covid19 and the Council’s response to this unprecedented financial situation.

 

Decision

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)      Notes the significant financial challenges that the Council faces.

 

(2)      Endorses the urgent actions that are being undertaken in response to this.

 

(3)      Tasks officers to develop further these actions and options for consideration, as part of an Emergency Budget, if no further financial resources are forthcoming from the Government.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The report confirmed that Covid19 was taking its toll on the financial resilience of the Council as income streams were reducing, debt recovery was being deferred and there was a growing necessity to incur costs to ensure services were being provided throughout this difficult period. 

 

In response to calls from the sector the Government had allocated a total of £3.2 billion of grant funding to support local authorities. The allocation of the original £1.6 billion was very heavily weighted towards social care authorities with District Councils only receiving a small share. The allocation of the second tranche of £1.6 billion was based on a higher proportion for District Councils but was based on population. This simple form of allocation did not take into account the individual nature of different types of authority. Lincoln, with its tight urban boundary, high daytime economy and high need population, had been severely disadvantaged by this method of allocation.

 

The Council was currently forecasting a shortfall on the General Fund budget of approximately £3 million in 2020/21 after the allocation of £1 million of government grant funding. The Housing Revenue Account was forecasting a £1 million shortfall for which no government support has been provided. In response to this the Council was undertaking a number of urgent actions focusing on extensive lobbying and media campaigns, controls to limit expenditure, the repurposing of Vision 2025 and an emergency budget.

 

The Council had responded quickly to the current crisis to support its residents and businesses, delivering crucial and much needed services. Local support systems had been set up to help the vulnerable and the homeless and had worked at pace to deliver financial lifelines to local business. Whilst at the same time the authority continued to empty the bins, keep parks open, pay benefits and carry out emergency housing repairs.

 

Moving forward into the recovery phase the Council’s ability to lead on, finance and support key practical and relevant interventions would be critical to the recovery of Lincoln and Lincolnshire’s economy. Further details were set out in the report, summarising potential financial challenges the Council faced across a number of areas, including:

 

·       exceptional costs of dealing with Covid19;

·       increased service demand in the short term and long term;

·       impact on local taxation;

·       loss of income;

·       impact on Towards Financial Sustainability Programme;

·       impact on Capital Programme.

 

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the Council, concurred that the government had a greater willingness to assist local authorities in respect of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.