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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15/11/2005
DRAFT GENERAL FUND REVENUE ESTIMATES 2006/2007



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to seek this Committee’s views on the draft Revenue Estimates for the services within its remit.

APPENDIX D
Waverley Borough Council

ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY Committee
– 15TH NOVEMBER 2005
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Title:
DRAFT GENERAL FUND REVENUE ESTIMATES 2006/2007
[Wards Affected:All]
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Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to seek this Committee’s views on the draft Revenue Estimates for the services within its remit.
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Environmental implications:

There are no direct environmental implications as a result of the recommendation of this report. However, there are services within the remit of this committee that do have very significant environmental benefits.

Social / community implications:

There are no direct social/community implications as a result of the recommendation of this report. However, there are services within the remit of this committee that do have very significant social/community benefits.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct E-Government implications as a result of the recommendation of this report.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no direct legal implications as a result of the recommendation of this report. Resource implications are contained throughout the report.
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Introduction

1. On the 31st October the annual Finance Seminar took place at Cranleigh Arts Centre. All Members were invited to attend with copies of the presentation sent to those not in attendance. The seminar covered an update of the Financial Strategy and particularly focused on issues regarding the Council’s draft Budget for 2006/2007. It also focused on the Corporate Plan and the links between the two.

2. The draft Budget includes the overall savings arising as a result of the new contracts commencing on the 1st November 2005. The draft Budget also allows for the appropriate initial costs and reduced contract costs in line with previous approvals, but for 2006/2007, the effect of these will be neutral with any difference accounted for by the use of balances. However, there are also a couple of areas which are unknown: the cost of the free bus travel for the over 60s together with the levels of any associated grant; and the January 2006 pay award.

2006/2007 Draft Revenue Estimates

2. The draft Revenue Estimates for 2006/2007 for the services within the remit of this Committee are attached. The Planning and Major Developments Portfolio services are contained at Annexe 1, the Environment Portfolio services are contained at Annexe 2, and the Culture and Leisure Portfolio services are contained at Annexe 3.

3. Applications for grants under the Sponsored Organisation Scheme for 2006/2007 will be the subject of a separate report to this Committee. At this stage, the detailed estimates for 2006/2007 relating to each organisation have been left blank. However, a global figure based on existing amounts has been included within each portfolio summary in order to show the overall budget situation.

Statutory Services

4. Each budget page contains an indication of whether the service provided is statutory, discretionary, or a mixture of the two. There are some statutory services where the level of service provided is greater than that required by law. This analysis will assist Members in giving consideration to the resources allocated to the various services. There will of course be other factors, such as the Council’s approved aims and objectives, public demand and political priorities.

Planning Delivery Grant

5. For 2005/2006 Waverley’s share of Planning Delivery Grant is 480,000, of which 25% has to be spent on capital items, with the remaining 360,000 covering revenue expenditure. Council has approved expenditure during 2005/2006 which is covered by the grant of 360,000. This level of expenditure is included in the base budget for 2006/2007 and likewise the existing level of grant has been assumed. However, Waverley’s Planning Delivery Grant will not be awarded until 2006 and the amount is still uncertain.

Fees and Charges

6. It is the Council’s practice to review its fees and charges each year with effect from the forthcoming 1st April. Planning and Building Control fees are largely determined by statutory Government guidelines. In other areas, increases in charges in line with delegated authority have been allowed for within the draft Estimates. However, in some areas it may be necessary to recommend further increases and these will be subject to consideration by the Executive on 6th December 2005 and during the subsequent Committee cycle.

Proposed Service Variations


Planning and Major Developments Portfolio

7. Development Control – variations are sought for:
- advice on Contaminated Land - 20,000
- contribution to Surrey Mediation for High Hedges - 2,000
- contribution for Planning and Housing co-ordinator Surrey Joint Working - 1,000
- Joint Surrey Chief Executives and Surrey Planning Officers Association work - 5,000




Environment Portfolio

8. Animal Control – 10,000 is sought for the 24 Hour Dog Service, for which responsibility is passing to Waverley from the Police from 1st April 2007.

9. Waste Recycling – 20,000 for Waste Minimisation (post WRAP Project). This is to enable promotional work to continue which has previously been covered by external funding.

Culture and Leisure Portfolio

10. Godalming Leisure Centre – a potential deficit requirement of 150,000 has been identified. This item will be discussed in more detail later on the agenda.

11. Recreational Open Space
Grounds Maintenance - variations are sought for Permanent Staffing - 37,900, Weekend Roving Staff – 48,500 and Security Patrol - 5,400.

Play Equipment Repairs - 16,000 is requested for repairs to playgrounds.

Budget Variances


12. In general, no unavoidable growth in expenditure has been permitted within the draft 2006/2007 base estimates. However, there are areas where budget variances have arisen. These may result from such matters as contractual commitments, changed levels of use, changes to manpower allocations, or updated asset charges. A brief explanation of each significant budget variance within the remit of this Committee for 2006/2007 is given below:

Planning and Major Developments Portfolio (Annexe 1)

13. Land Charges (page 2) – the lower income estimate reflects a reduced demand for the service.

14. Building Control (page 3) – additional fee income of 35,000 is anticipated. This includes 5,000 for Electrical Engineers fees to offset the expenditure incurred.

15. Development Control (page 5) – Planning fee income for 2006/2007 is forecast to be 120,000 less than the 2005/2006 budget, this reflects an overall reduction in the number of applications especially those of high value.

Environment Portfolio (Annexe 2)

16. Animal Control (page 4) – the Asset Charges relate to the new animal control vehicles.

17. Environmental Cleaning (page 6) – the reduction in Hired and Contract Services of 192,000 reflects the savings achieved from re-tendering the contract.

18. Refuse Collection (page 7):

19. Waste Recycling (page 9):
20. Car Parks (page 11) – the increase in Asset Charges arises as a result of routine revaluations.


Culture and Leisure Portfolio (Annexe 3)

21. Cranleigh Leisure Centre (page 9) – Asset Charges have increased significantly following a routine revaluation.

22. Recreational Open Space (page 15) – the estimates reflect the additional cost of the Grounds Maintenance contract.

23. Countryside (page 17) - the estimates reflect the additional cost of the Grounds Maintenance contract.

24. Tourism (page 20) – the estimate reflects no provision of the Tourist Information Service by Waverley Borough Council from 1st April 2006.


Conclusion

25. The views of this Committee will be reported to the Executive on 6th December when it will give initial consideration to the draft Budget for 2006/2007. This consideration will include proposals to restrict expenditure levels in line with the Financial Strategy. The Government’s provisional Revenue Support Grant Settlement for 2006/2007 is due to be announced at the end of November and the implications of this will be reported on 6th December 2005. The Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Committees will give further consideration to the Budget in January and February with the final decisions being made at Council on 21st February 2006.


Recommendation

It is recommended that the Committee inform the Executive of its views on the draft Revenue Estimates for the services within its remit.
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Background Papers

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Mr B Long Telephone: 01483 523253
E-mail:blong@waverley.gov.uk




Bureau/comms/O&S3/045.doc