Knowsley Council will meet at 6pm on Wednesday 4 March. Here is a summary of the main items on the agenda.
Councillors will be asked to endorse the 12 month extension of the current Corporate Plan to 2021. This extension was agreed by Cabinet in June 2019 and will ensure that the Corporate Plan is aligned with Knowsley’s 2030 strategy which is due to be approved in April 2020.
The Corporate Plan will continue to focus on the council’s five key priorities: to maximise the council’s contribution to education; maximise the council’s contribution to the health and wellbeing of residents; provide high quality and sustainable Adult Social Care; accelerate business growth, new jobs and housing; and to create a sustainable borough.
Knowsley 2030 Strategy
Members will be asked to endorse the Knowsley 2030 Strategy, a new long-term partnership led plan for the borough which has been produced following in-depth consultation and engagement with stakeholders across Knowsley.
The strategy would be delivered in line with the Knowsley Better Together approach recognising the need for the council, partner agencies and communities to work together to ensure the delivery of these shared plans.
Final approval for the Knowsley 2030 Strategy will be sought from the Knowsley Better Together Board later this month.
Robustness of estimates and adequacy of financial reserves
Council will receive a report on the processes and estimates to be used by the Council to set the annual budget and Council Tax. Arrangements around budget setting and budget monitoring, managing financial uncertainly and risk, maintaining adequate provisions, reserves and balances and ensuring sound financial management have been reviewed.
Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21
Council will receive an update on the Treasury Management Strategy, outlining plans for the overall management and control of the council’s cash income and expenditure. The draft strategy takes into account updated forecasts on interest rates and covers a range of treasury management functions including determining the council’s borrowing limits for the year. Council will be asked to approve the strategy.
2019/20 Revenue budget monitoring
Council will receive a further update on the year-end budget position, which is a slightly better position that than presented at Cabinet in November. The latest position reflects a forecast surplus of £0.773m. The actual surplus at the end of the year will be reported to the Cabinet in June 2020.
Councillors will be asked to approve the 2020/21 Capital Strategy, a document that has to be prepared for Government, setting out the council’s capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity.
As part of the Council’s Constitution, the Cabinet is required to recommend its annual budget proposals to a full meeting of the Council. At this meeting the Council will be asked to note a number of revisions and additions to the Council’s Capital Programme and approve the revised three-year plan.
Medium term financial strategy
Members will be asked to approve a report outlining the financial context for the council’s 2020/21 revenue budget. While a budget surplus of £4.010m is forecast, given the uncertainty over Government funding levels from 2021/22 onwards, the report recommends that the focus for this year should be on one-off investments with permanent investment limited to key priority areas. The report also sets out Cabinet’s proposed 2020/21 Pay Policy.
Fees and charges
Councillors will consider the 2020/21 schedule of fees and charges for council services. These include charges for services such as adult social care, pest control, community centre hire and bulky waste collections. Any increases to charges reflect the cost of providing services and inflation. The report states that maintaining some charges at current levels represents a council investment of £70,000 in service provision. Members will also consider changes to charges proposed by any political group on the council.
Revenue budget & Council Tax Levy
Council will set the Authority’s 2020/21 budget and Council Tax. It’s been agreed that the Council will need to take advantage of the full Council Tax referendum limit by increasing Council Tax by 1.99%. This is in addition to a further Adult Social Care precept of 2%. Council will further consider the precepts which must be included in the Council Tax calculations, these are for Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor.
Want more information?
All the information and papers for this meeting can be found on the council’s website.