Venue: Virtual meeting via Skype for Business
Contact: Gill Scott Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This meeting will be audio streamed live for members of the public to hear the proceedings.
Disclosures of Interest
To receive any disclosures of interest from Councillors in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members.
Councillor Islam declared that he had received a business support grant and had discussed this with the Monitoring Officer who had advised that it was not necessary for him to declare this but he had done so for transparency.
Councillor Gibson declared that her partner had received a business support grant. She had discussed this with the Monitoring Officer who had advised that it was not necessary to declare this but Councillor Gibson wished to do so for transparency reasons.
To note a report on Spelthorne Borough Council’s emergency response to COVID-19 and consider the resulting financial impact.
To consider the implications of the six months’ rule and the timing for holding the Annual Council meeting.
Councillors considered the report and appendices that set out the Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Officers across the organisation also presented their individual reports detailing the impact of the pandemic on the services their team provided, the unfolding of events and consequential demands on the service, and how these had been addressed. The officers’ reports are attached to these minutes.
The Council had continued to deliver critical front line services to assist the vulnerable within the community and maintained other services such as environmental health, planning and building control services and its full range of refuse collection and recycling services. In order to achieve this, the Council had redeployed a considerable number of staff where necessary to cover frontline duties. Staff had been required to learn new skills, adapt and put these into practice at notice, whilst working from home.
The combined effect of additional expenditure to provide an emergency response to residents, and reduced income meant the Council faced a significant financial shortfall on its Budget for 2020-21. Although additional funding had been received from central government, this still left a significant shortfall that would need to be addressed. The Council, in conjunction with other local councils, continued to lobby government for additional funding to cover their costs.
Officers had examined the various options available to address the financial shortfall and opportunities to recoup the costs expended on the pandemic and presented these in the report.
Councillors thanked the Chief Executive, officers and staff for their excellent work and commitment during the pandemic.
Council considered together the first two recommendations to note:
1. The emergency response to COVID-19 as set out in the detailed report of the Virtual Borough Emergency Centre (V-BEC); and
2. The initial assessment of the impact on Spelthorne Borough Council’s short term financial position.
Resolved to note the report of V-BEC and the initial assessment of the Council’s short term financial position.
It was moved by Councillor I.T.E. Harvey and seconded by Councillor A.J. Harman to amend the third recommendation to Council to read:
“That the Council approves a revenue supplementary estimate for 2020-21 of £2.172million as the most likely net adverse impact, as stated at page 112 of the report, to be funded from useable revenue reserves, such funding to be drawn down only if further government support is not forthcoming or is insufficient to cover the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Council and sufficient cost savings cannot be found.
The final amount will be reported to Council in due course and if necessary further approval will be sought if the figure required exceeds £2.172million.”
A recorded vote was requested as this was a financial matter that impacted on the Council budget. Voting was as follows: