RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL
Approve the revised Capital Programme outlined at Appendix A to the report.
To approve the revised Capital Programme outlined at Appendix A.
Members considered a report on the Capital Programme for financial years 2021/2022 to 2025/2026.
Councillor John Williams, Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, presented the report. He said that in light of the Covid 19 pandemic and the change to the Public Works Loan Board rules, it had been necessary to re-phase the Capital Programme significantly. The total gross capital budget for this financial year had been planned to be £119,270,000, but mainly due to the impact of the pandemic on the investment strategy, it had been revised to £48,621,000. The budget was further affected by the PWLB changes going forward to 2025/2026. The total forecast spend on investments was well within the £340million limit set by the Council. He asked Members to approve the recommendation.
Councillor Dr Tumi Hawkins seconded the proposal. She thanked officers and referred to the impact of the pandemic which necessitated the changes set out in the report.
Councillor Grenville Chamberlain sought assurance as to the robustness of the desktop transformation programme and telephony project in light of current ICT issues.
Councillor Graham Cone questioned what appeared to be a lack of allocation to Planning after the year 2020/2021 and said the grants and contributions for this year seemed low.
Councillor Mark Howells asked whether the electric vehicles referred to in the report were diesel friendly and said the refuse collection figures for 2025/2026 were higher than for previous years.
Councillor Heather Williams said the level of capital investment was 27 times the Council Tax base figure. She did not support burdening the Council with that level of borrowing to fulfil the administration’s political aspirations.
Councillor Deborah Roberts agreed with this comment, and said prudence was required.
Councillor John Williams responded to the points raised. He said after the current financial year, it was not proposed to use Planning funds for capital projects. Regarding grants and contributions, the report reflected the position this financial year: there had been less financial growth due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and there had been an impact also from changes to the PWLB. Regarding the telephony project, there was no connection with the ICT system. Regarding refuse vehicles, the Council had purchased vehicles on a life expectancy of five years, and when replacement was due, electric vehicles would be procured. Regarding borrowing, the Council was not borrowing beyond its means and the MTFS approved earlier showed the Council could afford the capital programme.
A vote was taken and votes were cast as follows:
In favour (25):
Councillors Henry Batchelor, John Batchelor, Anna Bradnam, Martin Cahn, Nigel Cathcart, Gavin Clayton, Claire Daunton, Douglas de Lacey, Clare Delderfield, Peter Fane, Neil Gough, Bill Handley, Geoff Harvey, Tumi Hawkins, Pippa Heylings, Alex Malyon, Peter McDonald, Brian Milnes, Dawn Percival, Judith Rippeth, Bridget Smith, Hazel Smith, Aidan van de Weyer, John Williams, Eileen Wilson.
Councillors Ruth Betson, Shrobona Bhattacharya, Tom Bygott, Grenville Chamberlain, Graham Cone, Sue Ellington, Mark Howell, Deborah Roberts, Bunty Waters, Heather Williams, Richard Williams, Nick Wright.
To approve the revised Capital Programme outlined at Appendix A to the report.