Council services by letter

Agenda item


2020/2021 Budget


Members received a report which set out the 2020/21 budget proposal following consultation with the boroughs. The report included the key areas of focus for the next 12 -60 months to deliver the targets on residual waste reduction.


Jay Patel, Head of Finance, outlined the background to the budget process the approach used and highlighted the proposed different way of dealing with reserves. This year, rather than just focussing on the year ahead, a more strategic approach had been taken.


A Member commented that the report was confusing in that it referred to it being desirable to increase residual waste tonnage. The Managing Director explained that the conflicting messages related to the requirement to reduce residual waste from households and the need to capture residual waste from businesses. It was hoped that the Authority could reap benefits from dealing with the growth in trade waste and promotion of recycling.


A Member welcomed the focus on food waste and recycling as this was key in terms of the climate emergency. She questioned how authorities could act more cooperatively in terms of HRRCs and reducing the number of vehicles travelling around the boroughs to different sites. The authorities websites did not correspond with what was happening on the ground. The Chair acknowledged that this was a complicated area which required a ‘joined up’ approach and further discussion. He advised that the Corporate Directors of each authority met on a quarterly basis to discuss such issues. Ian O’Donnell, Treasurer, added that he had met with the borough Finance Directors to emphasise the benefits of working collaboratively but that Members should be mindful that there were issues in terms of fairness in the use of the £3m set aside for invest to save food projects as some boroughs were more advanced in dealing with food waste than others.


Sarah Ellis, Operations Manager, reported that Waste Minimisation Advisors were being recruited to work at HRRCs and would be trained with in-depth reuse and recycling knowledge.  These staff would then, in turn, help train existing operatives at HRRCs. It was intended that the operatives could visit multiple sites in order to share best practice. The Managing Director added that efficiencies would arise if these staff were able to use technology as part of their role.


The Managing Director reported that the approach determined collectively by boroughs would be reported to the Authority for approval.


RESOLVED: That (1) the 2020/21 budget be approved;

(2) the Pay as You Throw (PAYT) rates, as set out in section 14 of the report, and the PAYT levy made up of two components totalling £48.8 million be approved;

(3) the Fixed Cost Levy (FCL) of £13.5 million, as set out in section 15 of the report, be approved;

(4) the new proposed capital budgets, as set out in section 17 of the report, be approved;

(5) the target level of reserves of £8.1 million to act as a buffer for managing risks and avoiding supplementary levies, as set out in section 18 of the report, be approved;

(6) the setting aside of £3 million of reserves to fund locally agreed invest to save initiatives to increase food waste collection only be approved.

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