Agenda and minutes

Budget Meeting, Council - Tuesday 26 February 2013 10.30 am

Venue: The Lansdown Hall - Civic Centre, St Stephens Place, Trowbridge, BA14 8AH. View directions

Contact: James Hazlewood (01722 434250)  Email:

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Paul Sample, Julie Swabey, Peggy Dow, Mary Douglas, Desna Allen, Bill Douglas, Jane Burton, Rod Eaton, Fred Westmoreland and Mike Cuthbert-Murray.


Minutes of Previous Meeting

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the last meeting of Council held on 13 November 2012.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2012 were presented.




That the minutes of the last Council meeting held on 13 November 2012 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.



The Chairman drew Councillors’ attention to a letter of advice previously circulated by the Monitoring officer in relation to interests, particularly on the setting of the budget and council tax, garage tenancies and the Wiltshire and Swindon Waste Site Allocations Local Plan.


It was noted that a number of Councillors had applied for and been granted a dispensation to enable them to participate in the debate and voting on the setting of the budget and council tax. A list of Councillors who had been granted such a dispensation is attached as Appendix A to these minutes.


Cllr Brian Dalton declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in respect of the housing revenue account in relation to the setting of garage rents as he held a garage tenancy.


Cllr Francis Morland explained that he did not intend to declare an interest in the budget and setting of council tax item given the clarification given recently by the Minister that this was no longer necessary.



Announcements by the Chairman


The Chairman made the following announcements:


a)    Former Councillors


The Chairman sadly informed Council of the recent deaths of former councillors, Ann Lye and Celia Lambert.


A liberal democrat, Ann Lye was elected to Wiltshire County Council in 1993 at a by-election to represent the Trowbridge West electoral division, and was returned later in that year to represent Trowbridge East until 1997.  She also served on West Wiltshire District Council and Trowbridge Town Council, where she was a former chairman.  She was well known in the Trowbridge community and was a founder member of the charity Action on Homelessness, which was still supporting vulnerable people today.  She moved to Pembrokeshire in 2001.


Labour councillor, Mrs Celia Lambert served as the Wiltshire County Councillor for the Salisbury Bemerton electoral division from 1981 to 1988 during which time she was chairman of the Planning Committee and was an active member of the Salisbury community.


A number of Councillors paid tribute to both former Councillors. Of Monica Blake, Councillors commented that she had done an exceptional job as Councillor and would be greatly missed. Of Ann Lye, Councillors remembered her with fondness and referred to her unstinting work for the community she served in Trowbridge and the Liberal Democrat party, her great sense of humour and that she too would also be greatly missed.


Council stood for a moment in silence as a mark of respect for both former Councillors.


b)   Councillors standing down


The Chairman took the opportunity, as this was the last meeting of the Council before the elections in May, to pay tribute to Councillors who had made it known they would not be standing for re-election, namely, Councillors Brigadier Hall, Peter Davis, Carole Soden, Julie Swabey, Judy Rooke, Bill Roberts, Lionel Grundy and Richard Beattie.  The Chairman presented those Councillors who were in attendance with a small memento to remind them of their time on the Council.


c)    Royal Visits


The Chairman referred to recent royal visits.


In December, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent visited the Wessex Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in Warminster before travelling on to Bradford on Avon to visit Anthony Best Dynamics – a leading company in dynamic testing of vehicles – and the Wiltshire Music Centre, to celebrate their 15th anniversary.


Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall had visited the County twice.  In December she attended the Bowood House Christmas extravaganza, in aid of the Wiltshire Bobby Van, before travelling on to Malmesbury to meet with victims of recent flooding in the town.  She returned to Wiltshire again this month to visit the Rise Children’s Centre, the Oaks, Chippenham to meet members of the Chippenham Time Credits Network set up by spice in partnership with the council, as well as others involved in initiatives to support work around financial inclusion, including Wiltshire Money.  She then travelled on to Langley Burrell to meet young people taking part in courses run by Community First’s Youth Action Wiltshire programme, before concluding her visit at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.




Petitions Received

No petitions have been received for this meeting.


The Chairman explained that no petitions had been received for presentation to this meeting.


Petitions Update

Report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Supporting documents:


A report by the Head of Democratic Services was presented which gave Council details of seven petitions received for the period since the last Council meeting.




That Council note the report, the petitions received and the actions being taken in relation to them, as set out in the Appendix to the report as presented.



Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.



If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named above for any further clarification.



To receive any questions from members of the public  received in accordance with the constitution. Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named above (acting on behalf of the Corporate Director) no later than 5pm on Tuesday 19 February 2013. Please contact the officer named on the first page of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.


The Chairman reported receipt of two requests for public participation. Mrs Landell-Mills on continued funding for the Wiltshire Victoria County History Appeal Trust being an element of the Financial Plan (minute no.7 refers) and Mrs Neal on the Wiltshire and Swindon Waste Site Allocations Local Plan (minute no.10 refers). The Chairman agreed to take the speakers at the respective agenda items.


Wiltshire Council Financial Plan 2013/14

To consider the Leader’s motion on the Financial Plan and the Budget and council tax levels for 2013/14 following the recommendations of Cabinet from its meeting on 12 February 2013.


The following documents relate to this item:

Supporting documents:


  Declaration of Interest


Please refer to minute no. 3 above.



Public Participation


Mrs Landell-Mills addressed Council on the Budget. In particular she explained her disappointment at the Council’s withdrawal of funding for the Wiltshire Victoria County History project. She hoped the Council would be able to extend its support to ensure the completion of Volume 9 which only required a few more months work prior to publication next year and that the Council should remain involved in the project.


Cllr Stuart Wheeler, Cabinet member for Transformation, Culture, Leisure and Libraries explained that due to the financial pressures on the Council, it was having to make some difficult decisions. However, he reassured Mrs Landell-Mills that every effort would be made to support the completion of Volume 9.




The Chairman explained how she intended to manage the debate on the budget as summarised in the previously circulated paper regarding the budget process.


The Chairman drew Councillors’ attention to the various budget papers which had been previously circulated as follows:

·         The Leader’s Budget Speech (This was circulated at the meeting - Appendix B to these minutes)

·         Budget report which included comments from the Special Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee held on 7 February 2013 and recommendations from Cabinet on 12 February 2013

·         Financial Plan

·         Updated appendices to the Financial Plan

·         Minutes and report of the Special Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee

·         Extract from minutes of Cabinet held on 12 February 2013

·         Report on Council tax setting

The Chairman reminded Council that it had a legal obligation to set a budget today. She explained that she would first call upon the Leader of the Council to present and propose the Budget and her Cabinet’s recommendation. She would then call upon the Chairman of the Special Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee to present the minutes and report of his Committee held on 7 February. Group Leaders would then be called to comment and respond to the Leader’s proposals. As was customary, the Chairman explained that Group Leaders would not be limited to five minutes. 

Accordingly, the Chairman invited Cllr Jane Scott, Leader of the Council, to present her budget speech as circulated at the meeting.


The Leader highlighted the Council’s achievements over the last four years which were also highlighted in a short DVD film shown at the meeting.

She also referred to the challenges which the Council continued to face in terms of increased demands for its services and the financial pressures as a consequence of significant reductions in Government funding. The Leader explained that she was proud of the achievements that had been delivered and that in tough times, the Council had managed to sustain its front line services and continued to support the most vulnerable in its communities.


The Leader thanked all staff who had worked tremendously hard during a challenging time in local government. She thanked all Councillors for their contribution and the roles they played as back-bench members or as members of scrutiny committees which ensured a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Report on Council Tax Setting

Supporting documents:


At the Chairman’s invitation, the Leader presented a report which detailed the various calculations in the prescribed format to enable Council to approve the council tax requirement for 2013/14.


Using the tax base previously approved by Cabinet on 18 December 2012 of 164,575.59 Band D equivalent households, and the draft net budget requirement of£340.518 million (of which £201.182m is funded by council tax) gives a band D council tax for 2013/2014 of £1,222.43.


On being proposed by the Leader and seconded by the Deputy Leader, it was




That the Council approves the Council Tax Resolutions for 2013/14 as follows:


1.         That it be noted that on 18 December 2012 the Council calculated:


(a)       the Council Tax Base 2013/2014 for the whole Council area as 164,575.59 [Item T in the formula in Section 31B(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the "Act")] and,


(b)      for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a Parish precept relates as in the attached Appendix C.


2.         Calculate that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2013/2014 (excluding Parish precepts) is £201.182m.


3.         That the following amounts be calculated  for the year 2013/2014 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:




(Gross Revenue Expenditure including parish precepts) being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils).




(Revenue Income) being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.




(Net Revenue Expenditure including parish precepts) being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31A(4) of the Act).




(Wiltshire Council Band D tax plus average Town & Parish Councils Band D Council Tax) being the amount at 3(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (2 above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts),

as shown below:


Band A








































(Aggregate of Town & Parish Council Precepts) being the aggregate amount of all special items (Parish Precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act (as per the attached Appendix C).




(Band D Council Tax for Wiltshire Council purposes only) being the amount at 3(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3(e) above by Item T (2 above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Treasury Management Strategy 2013/14

The report previously considered by Cabinet is attached.  The recommendations of Cabinet will be circulated in the agenda supplement.


Supporting documents:


Cllr John Brady, Cabinet member for Finance, Performance and Risk presented a report previously considered by Cabinet on 12 February 2013 which sought approval of the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for 2013/14.


It was noted that the Council was required by legislation to approve a Treasury Management Strategy, which incorporated the setting of Prudential and Treasury Indicators and an Annual Investment Strategy.  The report set out the main areas for consideration by the Council including:


·         The Prudential Indicators and Treasury Indicators

·         The Borrowing Strategy

·         Other Debt Management Issues

·         Cash Investments; and

·         Minimum Revenue Provision


The primary treasury management risks to which the Council is exposed are adverse movements in interest rates and the credit risk of its investment counterparties.


The strategies detailed in Appendix A and Appendix B of the report presented took into account the forecast movement in interest rates and allowed sufficient flexibility to vary strategy if actual movements in interest rates were not in line with the forecast.




a)That the Prudential and Treasury Indicators be adopted (Appendix A of the report presented) and the change in Prudential Indicator 4, which now compares Gross (previously Net, of investments) Debt with the Capital Financing Requirement in accordance with an amendment issued by CIPFA in November 2012 be approved;


b)           That the Annual Investment Strategy (Appendix B of the report presented) be adopted;


c)That the Service Director, Finance be authorised to vary the amount of borrowing and other long term liabilities within both the Treasury Indicators for the Authorised Limit and the Operational Boundary;


d)           That the Service Director, Finance be authorised to agree the restructuring of existing long-term loans where savings are achievable or to enhance the long term portfolio;


e)That short term cash surpluses and deficits continue to be managed through temporary loans and deposits; and


f)          That any long term surplus cash balances not required to cover borrowing are placed in authorised money-market funds, particularly where this is more cost effective than short term deposits and delegate to the Service Director, Finance the authority to select such funds.



Wiltshire and Swindon Waste Site Allocations Local Plan - Adoption

The recommendations of Cabinet are attached, followed by the report of the Director for Economy and Regeneration.  The Draft Plan is enclosed separately.


Supporting documents:


Public Participation


Mrs Neal, Clerk to Chitterne Parish Council addressed Council on the Plan in so far as the inclusion of land at Valley Farm, Chitterne was concerned. The Parish Council considered that the greenfield site in such a sensitive location should never have been considered for inclusion in the Plan and had made representations on this issue at every opportunity.


Cllr de Rhé-Philipe explained that whilst she had sympathy for the Parish Council’s position, the site having been put forward by the landowner had to be considered. She quoted from the Inspector’s Report which stated: ‘…the site has capacity to accommodate some waste management uses, within the limits defined by its allocation for local scale development.  It is not necessary therefore, that the site should be removed from the Plan in the interests of soundness’. She added that the use of the site would still be subject to planning approval.




Cllr Fleur de Rhé-Philipe, Cabinet member for Economic Development and Strategic Planning presented the recommendation from Cabinet dated 22 January 2013 that Council adopt the Wiltshire and Swindon Waste Site Allocations Local Plan incorporating the Inspector’s main modifications.


The report previously considered by Cabinet, the Plan itself as proposed and Planning Inspector’s Report were presented. The Plan presented the final element of the current waste planning policy framework for Wiltshire and Swindon.


The Planning Inspector’s Report, outlined that the Plan appropriately reflected national policy and the policy framework set out in the adopted Wiltshire and Swindon Waste Core Strategy (July 2009) and Waste Development Control Policies Development Plan Document (September 2009).

Councillors were advised that the Planning Inspector concluded that, subject to the inclusion of a limited number of main modifications, the submitted Plan was sound and should be adopted as soon as reasonably practicable. It was noted that Swindon Borough Council had resolved to formally adopt the Plan at its meeting on 17 January 2013.

Cllr de Rhé-Philipe explained the background to the development of the Plan and how over 100 potential waste sites had initially been considered for inclusion which had been subject to extensive assessment. The number of sites had during the course of development of the Plan now been reduced to 34 which represented the best and most deliverable options for future waste management development. All 34 sites would of course still be subject to the planning application process. Cllr de Rhé-Philipe paid tribute to the huge amount of detailed work carried out by officers to bring the Plan to this stage.

Cllr de Rhé-Philipe moved the adoption of the Plan and this was seconded by the Leader of the Council.

The Chairman opened the debate out initially to group leaders and then to all other Councillors. A number of concerns and comments were raised during debate both in general terms and site specific to Councillors’ respective divisions, to which Cllr de Rhé-Philipe responded.

In response to points on consultation and whether comments received during consultation had been fully acted upon, Cllr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Review of Proportionality and Allocation of Seats on Committees

Report of the Director of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer.


Also to determine any requests from Group Leaders for changes to committee membership in accordance with the allocation of seats to political groups previously approved by the Council.


Supporting documents:


Following changes in the number of seats held by individual political groups on the Council, a request had been received from the Leader of the Independent Group for a review of the allocation of seats to political groups.


Accordingly, Council considered a report by the Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer on the legal considerations to be taken into account in undertaking such a review.


The report guided Council through the legal requirements in allocating seats to political groups.  In particular the report set out the legal position, the number of councillors in each of the five political groups, the four principles laid down in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, the Committees of the Council and the method to be used in calculating places to the Committees. A draft scheme of Committee places which had been the subject of initial consultation with group leaders was circulated for Council’s consideration.


A discussion ensued on the application of the legal requirements to allocate seats to political groups. In particular, concern was expressed by the Independent Group in relation to how this applied to the allocation of seats on the Police and Crime Panel. The Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer confirmed his view that the proposals before the Council complied with the legal requirements. He advised that the Council was not legally bound to provide the Independent Group a place on the Police and Crime Panel, which was subject to special rules involving the need to ensure that  ‘the balanced appointment objective’ is met so far as reasonably practicable. Panel members had undergone a specific period of induction training over the last eight months and it would not be possible to repeat this training prior to the elections in May. The Council was entitled to take this factor into account in considering the impact of a change of membership at this point in time on the  ‘balanced appointment objective’ which required the local authority members of the Panel (when taken together) to have the skills, knowledge and experience necessary for the Panel to discharge its obligations effectively. In relation to the rules on political proportionality under the 1989 Act, the Council was under a duty to apply these as far as reasonably practicable.


Cllr Christopher Newbury advised that effective from the end of this meeting, Cllr Ernie Clark would replace him as Independent Group Leader, with Cllr Francis Morland as deputy.




a)    That the report and legal requirements be noted


b)   To confirm the total aggregate number as 179 and the scheme of committee places available to councillors as attached as Appendix D to these minutes.


c)    To approve the following changes to the appointment of councillors to committees to serve until the next occasion membership is reviewed under the provisions of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, which will be undertaken at the annual meeting of the Council in May:


Licensing Committee

Cllr Jacqui Lay removed as member

Cllr Chris Humphries appointed as member


Audit  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Councillors' Induction Programme 2013

Report of the Director of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer.

Supporting documents:


Cllr Allison Bucknell, Chairman of the Councillor Development Group presented a report which updated Council on the work undertaken to date on the 2013 Councillor Induction Programme, what had been agreed by the Councillor Development Group and the areas still being developed.


The Council noted that the Induction Programme had been split into three strands.  An online e-guide which would be replacing the traditional hardcopy ‘A Handbook for Members’, a councillors quickstart guide and a programme of workshops that made up the induction programme itself.  The induction programme would run from 7 May 2013 to 10 June 2013.


In addition to the initial programme, a suggested programme of learning that would stretch out across the remaining first year and beyond was being created to assist in the continuous development of councillors, committee members and committee chairs.


During debate reference was made to the importance of Councillors taking up training opportunities particularly on quasi judicial functions and the legal responsibilities of being a corporate parent and safeguarding. Members paid tribute to Cllr Bucknell and the Councillor Development team of Councillors and officers for all their work on the induction, in particular, Jay Gascoigne who was co-ordinating the induction programme.




a)    That the actions taken so far in the preparation of the proposed induction programme for 2103, be endorsed, noting that further discussions would take place between Group Leaders and the Corporate Leadership Team before the programme was finalised.


b)   That for those areas where the Council has a quasi judicial role or where there are rights of appeals where costs are incurred, all Councillors and Substitute Members are required to undergo training before serving on those Committees and it shall be the responsibility of their Group Leader for ensuring that this happens.


c)    That all Councillors to undergo training in respect of their responsibilities for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults


d)   That Councillors be encouraged to undertake specific training in relation to the Committees to which they are appointed.


Wiltshire Council's Pay Policy Statement

The recommendations of the Staffing Policy Committee are attached, following by the Report of Service Director for Human Resources & Organisational Development and Head of Paid Service. 

Supporting documents:


At the Chairman’s invitation, Cllr Allison Bucknell as Chairman of the Staffing Policy Committee, presented a report regarding the updated Pay Policy Statement and publication of senior staff pay. The Policy Statement had been considered by the Staffing Policy Committee at its meeting on 9 January 2013 which recommended its approval.


Council was advised that under section 38 of the Localism Act 2011 every local authority was required to prepare and publish a pay policy statement for the financial year 2012/13 and this must be updated in each subsequent financial year.  The statement had been updated for 2013/14 to reflect current headcount, budget and redundancy figures.  It was noted that there had been no significant changes.




(a)  That the updated Pay Policy Statement set out in Appendix 1 of the report presented be approved


(b)  That the continued publication of senior staff salaries with a threshold of £52,800, along with job descriptions, budget responsibilities and numbers of staff be approved, with individuals being asked to consent for their names to be included.






Notices of Motion

None received.


There were no Notices of Motion received.


Councillors' Questions

Please note that Councillors are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the first page of this agenda (acting on behalf of the Corporate Director) not later than 5pm on Tuesday 19 February 2013. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

Supporting documents:


The Chairman reported the receipt of questions from Cllrs Nicholas Fogg, Bill Douglas, Brian Dalton, Jon Hubbard and Chris Caswill details of which were circulated and attached as Appendix E to these minutes together with the responses given.


Questioners agreed to take their questions as read and were given an opportunity to ask a relevant supplementary question to which the relevant Cabinet member responded.


Minutes of Cabinet and Committees

a.    The Chairman will move that Council receives and notes the minutes of Cabinet and the various Committees of the Council as listed in the Minutes Book enclosed separately.


b.    The Chairman will refer to Cabinet and each Committee in turn:

                      i.        The Leader, Cabinet members and Chairmen of Committees will be invited to make any important announcements.

                    ii.        Councillors will be given the opportunity to raise questions on points of information or clarification on the minutes presented.


c.    Councillors will be given an opportunity to raise general issues relating to Area Boards but not specific local issues.


d.    Councillors will be given an opportunity to raise any questions on the minutes of the Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority (none available for this meeting).


The Chairman moved that Council receive and note the following minutes as listed in the separate Minutes Book and the additional minutes circulated separately in the Agenda Supplement and this was duly seconded by the Vice- Chairman.





18 December 2012, 22 January and 12 February 2013

Cabinet Capital Assets Committee

22 January 2013

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee

13 December 2012 and 7 February 2013

Children’s Select Committee

29 November 2012

Environment Select Committee

20 December 2012

Health Scrutiny Committee

15 November 2012 and 17 January 2013

Northern Area Planning Committee

12 December 2012, 9 January and 30 January 2013

Eastern Area Planning Committee

22 November 2012 and 31 January 2013

Southern Area Planning Committee

15 November 2012 and 24 January 2013

Western Area Planning Committee

14 November, 5 December 2012 and 23 January 2013

Strategic Planning Committee

14 November 2012

Audit Committee

19 December 2012

Officer Appointments Committee

18 December 2012

Staffing Policy Committee

7 November 2012 and 9 January 2013

Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee

6 December 2012

Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel

5 December 2012 and 4 January 2013



The Chairman then invited questions from Councillors on points of information or clarification on the above minutes and gave the Chairmen of those meetings the opportunity to make any important announcements on the work of their respective Committees.




That the minutes of the above mentioned minutes be received and noted.



Appendix A – List of dispensations granted                   – Minute no.   3

Appendix B – Leader’s Budget Speech                          – Minute no.   7

Appendix C – List of precepts by parish                          – Minute no.   8

Appendix D – Allocation of Committee places               – Minute no.  11

Appendix E – Councillors’ questions and responses    – Minute no.  15

Supporting documents: