Issue - decisions

Revenue Budget & Precept 2020/21

03/02/2020 - Revenue Budget & Precept 2020/21

Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Corporate Resources regarding the Revenue Budget and Precept 2020/21.


The report was introduced and key elements highlighted, including the use of winter maintenance budgets, the position of the HC3S trading operation, revisions to the 2019/20 budget relating to Ash dieback, rural broadband, climate change and the invest in Hampshire fund. The potential impact of changes to the national living wage were drawn to Cabinet’s attention, as was the reserves strategy.


With the agreement of the Chairman, Councillor House addressed Cabinet, questioning the strategy of service reduction to deal with reduced levels of government grant. He proposed greater investment in strategic land for long term benefit and growing the use of volunteers to support community facilities such as libraries.


Cabinet noted that many of the services delivered by the County Council were statutorily required and therefore the budget setting strategy was based around fulfilling these responsibilities. The prudence and success of the reserves strategy was recognised and it was noted that resources were available to purchase land where suitable opportunities arose. The sold services strategy was credited with spreading overheads, retaining skilled capacity and maintaining the Council’s overall scale.


It was confirmed that all alternative proposals relating to changes to the library service would be considered on conclusion of the public consultation. Cabinet welcomed the high level of public interest and engagement with the consultation process.


Additional funding for highway maintenance was welcomed, as was £2million assigned to tackling the climate change emergency. With regards to the introduction of climate change impact assessments on decision reports, it was explained and agreed that the County Council needed a robust and measurable approach, using a baseline of carbon emissions and resilience. Developing this would give the basis for an assessment tool that could be used by officers preparing decision reports in order to meaningfully recognise the impact on climate change of any proposed decisions. Cabinet acknowledged that to carry out this work properly would take some time and therefore that it was anticipated the climate change impact assessments would be introduced to reports during the 2020/21 municipal year.


The recommendations in the report were agreed. A decision record is attached to these minutes.