Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Virtual Meeting (At present, members of the public are not able to attend), The Executive
Monday, 14th December, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Ann Holmes 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of interest

To receive any declaration of interest from a Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard A Dew declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of Item 5 – Council Tax Premiums – Second Homes and Long-Term Empty Property (Review) and left the meeting during discussion and voting.

2.

Urgent matters certified by the Chief Executive or her appointed officer

No urgent matters at the time of dispatch of this agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None received.

3.

The Executive's Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 367 KB

To submit a report by the Head of Democratic Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Democratic Services incorporating the Executive’s Forward Work Programme for the period January to August, 2021 was presented for consideration and the following changes were noted:-

 

Special Meeting of the Executive to be convened on 18 January, 2021 to finalise the Executive’s final draft budget proposals for consultation.

 

Items re-scheduled

 

Item 22 – Introducing Galw Gofal – Care Connect charges for Council Housing Tenants  (scheduled to be discussed at the 22 March, 2021 meeting – to be confirmed)

 

Item 4 – Anglesey Further Education Trust Annual Report and Accounts 2019/20 (scheduled to be discussed at the 25 January, 2021 meeting)

 

Item 5 – Llangefni Golf Course (rescheduled to be discussed from 25 January, 2021 to 15 February, 2021).

 

It was resolved to confirm the Executive’s updated Forward Work

Programme for the period January to August, 2021 as presented.

4.

Treasury Management Mid-Year Review 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To submit a report to the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 incorporating the Treasury Management Mid-Year Review Report was presented for the Executive’s consideration.

 

The Portfolio Member for Finance reported that the Treasury Management Mid-Year

Review report is presented in accordance with regulations issued under the Local Government Act 2003 and with the Council’s Treasury Management Scheme of Delegation 2020/21 (Appendix 8 of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2020/21).    The report refers to the Council’s capital expenditure position and compliance with prudential indicators and its investment and borrowing activity half-way through the financial year. In accordance with the Scheme of Delegation, the report was scrutinised by the Audit Committee at its meeting held on 1 December, 2020.The report will be presented to the Full Council taking into account any comments made thereon by the Executive.

 

The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer highlighted the following –

 

• That the mid-year review report has been scrutinised by the Audit and Governance

Committee and was accepted without additional comment by that Committee.

· There were concerns at the beginning of the financial year as regards to cash flow due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect on the Council’s ability to pay for services.  The Council borrowed £10m in March from PWLB to assure that resources were available for the Council to function.  However, due to financial support from Welsh Government the situation improved as WG supported the business grants and the RSG payment was afforded before the deadline. This has resulted in the Council holding balances of £50m which is above the limit approved within the Annual Investment Strategy included in the TMSS 2020/21.  The Council has during the first half of the financial year afforded loans to other Local Authorities as noted within the report, as it is the most secure way of investing funds, ensure that the sums deposited in call accounts stayed within the limits set in the TMSS 2020/21 and give a greater rate of return than most bank call accounts.  The current financial holding balance is £30m but the £10m borrowed in March 2020 will need to be repaid in March 2021.

· It is anticipated that the Council will need to borrow money to pay for new refuse collection vehicles as part of the new refuse collection contract in March 2021.

· The capital expenditure plans is lower as projects have not progress due to the pandemic;

· The Council complied with the limits and prudential indicators set out in the TMSS 2020/21.

 

It was resolved to note the content of the report and to forward the report to the Full Council without further comment.

 

 

5.

Council Tax Premiums - Second Homes and Long-Term Empty Property (Review) pdf icon PDF 850 KB

To submit a report by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer reviewing the operation of the Council Tax Premium on Second Homes and Long-Term Empty Properties was presented for the Executive’s consideration.

 

The Portfolio Member for Finance reported that a decision was made to increase the higher amount of council tax (called a Council Tax premium) which would come into effect from 1 April 2019.  From this date, the full Council agreed to set the Council Tax premium at 100% of the standard rate of council tax for long-term empty dwellings and at 35% for dwellings occupied periodically, usually known as second homes.  He noted that during this year a number of properties has ‘flipped’ from being registered to pay council tax to business rates which results in the owners not having to pay any rates.  The Council has written to Welsh Government to review the existing regulations of taxation in order to reduce the number of homes being registered for business rates but WG has disregarded the request as they considers that this is not an issue.  The Portfolio Member for Finance also called for WG to use their powers and amend the land transaction tax to ensure that the level is higher for second homes and to consider a tourist tax as is in place in other parts of the world to draw funding to address the pressure on services within local authorities that sees their population increasing especially during the summer months.  He further noted that self-catering facilities being eligible for Small Business Rate Relief often results in no contribution into the local authorities.

 

The Portfolio Member for Finance said that the decision of the Executive is not to increase the Council Tax Premium for Second Homes and Long-Term Empty Properties for the next financial year 2021/2022 but it is an intention to increase the premium for second homes to 50% from April 2022.  He said that continued pressure needs to be put on Welsh Government to review the existing regulations and to introduce new methods of taxation in order to reduce the number of second homes on the Island and to provide additional funding to help support local projects aimed at helping the young people of Anglesey to be able to buy or rent their own home on the Island.

 

The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer reported that the purpose of the report was to review the Council Tax premium since the full Council’s last decision of 27 February, 2019 and also having regard to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Council’s Council Tax base and movements from the Council Tax Valuation List to the Business Rating List and in particular for second homes/holiday lets.  He said that there has been an increase in empty homes during the pandemic but this is a result of people unable to renovate/sell their properties.  The number of second homes on the Island has stayed the same at a consistent level despite the fact that 221 properties have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Sports North Wales - Business Case pdf icon PDF 953 KB

To submit a report by the Interim Head of Regulation and Economic Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Interim Head of Regulation and Economic Development seeking support to the establishment of a Sport North Wales Partnership was presented for to the Executive’s consideration. 

 

The Portfolio Member for Major Projects and Economic Development said that this is the Business Case to create Sports North Wales Partnership.  The vision for Sports North Wales has been developed through a new collaborative partnership that is made up of a number of well-established organisations who operate across the region and share a collective ambition to work together and to make significant change and impact which will benefit the people of North Wales.

 

The Commercial Leisure Manager reported that it is envisaged that Sports North Wales will be firmly established as an effective and robust regional body. Sports North Wales will add value and drive change in community commissioning and delivery by working closer with and within those communities. The Partnership will tackle health issues within local communities due to obesity and especially children of pre-school age.  He noted that Conwy Council will be the lead Authority as regard to the Sports North Wales Partnership and the legal department of this Authority has been working closing as regards to the Business Case.  He further said that a Welsh Language policy is to be established by the Sports North Wales Partnership but there is a risk that the policy is not in place at present. 

 

The Executive supported the establishment of a Sports North Wales Partnership but expressed concerns that a Welsh Language policy needs to be in place and having Officers at present who are Welsh speaking does not secure the language requirement for future years. 

 

·           To support, in principle, the establishment of a Sports North Wales Partnership;

·           To afford delegated powers to the Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer to complete the IAA in consultation with the Leader and Chief Executive and to bring the matter back to the Executive if there is any concern that the IAA will compromise the Council’s Welsh language requirements.