Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder presented a report setting out the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for 2021/22 to 2025/26 and the Capital Strategy for 2021/22 to 2033/34 which were expected to be approved by Council on 23 February 2021. The report had been updated to reflect the 2021/22 Budget and Capital Programme. The Portfolio Holder informed Members that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet had recommended the report for approval.
The strategies fulfilled five key legislative requirements relating to the setting of prudential indicators, the Council’s Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy, the Treasury Management Strategy Statement the Investment Strategy and the Capital Strategy, details of which were provided.
The Portfolio Holder made reference to the significant changes to the economic situation which included the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK economy and GDP levels, the current Bank of England interest rate of 0.1%, significant increases in public borrowing and the uncertainty and risk surrounding Brexit. He went on to explain two temporary modifications to the Council’s investment strategy relating to counterparty limits, the first allowing the very large sums received from Government for the Covid-19 grants to be lodged with the Council’s principle banker. The second the counter party limit for Money Market funds was increased from £5m to £10m and proposed that both of the changes are made permanent.
The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder added that it was proposed that a new local prudential indicator for internal borrowing be introduced. He noted that the capital strategy remained relatively unchanged from last year with the long-term view of possible capital expenditure being taken which had helped the Council improve the quality of decision making and prioritisation of certain expenditures.
Councillor Jarvis commended the prudent and professional approach to the Treasury Management Strategy which included diverse list of projects. He highlighted the importance of publishing the both strategies which improved transparency and moved the recommendations contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder.
During discussion Members highlighted the importance of both strategies and commended the detailed and thorough nature of the annual review. Councillor Jarvis responded and emphasised the significant duty to ensure that Council funds were prudently managed.
No Member having raised concern when asked by the Chairman, it was
RESOLVED – That the followed be approved:-
(1) the Treasury Management Strategy, Capital Strategies and the authorised and operational borrowing limits within the report;
(2) the permanent increase to £10m of the limit for investing with individual Money Market Funds and the disregarding of Government Covid funds when applying the counterparty limit to the Council’s Bankers NatWest; and
(3) the introduction of a new local prudential indicator for internal borrowing.
Report author: Claire Read
Publication date: 15/03/2021
Date of decision: 23/02/2021
Decided at meeting: 23/02/2021 - Council