Agenda and minutes

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 7:00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Barking

Contact: David Symonds, Democratic Services Officer, Ground Floor, Barking Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking, IG11 7LU 

No. Item


Declaration of Members' Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members are asked to declare any interest they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes - To confirm as correct the minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 131 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 were confirmed as correct.


Minutes of Sub-Committees - To note the minutes of the JNC Appointments, Salaries and Structures Panel held on 29 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 45 KB


The Assembly received and noted the minutes of the JNC Appointments, Salaries and Structures Panel, held on 29 January 2019.


Death of former Councillor Mabel Arnold pdf icon PDF 50 KB


The Assembly noted with deep regret that former Councillor Mabel Arnold passed away in a residential home in Stourbridge, West Midlands on 10 February 2019.


Mabel served as a Councillor between 1974 and 1998, representing Manor, Parsloes and Cambell Wards. During her time on the Council, Mabel was on a wide range of committees and also served as Deputy Chair of the Social Services Committee between 1982 and 1998 and the Libraries Committee between 1990 and 1993.


Mabel represented the Council on numerous outside bodies, including the Fostering and Adoption Service, and was Chair of Governors for Barking College of Further Education and a Governor of Cambell, Godwin and Monteagle Schools. She was elected Mayor for the 1987/88 municipal year and was granted the Freedom of the Borough in 1995.


The Assembly stood for a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.


Leader's Statement

The Leader will present his statement.


The Leader of the Council presented a verbal statement, updating the Assembly on a range of matters since the last meeting, including:


·  Violent crime and anti-social behaviour- There had been a shooting and stabbing at Barking Station recently, and whilst the perpetrators and victims were not from the borough, it was important that with the increase in violent crime particularly in London, that the Council needed to keep lobbying for more police resources. The recent anti-social behaviour by young people outside ‘Subway’ in the Heathway reported to January’s Assembly was the subject of further action, including reviewing CCTV to identify those who took part. This would be followed up with letters from the Tri-Borough Police Commander and the Leader, reminding parents of their responsibilities.


·  London’s first Youth Zone- The Youth Zone would be opening in less than 100 days and the Leader had joined students from Robert Clack Upper School and members of the Future Youth Zone team to start the countdown. It was noted that young people had been involved in the design of the Zone which will be a great asset to the borough at a cost of £6.5 million, the first of its kind in London with a wide range of activities and for only 50p per session. Members of the Zone would be between the ages of 8-19 and for those aged up to 25 with additional needs.


·  50m Swimming pool- This has now opened at the Becontree Heath Leisure Centre.


·  Wall of Shame- The latest episode of the ‘Wall of Shame’ was now available on the Council’s website. This featured fly tipping hotspots in St Chad’s Road in Chadwell Heath and Rowallen Parade, Dagenham. Any fly tippers identified on CCTV are liable to a fixed penalty notice and the Council encouraged residents to get in touch in confidence to report incidents.



The Labour Group Secretary will announce any nominations to fill vacant positions on Council committees or other bodies.


There were none.


Budget Framework 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 - 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Additional documents:


A video highlighting the Borough’s key developments and initiatives during the year was shown before the Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Core Services introduced the Council’s proposed budget framework for 2019/20 which incorporated the following:


·  the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for 2019/20 to 2020/21;

·  the General Fund budget for 2019/20;

·  the level of Council Tax for 2019/20;

·  the draft Capital Programme for 2019/20 to 2022/23;

·  an update on the Dedicated Schools Grant and Local Funding Formula for Schools; and

·  the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy to support the Council’s transformation agenda.


The Cabinet Member advised that a revised Appendix C for the statutory budget determinations setting out the amount of Council Tax, had been tabled to the Assembly, which was a slight adjustment on “rounding” but which made no difference to the Council Tax valuation bands.


With regard to revenue funding, the Cabinet Member outlined the grant funding available to the Council. He explained that the abolition  of the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) system meant that the Council’s main source of revenue funding now came from business rates, which will see the Council no worse off than previous with an estimated £79.16m coming from new pooling arrangements, representing a small increase of  £0.5m, albeit this is dependant on business rates growth in London which in the current economic climate is not guaranteed.  As a consequence, it was proposed to increase Council Tax by 2.99%. this included 1.99% for general Council services raising an additional £1.2m, plus an additional 1% specifically ring-fenced for Social Care and Support services, raising an additional £0.6m.


The Cabinet Member commented on the 2019/20 budget consultation that had taken place between November 2018 and January 2019, which included several face-to-face events with the local community, and the key projects, issues and risks associated with Council services in the years ahead. He added that the Council sought to keep the Council Tax as low as possible and the higher amount raised would be ringfenced for social care and disabilities.


The Cabinet Member referred to the unprecedented financial challenges faced by local authorities as a result of the year-on-year funding cuts by Central Government, which had coincided with increasing demand for services and a growing population. The Council had chosen in 2014 to take a bold and ambitious approach in response to those challenges, focussing on investing in services, maximising economic growth and transforming the way the Council was run by pursuing new and innovative transformation solutions to the delivery of services and as an alternative to outsourcing, ensuring that no one was left behind. He outlined examples of this innovative approach including Community Solutions, (the Service set up to work with people and families in need of early help and support to get back on track), Be First (the Council’s Regeneration Company), Reside (Council owned Affordable Landlord) and Beam (Council Energy Supplier). The Cabinet Member also referred to the proposed Capital Programme for the next four years which would see over £740m of investment  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.


Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Core Services presented the Council’s draft Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011. The Cabinet had considered this report and endorsed it at the meeting on 18 February 2019.


The Statement included details of the pay ratios showing the Chief Executive’s salary against the median salary figure for all employees and against the lowest paid employees, as well as comparative data compiled from a number of other London Boroughs.  The Cabinet Member commented that Barking and Dagenham’s favourable position in comparison to the benchmark was reflective of the prudent stance taken by the Council on senior officers’ pay levels.


In line with the Council’s long-standing commitment to pay its employees no less than the London Living Wage rate, the Cabinet Member referred to the proposed increase to the minimum rate of pay from £10.20 to £10.55 per hour with effect from 5 November 2018.  The increase would also apply to a range of apprenticeship posts across the Council and Members were pleased to hear that the pay policy was encouraging apprentices to want to build a career at Barking and Dagenham.


Members welcomed the report and asked that the Council support and celebrate its pay policy They also requested that the Council continue to lobby the Local Government Association, requesting that Members should be readmitted to the Local Government Pension Scheme which they are not permitted to join.


The Assembly resolved to:


Approve the Pay Policy Statement for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham for 2019/20 as set out at Appendix A to the report, for publication on the Council’s website with effect from April 2019.


Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Core Services presented the draft Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) for 2019/20 which set out the Council’s borrowing, investment and funding plans for the year ahead. This report was considered ad endorsed by the Cabinet at its meeting on 18 February 2019.


The Cabinet Member referred to the key issues within the TMSS, which included the new requirement for a Capital Strategy, details of borrowing and investments levels at 31 December 2018, cash balances at 31 March each year since 2015/16 and the medium-term capital finance budget. In respect of the latter, the Cabinet Member confirmed that the increasing amount of General Fund interest payable from 2018/19 to 2022/23 and beyond reflected the significant activity under the Council’s Investment and Acquisition Strategy. 


Reference was made to the importance of effective treasury management in supporting the Council’s ambitious plans and the stretched targets for the Treasury section in respect of achieving interest on the Council’s General Fund cash balances.  In respect of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and the announcement by the Prime Minister in October 2018 that the debt cap was to be abolished, the Cabinet Member advised that details were still awaited of when that change of policy would come into effect and the practical implications for local authorities.


Members were pleased that the authority was sustaining a prudent financial approach although were also concerned about the financial viability of the Council in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


The Leader recorded his thanks to the Cabinet Member for his hard work and for presenting this and the other financial and budgetary reports to Assembly at tonight’s meeting.


The Assembly resolved to adopt the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2019/20 and, in doing so, to:


(i)  Note the current treasury position for 2019/20 and prospects for interest rates, as referred to in section 7.2 of the report;


(ii)  Approve the Annual Investment Strategy 2019/20 outlining the investments that the Council may use for the prudent management of its investment balances, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;


(iii)  Approve the Council’s Borrowing Strategy 2019/20 to 2023/24, as set out in Appendix 2 to the report;


(iv)  Note the inclusion of the Capital Strategy 2019/20, incorporating the Investment and Acquisitions Strategy, as set out in Appendix 3 to the report;


(v)  Approve the Capital Prudential and Treasury Indicators 2019/20 – 2022/23, as set out in Appendix 4 to the report;


(vi)  Approve the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement for 2019/20, representing the Council’s policy on repayment of debt, as set out in Appendix 5 to the report;


(vii)  Note that a review of the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement was to be carried out and any amendments reported back as part of the Treasury Outturn Report for 2018/19;


(viii)  Approve the Operational Boundary Limit of £1.002bn and the Authorised Borrowing Limit of £1.102bn for 2019/20, representing the statutory limit determined by the Council pursuant to section 3(1) of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.



No Motions were received.


There were none.


Questions With Notice


There were none.