BNC Text J9B

Lincolnshire County Council: board meeting. Sample containing about 14830 words speech recorded in public context

8 speakers recorded by respondent number C495

PS3UM X m (Graham, age unknown, chairman, All participants are work colleagues.) unspecified
PS3UN X m (Paul, age unknown) unspecified
PS3UP X u (Weller, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3UR X u (Morbey, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3US X u (Wyle, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3UW X u (Taylor, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
J9BPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J9BPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 112101 recorded on 1994-01-14. LocationLincolnshire: Lincoln ( Board Room ) Activity: Board Meeting

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [1] Er, before we start, I would like to say that we have received a request er, I think it was from Longman Dic tories er Dictionaries to have er, one of our meetings recorded, and er, after discussing with the leader of the Council, er and er we decided that that this may be the best committee to record.
[2] Basically, what it is, they er, want to to computerise a collection of some one hundred million words of written and spoken text, that can used by dictionary compilers which are there just to study the English language.
[3] It is all completely confidential.
[4] No individuals will be identified, and really it's for the future, er, so you, there may be the opportunity of er, new words, recorded.
[5] [laugh] [...] so, er, with your approval, er Graham has got the er recording aid.
[6] There's either one here, where else are they, Graham.
Paul (PS3UN) [7] That's the only, that's the only one.
Graham (PS3UM) [8] Is that the only one.
Paul (PS3UN) [9] I was assured that it will pick everybody up.
Graham (PS3UM) [...]
Paul (PS3UN) [10] Erm, just to mention, also, Chair, it, they've asked to deal with the Personnel Sub-Committee Meeting next week as well.
Graham (PS3UM) [11] I see.
[12] Thank you, so we've obviously got to behave ourselves this morning, and act in a proper manner.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [13] [...] shout out [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [14] Well, I'll turn it that way.
[15] [...] Er, so first of all, could we have er, any apologies or substitutes for this meeting.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [16] Chair, there are no apologies for this meeting, that I know of [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [17] Thank you.
[18] The er, first item on the agenda is the minutes of a meeting, fifteenth of October.
[19] Can I have your approval of those minutes?
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [20] Good.
[21] Agreed.
[22] Thank you.
[23] The next paper is cash limits, and I believe you're going to take this on.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [24] Yes, er, thank you Chair.
[25] I'll say if I knew any Swahili, I was very tempted to s I would would have been very tempted to to use it, in the lights of the er, the dictionary.
[26] Er, the the first paper is the er, is the beautiful category in the paper, allocations from the contingency.
[27] There are three erm, categories to er the requests for allocations for this meeting, erm, the balance of the contingency currently, is one point seven two nine million pounds.
[28] And if the er, requests for approval er, are indeed a a approved, the balance er, remaining for the contingency will be some four hundred and seventy five thousand pounds.
[29] The recommendations on the front page, to show the three categories.
[30] The first category all relates to er related pay awards.
[31] All pay awards are, have been settled at one and a half per cent, and I don't propose to go into any of the the detail.
[32] The figures er, for each er, of the settlements, er is shown in the more detailed erm, paper.
[33] [cough] I will make brief comments, Chair, on the the two other remainings items, and if I may refer members to the more detailed paper, and firstly to section three, capital accounting by local authorities.
[34] [paper rustling] Best local authority accounting practice is er, contained within the code of practice on local authority accounting, erm, which is, is, er, published and maintained by the [...] .
[35] Erm, that is, is has been revised with effect from the first of April, nineteen-ninety-four, to incorporate proposals for a new system of capital accounting.
[36] Erm, the code does have the force of law, er, and requires local authorities to adopt the new capital accounting system from April nineteen ninety-four.
[37] Preparation for the new accounting, capital accounting system, required all our assets to be valued.
[38] Currently the er, the County Council's assets, as shown in the balance sheet, have a value of twenty-nine million pounds.
[39] Now that of course, is way below the actual value of those assets, er, but it's still over twenty-nine millions because of the previous way in which, erm, the er, capital capital was accounted for.
[40] Erm, we need to value those assets, and the cost of back- work being carried out by the London Buildings Consultancy would be nineteen thousand pounds, some twenty pounds per property.
[41] There's no budget provision, and as a consequence approval is being sought for that some to come from the contingency.
[42] The er, moving on to section four, waste disposal.
[43] The contingency originally had provision for some four thousand pounds for waste disposal.
[44] That provision was placed in the contingency because it was un felt it was unclear at the time, what the effect on costs would be, of the sale of link waste.
[45] In fact, er, an estimated one hundred and sixty three, six forty pounds is required, erm, following on from the sale of link waste, and of that eighty-five thousand pounds wa relates to the legal costs associated with the sale.
[46] It seems that there a a a large figure.
[47] It is a large figure, but the County Council was breaking er, new ground in the sale of link waste, and it was necessary to engage specialist lawyers, erm,Lond a firm of er, London solicitors er, to assist in the in the process, and members will recall that in fact, the the proceeds from the sale of link waste were four point two million pounds initially, with potentially another four hundred thousand pounds, erm, once certain conditions were satisfied.
[48] In addition to that, another one hundred and eighty thousand pounds is required for the on- going maintenance of some closed sites dealing with [...] problems and and also to some legal and consultancy fees in connection with a an after-care dispute.
[49] So the total of the four hundred and fifty thousand pounds that is now being requested, it's three hundred and forty-three forty.
[50] Erm, and it is, erm the waste disposal sub-committee did resolve at their meeting erm, earlier this month, to request the finance sub- committee to make er, an allocation.
[51] If er, members approve the three er, categories of allocation, there will as I said earlier, be four hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds left in the contingency.
[52] Thank you Chair.
Graham (PS3UM) [53] [clears throat] Any comments.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [54] Er, could we just ask er, a couple of questions, Mr Chairman.
[55] Is that four seventy-five likely to survive [...] there be any more calls on it.
[56] That's the first question.
[57] Erm, the second question is, if you hadn't put inflation in this year, [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [58] Yes, the er, in answer to the er, the the first point, [cough] I do not, er, expect there to be many additional calls on the remaining, on the remainder of the contingency.
[59] There may be some, but I would expect that this time sum, er or close to it, will be the final balance, and that, of course, will flow into the general balances of the County Council, and er, a one million pounds was allocated from the contingency, that finance sub-committee in October, to meet the [...] price, er, to meet a prices inflation.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [60] [...] Okay.
Graham (PS3UM) [61] No other comments?
[62] You [cough] agreed [] on the recommendations
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [63] Agreed.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [64] Agreed.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [65] Agreed.
Graham (PS3UM) [66] Good.
[67] [paper rustling] Paper B. [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [68] Thank you, Chair.
[69] This paper deals with those er non-target area, er projects.
[70] In other words, projects which are not contained within erm, service committee targets.
[71] There are some seven in total, and I'll briefly refer to those.
[72] The first one, turning over the page, relates to er, grant maintained schools, erm, the fact that erm, the calculation of the indirect maintenance grant is based on last year's percentages.
[73] Erm, so, instead of paying for primary schools, eleven point nine per cent, which is the the actual er amount of er indirect support that is provided within the erm, Education Department, and seven that's in relation to primary schools, and seven point eight per cent schools.
[74] We have to pay the, er, ninety two, three percentages, which were fifteen point two per cent and nine point eight per cent, so there's an additional element there, and also we have to deal with erm, the additional cash that goes to grant maintained schools, who went grant maintained prior to the first of April nineteen ninety-two.
[75] They are protected at the cash additions that they had er,or originally and they are somewhat higher than the erm, actual, erm, indirect per percentages would be.
[76] The estimate for ninety=four, ninety- five, is that there will be some one point three eight five million pounds required, but I er, have to say, that we have not, as in previous years, we have not at this stage received from the D F E er, details of of how the er indirect element of A N G will be calculated for next year, so the requirement may differ er in in due time.
[77] Section three, deals with police and fire pensions.
[78] Erm, the revised estimate for police pensions is some hundred and nineteen thousand pounds higher than the original estimate.
[79] Now that is not as significant an increase as we've had in previous years.
[80] There are greater additions to expenditure than that, but there, that has been in part off-set by er, a greater er er receipt from other authorities in relating to er policemen transferring to Lincolnshire.
[81] As far as ninety four, five is concerned, erm the, er estimate is some six hundred and eighty- one thousand pounds higher than the the original estimate for this year, and again, there is a mix of factors giving rise to to that.
[82] As far as fire-fighters pensions is concerned, the revised estimate is is really significantly higher than the original estimate.
[83] Over half a million pounds, and there are three factors that make er up that er sum, a hundred and eighty thousand pounds for the lump sum payment, erm, transfers out to other authorities, that's fire-fighters transferring to other authorities fire services.
[84] Two hundred and thirty-one thousand, and we had lower than ex expected receipts from fight-fighters transferring in to Lincolnshire.
[85] In total, we estimate that next year, police and fire pensions will cost, gross, nearly seven and a half million pounds.
[86] So that, that is a very significant increase on the fi on the amount that er, fairly recently we were having to pay.
[87] The next item, specific grants, deals in in main part with specific grant on the police pensions er, element.
[88] Erm, but it also deals with erm, police claim office grant on C C that is charged to the police and repair and maintenance, and also related to one or two minor items.
[89] Some specific grant on the judges lodgings, the maintenance of that, payable by the Lord Chancellors Department, and so- some specific grant on emergency planning.
[90] That's spec this is the final year in which specific grant will be payable on emergency planning.
[91] The er, revised estimate is one one hundred and fifty thousand pounds higher than the original estimate, and we're expecting over three hundred thousand pounds into the specific grant and ninety-four ninety- five.
[92] The next [...] deals with precepts and the the major precept is that which is paid to the Lincolnshire Floor Defence Committee.
[93] Erm, we've got initially some slightly bad news on this, but then some really rather encouraging news.
[94] The er, the downside, is that the way of apportioning and contributions to flood defence committees has changed as a result of the introduction of the er, of the council tax.
[95] Previously, er, our share depended upon er the population of Lincolnshire as a proportion of the total [cough] [...] area.
[96] The basis of apportion which is now the council tax base, and we er, do lose slightly from that change.
[97] Section five point two, makes reference to the additional a hundred and ten thousand pounds that was approved in October for erm, er expected budget pressures, in this particular area, and in fact, we have had an eleven thousand pounds refund [cough] refund from the Severn Trent er Flood Defence Committee, so there's only ninety- nine thousand pounds, er the revised estimate is ninety-nine thousand above the original estimate.
[98] Now turning to the, the the good news and that is that the Lincolnshire Flood Defence Committee was set to increase after [...] ninety-four, five which is some twenty per cent below the normal three-four level.
[99] That, the increa there is an increase over the Wellent er Flood Defence, Wellent and [...] Flood Defence Committee, two and a half per cent, but that as Severn Trent, is set at a zero increase.
[100] So the overall [cough] effect on these budgets is that the original estimate is just over seven hundred thousand pounds, the original estimate for ninety four-five is just over seven hundred thousand pounds below the original estimate for ninety-three, ninety-four.
[101] Section Six deals with mandatory student awards where the county council acts, if you like, as the administrator on behalf of the the Government, with the payment of student awards.
[102] It's expenditure out and then income in from the Government.
[103] The, perhaps the the points to make there, is that the bigger the ninety-four, five is er, getting on for four million pounds below the ninety-three, four level, and that reflects, firstly, a reduction in students grants, with a a corresponding increase in the amount available from student loans, and secondly, a reduction in the tuition fees payable as part of the mandatory award, er, in the light of direct, higher direct funding of higher education establishments.
[104] Now this, [cough] [...] is er, also, [cough] [...] and this is to do with the interest earned and on revenue balances.
[105] The est estimates for er, interest on revenue balances, depends upon anticipating cash flows.
[106] The cash into the authority, the timing of that, and the ti the timing of cash going out of the authority.
[107] A particular difficulty in trying to estimate the ninety-three, four er position, was erm, stemmed from er, the independence of further education colleges.
[108] We were not sure how that would affect the cash flows of the authority, and set a very er cautious level for interest on revenue balances, and as members can see, that has been very well exceeded, er its superseded by some one point one million pounds in ninety-three, four and it's expected to be of a similar level in ninety-four, ninety-five.
[109] And, finally, Chair, the the last section, C C within committee budget, erm, this area is where the the costs of providing the central department is recharged to other departments.
[110] There's a higher revised estimate, and a higher original estimate for next year, er, that is to do with charging C C to the probation committee, erm, which previously was er,ex excluded, and that is er, of course subjected within the the probation committee cash limit and eighty per cent grant is payable on any sums within that.
[111] As far as the public service units are concerned, er, where the amount of C C is a real charge, and can dis disad er disadvantage them significantly, erm, the ninety-two, three charges are reduced by ten per cent, erm, it it it's expected there'll be a further two per cent reduction, so there's a twelve per cent reduction in the C C charges to the public service units.
[112] Thank you, Chairman. [paper rustling]
Graham (PS3UM) [113] The report is for noting.
[114] [cough] that they're rather interested in the information contained in it.
[115] Just concerned about, you know, we don't know really what the er impact of the grant maintained, er er er er and how how quickly we we we we know what what that is, er er Treasurer, please.
Weller (PS3UP) [116] Chair, I I don't know, er er, last year, we were in a a similar position.
Graham (PS3UM) [117] Yes.
Weller (PS3UP) [118] The January meeting of this committee, we didn't know what the arrangements would be.
Graham (PS3UM) [119] Mm.
Weller (PS3UP) [120] I think we got to know around mid-February.
Graham (PS3UM) [...]
Weller (PS3UP) [121] So, if if the same pattern is followed, it would be middle of February, before we we we find out what the arrangements will be.
Graham (PS3UM) [122] The amount of money that we have to pay out, is er obviously detract from the education budget.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [123] On on on that Chair, I think erm, the protection of of the schools that went grant maintained before ninety-two, I think that will continue.
[124] [clears throat] But certainly, some progress is being made towards the common funding formula.
Graham (PS3UM) [125] Mm.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [126] And the financial incentives er, to go grant maintained are rapidly decreasing.
Graham (PS3UM) [127] Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [128] I do hope we're not going to extend our current lawyers who we use in this particular issue, erm, whatever this amount of money is, is spent in [...] school [...] and er, to that extent I think we should er be well prepared to foot the bill.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [129] Chairman, I think the Chair of Education's comments were bias.
[130] It has nothing to do with the individual grant maintained schools.
[131] What we have to realise, it is taking a disproportion of money, amount of money, out of Lincolnshire's education budget.
[132] This this is the concern, and we all know how tight that budge is, and how much we need to put into education accounts.
[133] Erm, I think that the comments that Chair made ar are extremely [...] bias, in what she's saying, I think is, that it looks as if , if erm, the minister is beginning to realise this simply can't go on, this this disproportionate funding, and that is what is so unfair, and I think it does need to make quite clear to grant maintained schools, that there is, it, there is that possibility that that will be reduced, because they need to know that just as well , for balancing their own budgets in the future.
Graham (PS3UM) [134] Any comments.
[135] Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [136] Was not, as it were, that's the way the treasurer would use [...] balancing, you've got another million pounds in the [...] .
[137] Mind you, I did think last year the grant was down too low, at eight hundred thousand, but that was the amount they put in, it was two point eight, I think, to start with, and two million pounds offered in the end.
[138] Which made our budget er, that problem obviously that much more difficult and just showed the problems we live with, Mr Chairman.
[139] Which can produce the budget within the guide lines, as we found with interest rates.
Graham (PS3UM) [140] Pleased you raised that, Councillor , 'cos we're still two million short than the government assessment within the S S A.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [141] Yes, that's right.
Graham (PS3UM) [142] Which er, you know, adds to the doubt, you're obviously aware of the ...
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [143] Thank you.
[144] As I say, the er, it is, it is two million less, than what the government has assessed we should be receiving in interest payments.
[145] Just commenting on the er, grant maintained schools.
[146] It's not a case of being paranoid, it's a case of seeking fairness for all the school children, and then some of them receiving disproportional, you know higher, er amounts of money, then that must be seen to be unfair, and I'm certainly well supported in that.
[147] Are there any other comments on this paper?
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [148] Yeah, I just er, like to, just to welcome the ongoing commitment to the Treasurers Department, to keep down the er, charges to the public service units through C E C. Obviously this is to the benefit, and gives them the, a greater chance of succeeding out there, in what is a difficult market place.
Graham (PS3UM) [149] Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [150] Er, thank you, Mr Chairman, to me erm, this went on from the first paper that chose the effects of the food and management of the er, the fire [...] local services, whereas [...] carried through and it will be interesting to see next year er what the situation is, in order to [...] the position of the [...] as it were, this year, benefit of everything that has [...] previous administration.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [151] Well, we've already got some information from Central Government, that that we're ten million short.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [152] [...] on the Government.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [153] I'm sorry, you know, you've had your say.
Graham (PS3UM) [154] Any other comments.
[155] No.
[156] [cough] Give me er, note of the recommendation.
[157] [cough] [clears throat] Paper C is the revenue estimates.
[158] I believe you were taking this Paul.
Morbey (PS3UR) [159] Yes, thank you thank you, Chair.
[160] This paper seeks your approval for the revised estimate for the current financial year, nineteen ninety-three, ninety-four, and the for estimates nineteen ninety-four, ninety-five, for the policy commission.
[161] [paper rustling] It also seeks your approval to the [...] which has been undertaken by respective chief officers, during the current financial year, in which, is why I'm reporting to you now in accordance with the national regulations.
[162] The report itself was in the usual format comprising a report by the county treasurer, a joint report by the chief executive and county treasurer, and then the detailed estimate contained on the blue pages.
[163] But let's propose a statement, which through the county treasurer's report in any detail today, it's already been to all service committees and I'm sure you're very familiar with it's contents.
[164] What I will do, however, is just draw your attention to two key issues within that report, which affect the estimates of this committee.
[165] Having turned then to [cough] [...] page A two.
[166] Starting at page A two, paragraph five and nine indicate that there is presently a gap of so of some eleven point four million pounds, between the overall spending limits of three hundred and eighty-one point four million pounds, agreed by the Policy Committee last November, and the provisional cutting limits set by the Government of three hundred and seventy million pounds.
[167] At it's meeting last November, the Policy Committee did agree to review the overall spending limits in the light of the final revenue Support Claim Settlement.
[168] And the outcome of that that that review will be reported to its next meeting on the eighth of February.
[169] Should the review require an adjustment to this committee's target, a further report will be made at the next meeting of this committee on any amendment to that target.
[170] The second matter, I would just like to draw your attention to briefly, er, within the treasurer's report, is in paragraph eight.
[171] This explains how the target for this committee is being set.
[172] As for all other committees, the target for this committee, for nineteen ninety-four, ninety-five, allows fully for the effect of inflation from November nineteen ninety-two to November ninety-three.
[173] That being the price fixed at which the [cough] [...] was presented.
[174] It allows fully also, for known commitments in service.
[175] The effect of forward inflation, that's inflation which will be incurred during nineteen ninety-four, ninety-five, is not incorporated in this estimate.
[176] It will be considered by the Policy Committee again, at it's meeting in February.
[177] [cough] In summary, therefore, the estimates before you, er for the Policy Committee, represent the cost of maintaining existing policies and levels of service.
[178] If I could turn now, to the joint report of the Chief Executive [cough] and the County Treasurer.
[179] This is set out on on page of B one to to B three.
[180] [paper rustling] [cough] Page B one covers the er estimate from the Chief Executive's Department.
[181] Detailed revised budget target of two point one five nine million pounds is set out in paragraph two, and you'll note that [cough] the main addition to the estimate approved by the County Council last February of one point eight, nine, two.
[182] [cough] The County Hall Department are spending from nineteen ninety-two, ninety-three, [cough] this amounted to a hundred and eighty thousand four hundred and ten pounds.
[183] Further addition has been made of seventy two thousand pounds for service and negatives, introduced by the Department bill, and approved by the Policy Committee last June.
[184] Paragraphs five to seven, explain the compositions the nineteen ninety-four and ninety-five target of tw two point oh, one eight million pounds.
[185] This again, starts with the original estimate for nineteen ninety-three, ninety-four, of one point eight nine two million pounds, and details of changes agreed by the Policy Committee last November.
[186] This allows for repricing of the budget for November, nineteen ninety-two, to November nineteen ninety-three, and that sum is shown there as some fifty- seven thousand pounds.
[187] This includes, also, an amount of thirteen thousand five hundred, er to support the scheme for public questions, which was approved by the Policy Committee last November.
[188] If we turn now, to page B two, [paper rustling] this presents the information for the County Treasurer's Department for the same format.
[189] For those of nineteen ninety- three, ninety-four, and nineteen ninety-four and ninety-five.
[190] Starting with nineteen ninety-three, ninety-four.
[191] Again, the main additions of the original estimate is that the carried forward of two hundred and forty-four thousand pounds from nineteen ninety-two, ninety-three.
[192] And approval for this was given by this Committee last October.
[193] Paragraph eleven, detailed for your approval of [...] from income generated by re- charges to internal funds.
[194] And this is being used to fund the cost of the Risk Manager post.
[195] Again this was reported to you at the last meeting of this Committee.
[196] Erm, and also the cost of increased fidelity guarantee insurance of eleven thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds, and additional suppliers and services costs, principally in respect of consultancy costs arising out of the Inland Revenue Audit of twelve thousand, seven hundred and fifty pounds.
[197] Turning to nineteen ninety-four, ninety-five, er, paragraph thirteen, details of budget target of two point five, four, oh, million pounds.
[198] The main addition to the original estimate in the in the case of nineteen ninety-four, ninety-five being the cost of repricing from the November ninety- two price costs, to November nineteen ninety-three, at seven hundred and one thousand pounds.
[199] Moving on, erm, paragraphs fifteen to twenty-one,com cover a number of miscellaneous budgets under the wing of the Policy Committee, detailed, described as other policy.
[200] Paragraph sixteen explains the revised target of one point one one seven million pounds, which mak , which makes provisioning for the costs in the current year of operating the university company.
[201] These costs amounting to some, seventy thousand pounds in nineteen ninety-three, ninety- four.
[202] It also makes provisions for meeting redundancy costs within public service units, in respect of work which they have lost in competition.
[203] Paragraph eighteen, makes reference to the receipt of fifty-three thousand pounds of income.
[204] This is the County Council's share of the expose surplus for nineteen ninety- two, ninety-three.
[205] It also points out in in in in the report, that this income has been [...] to meet expenditure of thirty-two thousand pounds for the number of services, and the remainder of this, has been [...] with additional insurance costs.
[206] Paragraph twenty, provides details of the nineteen ninety-four, ninety-five budget target [...] policy.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [207] Yeah.
Morbey (PS3UR) [208] Which was reported in paragraph twenty-one, includes a reduction of two hundred and thirty-two thousand two hundred pounds for the cost of the nineteen ninety-three County Council elections.
[209] And this reduction was partially off-set by the costs of a hundred and thirty-one thousand pounds, again the the cost, this being the cost of operating a university company in nineteen ninety-four, ninety-five.
[210] Finally, Chair, if I can just ask members to turn briefly to page C one, the first blue page.
[211] [paper rustling] This page summarises the service area under, within the Policy Committee.
[212] The original estimate nineteen ninety-three, ninety-four, that's shown in column three,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Morbey (PS3UR) [213] It then provides analysis of inflation and other changes, leading to both revised estimates for nineteen ninety-three, ninety-four and the estimate for nineteen ninety-four, ninety- five.
[214] For this committee, therefore [...] Severn we've been asked to approve a revised estimate of five point nine five five million pounds, and an estimate next year of five point four, six, seven million pounds.
[215] Details of these estimates is is provided in pages C two to C eleven, and I don't propose to go through those in any detail.
[216] But I'll be quite happy to answer any questions that members have.
[217] The recommendations, Chair, that you approve the estimate for, the revised estimate for nineteen ninety-three, ninety-four.
[218] The estimates for nineteen ninety-four, ninety-five, and the guidelines set out in the report for nineteen ninety-three, ninety-four.
[219] Thank you. [paper rustling] .
Graham (PS3UM) [220] Do you agree with those?
[221] Councillor [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [222] I wouldn't know.
[223] People were coming in with questions on our first [...] little bit hesitant [...] debate.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [224] This is er, a relatively er, small revenue er budget compared to er, the Service Committee's [...] recent week.
[225] Nevertheless, it is erm, set once again, in the er context of the overall County Council budget proposal for next year being three hundred and eighty one million pound.
[226] That was an overall estimate that erm, members on this side, apposed very vigorously when it was first put forward in policy, and [...] that any budget er, proposals put to committees that er, based on that false premise, erm, would also er be criticised and erm, opposed by this side.
[227] It takes no account of the er er government requirements for er this coming year, and having said that, I I must accept that the overall increase proposed for erm, ninety- four, five, er is only three point three per cent.
[228] Erm, only three point three per cent.
[229] Well, in my sums that comes to er, something like er, fifty per cent more than it ought to be.
[230] Erm, and if we look at individual erm, items.
[231] When we look at the Chief Executives Department, the increase there is what, six point six per cent overall.
[232] That's a factor of something like three hundred per cent than it, than it ought to be in terms of inflation and the County Treasurer's budget of plus five per cent which is well in excess of two hundred per cent.
[233] So I think you can see that erm, there is er, not a very strong basis there for this er budget to be promoted by this side.
[234] We oppose it.
Graham (PS3UM) [235] You wish to put forward any amendments to the way you have put.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [236] I I I I think the amendment will be slope opposite to the er, to the recommendations, I don't think it requires an amendment.
Graham (PS3UM) [237] Without any information as to where, how you would reduce it.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [238] I think ... No [...] .
Graham (PS3UM) [239] Okay, fine.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [240] The principles underlined, document, [paper rustling] this project are er coarse, you would say, and for that reason we oppose it.
Graham (PS3UM) [241] Good.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [242] [...] Mr Chairman, if we come in now, [...] million pounds [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [243] Oh, is that, is that proposal seconded, first.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [244] It is.
Graham (PS3UM) [245] It has been seconded.
[246] Yes.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [247] [...] Now that's stated in the blue paper, you might want to talk about [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [248] Well, you've got the opportunity now, if you wish.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [249] Well, it's the case of [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [250] I'm sorry, I'm chairing the meeting.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [251] I'm sorry,yo yo you you're not listening to me.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [252] I am listening to you.
Graham (PS3UM) [253] The the the treasurer has already gone through the report.
[254] It is now up to members, to make observations, ask questions, and then an amendment has been put, which is er, accompanied to, direct negative over the recommendations.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [255] Well, the Treasurer, is responsible at the end of the day for reducing [...] the price of overall.
[256] So the question that I would like to ask the Treasurer, and the statement was made by [...] been allowed.
[257] Has there been any attempt by anybody to [...] real budget [...] or has
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [258] there been [...] in the department, just [...] put them together, their demands and [...] each of them papers.
[259] Chief Exec. up six per cent, Treasurer Department the same.
[260] No doubt this goes through.
[261] Education the other day was up about five or six per cent.
[262] I mean, I'm gonna protest, because I'm gonna vote a protest [...] and commitments are [...] area where some will be allowed and some won't be allowed.
[263] It depends on what they are [...] organise the things they need.
[264] [...] There hasn't been any attempt about savings, or reduced commitments or any, or everything is here, and if it hasn't been attempts, perhaps we could have a list of what's actually been removed.
Graham (PS3UM) [265] Did you wish to?
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [266] Yes, erm, thank you Chair.
[267] The process that was followed in preparing the [...] , which was exactly the same process as being followed in previous years.
[268] It started with these [...] exercise in July and August, which sought to identify erm, commitments required to maintain existing services.
[269] It also sought to i identify opportunity to efficiency and effectiveness savings.
[270] So exactly the same process was followed.
[271] At a subse subsequent st stage again, as has happened in the in the past, inflation was added, and that was fully to reprice from November ninety-two to November ninety-three prices.
[272] So yet again, the budget was reflecting the amount of money necessary to maintain existing services.
[273] Now th the the the way in which the budget has been prepared in previous years, has been [...] maintain existing services.
[274] So, in that respect, there is no difference in the preparation of this budget, er in comparison with the previous years.
[275] The result of all the calculations including er commitments, er necessary, for example for additional pupils, erm, lead to an overall budget requirement of three hundred and eighty-one point four million pounds.
[276] To maintain existing levels of service, and that was the the budget that was approved by the Policy Committee in November, but, with the rider that the erm, the the overall budget would be review reviewed in January in the light of the Revenue Support Grant Settlement, and that still is the position.
Graham (PS3UM) [277] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [278] The the statement that all commitments has been allowed, isn't [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [279] Commitments ...
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [280] [...] written, you say, all commitments have been ensured.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [281] Yes.
[282] Commitments necessary for the maintenance of existing levels of service [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [283] Right.
[284] Well that [...] necessary, at least ways to augment this.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [285] No, they were saying totally different.
Graham (PS3UM) [286] I think you've question that far enough.
[287] You've had your answer.
[288] You asked, how would it be prepared?
[289] It, you've, it was be prepared on the same basis as last year, in fact, the other [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Graham (PS3UM) [290] We went through it with a fine tooth comb.
[291] We found all the little bits and pieces, the er, er, idiosyncrasies of how it had been prepared previously by yourself,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [292] And er, we're quite satisfied with the process that has taken place.
[293] Probably more thorough and more searching than ever.
[294] I don't particularly want to go
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [295] Exactly.
[296] All I'm trying to say [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [297] Sorry, that was, I'm sorry, you've spo I'm sorry you've spoken, I'm just commenting [...] will you be quiet please, I'm taking next speaker.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [298] Well, [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [299] Will you be quiet.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [300] You can ya, you can come in here later.
[301] Did you wish to?
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [302] Mm.
[303] Thank you, yeah.
[304] I just referred Councillor Wild to paragraph eleven on page A three, because, it it does say reasonably clearly, I think, that the Policy Committee resolved to review the overall level of spending in January nineteen ninety-four in the light of the Revenue Support Grant Settlement.
[305] We had, we had to conservative speakers so far, erm, and Councillor Brock seem to me, in a sense to be summing up that phrase about knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing, because there was the the the es essential arithmetical calculation about percentages, and savings.
[306] No mention about the difficult task that the County Council's got in living within a budget, a capping level of three hundred and seventy million, and it would be reasonable, in in a, in a, in a sense that when somebody's proposing opposition to a budget, it gives some indication as to what within the budget, would have to be cut.
[307] It's not really helpful to be able to say, that the amount of money is too great, to refer to percentage increases which are higher than the figure that would have been included by erm erm an opposition group.
[308] But not actually to say, what what what would be the outcome of the percentage cuts.
[309] Of course, it's quite right, and it's it's in a sense maybe reasonable to oppose a budget, but in the past, I think it's been erm, one of the strengths of the labour group, when in opposition to put alternative budgets in for say, yes, we take a view that's different to the budget that's before us, but so far with two conservative speakers, we've not had the benefit of knowing which items, which levels of of spending within this policy committee, be it the Chief Exec.
[310] Department or the County Treasurer's Department is not considered to be relevant to the needs of erm, the County Council, the people of Lincolnshire, and I think it's reasonable to ask that question, and to hope that erm future conservatives speakers in this meeting, on this paper will give a clear indication as to what will be the effects of a budget reduction.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [311] [...] Chairman, er, can I very briefly reply to what Councillor Parker has said, and then come on to my erm, uncontroversial question about our ... Erm, I think now is not the time to give a detailed reply to this.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [312] No.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [313] [...] conservative administration will change the budget, obviously, you have highlighted in what you have said before, that the main crunch will come at the next Policy Committee.
[314] I think that is the time that we would er, wish to put forward er a detailed alternative, or seek alternatives.
[315] So far as to my specific erm, question is on B one, on the white paper, [paper rustling] or other target, the public question, thirteen thousand, five hundred pounds of [...] money you do say in the subsequent paragraph, this is to provide public question time at Council meetings.
[316] Is that all that that thirteen thousand five hundred is targeted for, and that is for the four meetings of the County Council each year, when there will be a public er question time.
Graham (PS3UM) [317] Could I, I I I will answer that.
[318] If you read further on, it does say, Committee and sub-Committees, to encourage involvement.
[319] In that paragraph.
[320] Have you answered that question.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [321] Er, what Councillor Newton's just said, I would just like to ask for a clarification there, if I may.
[322] Is he guaranteeing to tell us where everyone of the cooks is going to come at the next Policy Meeting.
[323] Is it being proposed?
[324] Well.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [325] No. [laugh]
Graham (PS3UM) [326] That was easy.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [327] Mr Chairman, rapidly respond to Councillor Parker, you are the administration, this is your budget,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [328] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [329] This is your budget.
[330] Had it been in administration, we would have put forward to our budget.
[331] But I mean, you are being totally unrealistic in putting a budget forward, of three hundred and eighty one million er, for the County Council.
[332] I mean, that is not at all relevant to the policies of the previous authority.
[333] These are your policies, they're not our policies.
[334] And er, you know, you've got yourself in this mess, get yourself out of it.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [335] Education [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [336] Yes, right.
Graham (PS3UM) [337] We don't consider we're in a mess.
[338] I would remind you that this is the budget for the policy.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [339] Yeah, true.
[340] I mean, when we was in opposition, if er, if we had a Westminster crisis in Lincolnshire and it suddenly kicked all the conservatives off, we would have been able to come up with an alternative budget to manage this county.
[341] Now I think it's only fair and right that the conservatives are doing as er, should be doing the same.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [342] But they are
Graham (PS3UM) [343] Will you be quiet, please, sir.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [344] All they are proposing ... is, we're, well, all they're doing is opposing, we oppose this, we oppose this, we oppose this, they're coming up with no information, that the people of Lincolnshire can judge them on.
[345] And I think it's unfair of them, I think it's irresponsible of them to just criticise detailed budgets that are well thought out like ours, like ours always were
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [346] I have nothing, and to have nothing to offer the people of Lincolnshire as an alternative.
[347] It's just rhetoric, in a way,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [348] irresponsible rhetoric.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [349] Perhaps they don't know what to do.
Graham (PS3UM) [350] Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [351] Yeah, I think, I I sympathise on what the er, new opposition, because I think, it does take some time to [...] particularly after you've
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [352] been in opposition for the last, well, for the for the for the rememberable future,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [353] You should [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [354] and er, I think that er, er I I I'm quite interested an and really quite amused, if I once gone on proceedings of this council, because every time a a new initiative has been proposed, you have said, oh yes, we were going to do that.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [355] [laughing] Yes [] .
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [356] In any case, we er and we want er no opposition to it, and in fact I I was surprised we owned a pack a pack of goodies
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [357] in the transportation planning committee yesterday, and the, one of the question of opposing them, it was what was going to block, that they,wh wha were they members, gonna get for their pockets and their own patches, and er, I I think, so I mean, I asked a a a councillor, well I asked a question on five per cent for me yesterday, and my response was, yes, precisely.
[358] Now, if you're going to er er er er want everything and then at the same time, want to reduce the budget, then I think you're like the man who wanted a cake an and you'll find that he wanted to eat it, so I think you've got to come to terms and be realistic.
[359] And so it would be most interesting to see what sort of patent you can come up with for policy, and and and and and and we'll see just just how you'll meet that.
[360] I shall have other things to see, later on, Chair.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [361] What other information, Mr Chairman, he didn't say that at all yesterday.
[362] What he said was he was waiting for the government for better [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [363] Ca ca ca can I say.
[364] Councillor councillor [...] it is not a final information
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [365] he's telling lies [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [366] I'm I'm sorry, and I'd rather we didn't use that sort of language, 'cos you remember you are being recorded.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [367] He was referring to something that happened yesterday, and we're here,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [368] We're here today, discussing the policy and we'd like to stay with that.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [369] That's right, [...] an answer the question.
Graham (PS3UM) [370] Very good.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [371] He's a [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [372] Okay, you've answered it now.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [373] Any other questions or comments?
[374] Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [375] Well, Mr Chairman, I think er, you know, it's all right putting forward a budget like this, but there's only one person who got paid for it, and that's the general public.
[376] And er, I think that there are people who are a little wet behind the ears if they think that the general public are going to accept the costs of a budget that's coming forward on a long these lines.
[377] And er, you know, I know we're looking at one particular committee.
Graham (PS3UM) [378] And I would ask you to direct your questions to that, because there's an another time and another place when you can talk and er discuss, and put forward proposals regarding the councils overall budgets, so I would ask you to concentrate on this, but.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [379] Yeah, well, right.
[380] There are, there are starting points which we, the opposition party would have started from, and it is not from er, er the the same er, erm,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [381] [...] that you have arrived at, that we would have arrived at.
[382] There are differences within [...] .
[383] Erm, you know, for for instance, as Councillor speak Newton has just said, that there's
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [384] thirteen thousand five hundred.
[385] The there are other things, which er we
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [386] Mm.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [387] would have presented a very good budget for [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [388] and a lot of other commitments.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [389] Are you opposing the thirteen thousand? [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [390] I I don't mind, but I'm opposing, as like the rest of us the budget in [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [391] I think you, Mr Chairman, it would be totally improper if we did not raise the issue within the within the budget if we did not raise the issue of election members and the expenses of election members.
[392] We did, at the time, when the expenses were incurred, we gave it, that we were opposed to all the increases that were being made, we still maintain that policy, and I believe that there is a time when we should be be in approval, that we in fact, expending money on new active members is wrong, when in fact, have the cut backs, because at the end of the day, people of Lincolnshire have to pay for these additional expenses incurred to elected members.
Graham (PS3UM) [393] You've heard [end of tape]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [394] [...] to inform members generally of the level of settlement in the County Councillors [...] under the transport, E F P grants arranged.
[395] Overall the level of settlement was disappointing as the summary on the paper recalls.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [396] Sample.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [397] Erm, grant comes at a rate of fifty per cent that have accepted it as expenditure.
[398] It may be in in one or two forms, erm, cash, or expected expenditure.
[399] erm, by the grants of credit approvals, either basic or supplementary, which is A that facilitating a council spending money on the programmes which the D T P have accepted.
[400] Overall, if one aggregates those three things, the level of settlement for the county was down thirty- one per cent on the year, compared with a national total, which was also in distress of fourteen and a half per cent down.
[401] The settlement does reflect some change in government policy and the areas of expenditure, which have previously attracted direct grant, are now being met through the grant accredits approvals, which do ultimately bring cash to the council, erm, because they keyed into assets aims, and the revenues court-room mechanism.
[402] But over a period of time, erm, they are not directly equivalent, but very nearly so.
[403] It is just information, Chairman, that the amounts in the various categories that are recorded within the paper and I think probably [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [404] Thank you.
[405] I realise this information, it's very depressing information.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [406] I think it it was a it it was a very bad er announcement for Lincolnshire, and er, on the strength of that, er, for the benefit of all of us in the county, I just like to lobe a few, as a minister for roads and traffic, er expressing our bitter disappointment really, 'cos it's er, particularly on the T S G, it's a, it's a cut of of er, of forty five per cent against the er er er national cut of of of of of of about half of that.
[407] And and and and across the board there has been a cut of er, er of of of just below fifteen per cent, that that the that er er, our cut is forty five per cent , and and I mean, it er, it it it does er er create problems, there's no doubt about it, and that I I got the letter from er which er, Rod instructed to come along to the department to me yesterday, in fact, I did refer very briefly to it, 'cos I'm gonna [...] just before the meeting that er er it it sets out saying that it was a very generous set settlement for ninety-three, ninety-four.
[408] Now, of course, we we know that that you know, that that that that er, that even then, part of that settlement has has gone because they've cut off on the [...] of the Western by-pass, I mean, you've still got er, er
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [409] quite a substantial, er amount of money which has got to be financed from my own funds on that.
[410] And er, I did er, er invite members, all members yesterday, and I do have a feed-back here, again, that they do write to lobby on behalf of us, because I, if this is going to be the patent for the future, it's gonna have very serious implications as to what we do in terms of improving the highway infrastructure at Lincolnshire.
[411] And this is at a time, of course, when we have other doors opening to us, which we shall need match funding, objective [...] rural Dent, and er, er for the for the for the budget to be, it to have been cut in this way, is is is is very serious.
[412] The problem is that the, the present er er er er formula for road pricing, cobra, cobra as it is called.
[413] I think sometimes it would be better to call it cobra because it does seem to have a very er er deadly sting as far as Lincolnshire's concerned at the moment.
[414] Er, doesn't er er, is based on congestion, and and and and other factors, and it doesn't address the er, the the needs we have er in developing this county, and and to achieve it's er it's potential.
[415] I think there is.
[416] We are at
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [417] a point at the moment, with the life of the county, I think that we should great potential and great opportunity available to us, and I do hope that all members will er, and I've written to all our members of parliament with a copy of my letter, er, I had I've had er, I know it's been the Christmas period, and that they're only just getting back into things, and there's been a lot of diversions at length, and I do have a letter from, er I heard from er, Edward, er, Mr Edward Lee, and and, I still have to hear it from er, the rest of them.
[418] I have had a message from the Stan Standard Mercury, from [...] Davis, that my [...] a county has been hysterical, we've talked about being paranoid one time this morning.
[419] But he
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [420] he says we're hysterical.
[421] Well, if he lived in the north- east, er part of this county, that great ar area where there is very little in terms of infrastructure perhaps er er it's a pity we can't have a few more hysterics and we would perhaps get further down the road.
[422] Thank you, Chairman
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [423] Thank you, Mr Chairman, erm, I'm here to say, it's quite true to say that it does vary from year to year, on er, what our programme is, but er, we we also have to face it, that er,com compared with some other areas, both east midlands and nationally, we do not have the traffic, and this does go against our for T A. Er, the the traffic on our roads
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [424] Although it's very dense, does not compared with the likes of Kent and the south.
[425] But er, yes er, I would have been er, I think if I'd still been in Jim's place, er quite rightly so, getting all that we can for the town.
[426] But it does vary from year to year.
Graham (PS3UM) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [427] Thank you, Mr Chairman, erm, I find this absolutely staggering, this settlement.
[428] Erm, over the last few months, we've been over our administration, attacked, saying that we don't care about the rural communities, only the conservative party care about the rural communities, that's what we've been told.
[429] And then we get a conservative central government, er, cutting the er, funding for the most sparsely pos populated county in the country, not by the same as the rest of the country, but by thirty-one per cent.
[430] Over double.
[431] Now, something's slightly wrong there, erm, it shows that there is a lot of hypocrisy within the conservative party, er, double standards right the way across the board.
[432] Secondly, erm, I'd like to ask o ask the question as well, erm, regarding the transfer from central government grants to S C A's.
[433] Could it, could people please stop conferring a minute, er, that is actually the government, saying that they no longer gonna give grants, their going to give us the right to borrow, and are actually encouraging us to do it.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [434] [...] that is the effects, I mean they will still give grant, but indirectly through the revenues for [...] and it will be spared but, for a [...] number of years, you can't be absolutely precise about how long.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [clears throat]
Graham (PS3UM) [435] [...] we note a what, a hundred and thirty million pounds worth of road planned for this county.
[436] Every one of them that they were gonna do next year.
[437] Every time
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [438] No, no, no.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [439] No, no, no.
Graham (PS3UM) [440] We've had
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [441] we get a savage thirty-one ke cent, thirty-one per cent reduction, and what do we get, a tiniest whimper from the previous chairman of the committee.
[442] Oh well, there's reasons for it.
[443] And yet, I can bet that every time, Jim has his committee meeting, they're gonna be hammering on the door, for some by- pass, or some road scheme that they would have done.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [444] Yeah, that's right, that's right.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [445] Absolutely every one they would have done.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [446] That's right.
Graham (PS3UM) [447] Give him the floor.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [448] And what are they doing about it.
[449] What they doing for the people of Lincolnshire.
[450] Are they gonna go down to see their friends, at Central Government, and say, come on, this thirty-one per cent is totally unacceptable.
[451] What they gonna do about it?
[452] They took u is that it.
[453] Is that the soul er contribution we're gonna get from this conservative group.
[454] Well, you know, we have got, haven't got quite the traffic that other places have got.
[455] And they're just gonna leave us to deal with it.
[456] They're letting the people of Lincolnshire down.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [457] That's right.
Wyle (PS3US) [458] Well, when did we ever ask you, the labour and liberal vice, to come down to Westminster with us, Mr Chairman.
[459] That's one of [...] but we but we never did, we all went down, [...] and sometimes we did and sometimes we didn't [...] Part of er, [...] was on about, is that in ninety-five, ninety-six [...] highways by four million quid.
[460] Erm, and it was [...] so, it's obviously as good as it was, you know, I think you could resign as chairman, if [...] actually [...] at all, so. [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [461] [...] a burden of a hundred and thirty million pounds.
Wyle (PS3US) [462] We would have funded that over ten years.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [463] [...] funded.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [464] Yes, I heard you, yes, I heard you say the other day, and also did read in the press, where you've been quoted, Councillor Warby, that you would build various by-passes and no doubt you will be putting, I haven't yet heard any amendments to the capital goal.
[465] I did sit in yesterday at Transport Exec and Planning, but no doubt they will be forthcoming [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [466] Mr. Chairman, did I hear correctly that, that the hundred and thirty million would have been funded over ten years.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [467] Ridiculous [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [468] So can you tell us, please, where the additional ten million [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [469] We only went through [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [470] Sorry, Mr Chairman, where the additional ten million cuts would have been made to fund that.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [471] Well cuts [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [472] [...] need it.
Graham (PS3UM) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [473] Yeah, I'm pleased that this erm, statement, I think it was in capital monitoring a few weeks ago by Councillor Wyle, is now out into the public domain,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [474] because capital monitoring was a a a closed committee.
[475] The hundred and thirty pounds that Councillor referred to, is the, are the schemes in totality.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [476] A hundred and thirty million.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [477] A hundred and thirty [shouting] million [] around the county, you know the Lincoln relief road, the eastern relief road, stage one, twenty-five million, the stage two another eight million.
[478] Boston ... The list goes on until we get to a total of a hundred and thirty million.
[479] Councillor said that that that that hundred and thirty million could be funded over a period of ten years, at thirteen million pound a year.
[480] Now, that is something, that one would find difficult to accept normally, erm, but seeing as our Councillor has been chair of transportation, I believe in the past and also leader of the County Council, that then it it does make one wonder about erm,bud bud budgeting and raising expectations of people around the county unnecessarily.
[481] We we've noted the way that every time there is a local issue about a particular road scheme, that the conservatives immediately say, we would have done that next year.
[482] Th the will be other new schemes that were, not yet come forward, because the local media have not, erm, addressed a particular area, but as soon as it does in March or April, then the town conservatives would have done that next year.
[483] And the, and the list goes on.
[484] I think that the point, has to be made that when we've had a transport supplementary grant decision and settlement as poor as this one, then it really is about trying to protect and enhance the people of Lincolnshire and the road network, rather than just for once, party politics, because I can't honestly believe that the conservatives would actually, feel that this is a fair, reasonable settlement.
[485] I mean, to be quite honest about it, it's a, it's an unsatisfactory settlement, from whichever political party that you come from, and it's about time, perhaps, the conservatives recognised that you can't support a national government policy that does as much damage to the people of LIncolnshire as this transport supplementary grant settlement has done.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [486] Could I just correct you on that, I think it was acknowledged by this vote, er for transport [...] plan settlement.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [487] I ... yes.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [488] I ...
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [489] You know.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [490] I ... I would have made an oasis, and I would have er tried to achieve a better settlement
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [491] That is accepted, and in fact we [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [492] No ... I'm sorry, no.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [493] Information
Graham (PS3UM) [494] Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [495] Well, Councillor very briefly, in response to Councillor referred the same sort of thing from yourself er, chairman, on on numerous occasions.
[496] I think it's about time that you stopped bleating.
[497] I think it's about time that you stopped blaming, and I think it's about time that you started accepting re le responsibility that you are in it and getting on and making this council.
Graham (PS3UM) [498] Thank you.
[499] We shall accept full responsibility for everything we do.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [500] It it does concern me, Chairman, David, Councillor Morbey has just said, I would have made noises, and I would have attempted to get a better settlement.
[501] Why won't he do that for the people of Lincolnshire now.
[502] I'm not changing my tune, Councillor Wyle knows that in the past I have actually offered to go with them when they've made erm, visits to the minister, and when he said, we we we tried, but we never got anywhere, and on various issues I've said, well perhaps if we got us an all party delegation, at least we could have done no worse.
[503] Now why, now is Councillor Warby now saying I would have done it, not I will do it.
Graham (PS3UM) [504] Okay.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [505] Erm, just a point of information, I think er on the hundred and thirty-one million, including the Lincoln, and I think er they would have been you would have been under serious er distress on that, because the information I have had from the Department of Transport, is that if the Lincoln scheme had gone ahead, it would have effectively blocked everything else for the next five years, and that wouldn't have done you any good, from where you're elected, either.
[506] So we're looking at it first, I I think in the end, there are schemes that we've got to put on to the back burner, or the, until such times Lincoln develops further, and there is further development.
[507] It needs another twenty thousand people, I think, [...] if that's going to go ahead.
[508] But the, the fact is, that what I, my plea to you today, and and my plea to the committee yesterday is, that I don't want this to be in the political arena, it is in the political arena, but I think we do need to to er er er take it out of the political arena, for the benefit of of all the people that that put us here.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [509] Mm.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [510] In this county.
[511] Not for the conservative party or the liberal party or the labour party.
[512] It is called benefit and and the well being of those kids about there, that we're educating them at our own school, that they can have jobs and work, and if this is going, my fear is, okay we can live within this,s as you say, it may that it's just bad settlement for one year.
[513] We shall have to live with it, because er I I don't think that any hope of any redress next year, but the [...] got to be established of a different system, of me a different methodology for the foreseeable years, if we're going to get those schemes through that you supported wholeheartedly and congratulated us and [...] for bringing forward the new road schemes for er the that that that that you so approved so warmly yesterday.
[514] Well you, we we can't do those, unless we get er, more cooperation from central government.
[515] I I got,we we've established a [...] and I'm delighted that the minister is part of that, because he controls the purse, and the purse strings.
[516] Otherwise the forum is just a talking shop.
[517] So it is essential that those people that
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [518] that that control the purse are part of the dialogue, and I I hope David that you will continue to make your submissions, in opposition as I did. [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [519] [...] the Chair, [...] Chair.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [520] Can I come back [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [521] Er, Mrs Pinchbetter said.
[522] She must realise that the conservatives are in opposition.
[523] I am not a Chairman, Jill is, Jill Dobsworth is, and the other fact.
[524] Yesterday, it was proposed that a committee be formed to look into speed limits.
[525] The conservatives asked to be represented on that committee and they were refused by the ruling groups.
Graham (PS3UM) [526] We were told that you might have as much effect on that as you're having with central government.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [527] What is it, you're our Chairman, Mr Chairman, but I am a little concerned, there seems to be two stands this morning.
[528] You've already curtailed [...] when, you said you've already spoken, you cannot again. [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [529] Wh wha what what comment have you got.
[530] [...] I'm I'm saying, I'm in the Chair.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [531] [...] is, if you are Chairman, be consistent
Graham (PS3UM) [532] I am consistent.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [533] If there's one person speaking [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [534] Is it, do you wish to comment on this paper?
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [535] I want to s s comment on [...] on this meeting.
Graham (PS3UM) [536] Well, come on then.
[537] No, no, no, well, that that's within my purview, and the purview of the committee who elected me.
[538] Thank you.
[539] If you wish to comment on the paper, I give everyone the opportunity, and believe you me, I'm being as very, as fair as I can.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [540] But we can only, we can talk as many times as we like, then, Mr Chairman.
Graham (PS3UM) [541] If I allow you to, yes.
[542] Right.
[543] I think we've had a fair er debate on that.
[544] We have the report and it is for noting.
[545] Unless anybody has any er, other amendments to put forward.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Graham (PS3UM) [546] Do you agree with these recommendations?
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [547] Agreed.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [548] Agreed.
Graham (PS3UM) [549] Thank you.
[550] [paper rustling] Er, the next paper is er, the external auditors management letter, and we have with us today, Coopers and Liebrand representatives and I understand Max who, you're going to er, speak to us about [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [551] Thank you.
[552] [...] just remind members by er, way of introduction that this is the the first occasion when the external auditor has been er invited to answer questions and make points on the management er er, letter to the full committee.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [553] Er, that's all all I want to say, and I think er Max here, has got erm, something by way of introduction, and then there will be an opportunity to question us.
Graham (PS3UM) [554] Yeah, not not a form of opening government.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [555] Do you want to [...] erm, [clears throat] well I've come today as the partner responsible for recruiting my men for the audit of the County Council, together with my colleague Stephen Critchley, who is the partner responsible for the regularity audit, the main accounts of the [...] County Council accounts.
[556] And another senior colleague Steve Mcleod on my right, whose primary responsibility is with the value for money work that we undertake on your behalf.
[557] And as we set out in the management letter, it's a requirement of the audit commissioners code of practice, as we do report to areas of all the authorities that we deal with on an annual basis.
[558] And indeed, [...] erm, in the papers, summarise, really summarises [pouring] the work that you undertake and including December ninety-two, to December ninety-three.
[559] There's the work that we do erm, most of the [...] that we undertake, actually are erm, engaged in providing an opinion on the accounts of the [...] County Council.
[560] But we do have a responsibility for value for money, and legality issues as well, and appendix eight of our paper actually summarises in brief form the work that we've undertaken on your behalf this year.
[561] The audit, er, the the accounts [...] your your offices will be assigned er, as of the twenty-third of December, of ninety-three, and, but we're not able yet to conclude the audit as I'm considering an objection which has been received from a member, on the matter of publicity.
[562] Erm, the local government act nineteen ninety-two permits the auditor to actually advise the council to er matters which we believe that you should consider in full, er er, County erm, Council meeting, and I'm pleased to confirm that for this year there is nothing of that nature, that er, we would put to you, to refer to.
[563] [clears throat] Lincolnshire has a lot of history of being a well managed authority, a proved [...] exercising sound controls on its financial and management affairs, and I'm pleased to say that I'm again in a position to confirm that that is our view, for the conduct of the Council's business in the period on which we are reporting.
[564] In Paragraph one oh nine, and one ten,th , I do actually draw your attention to two areas, though I think that members amongst all the [paper rustling] issues that we have to deal with erm, to bear in mind in particular, and indeed the first one, probably the most important, in the sense of the longer term financial indications to reduce the extension of it is, limits that are being imposed upon local government generally, and of course here in Lincolnshire in particularly, in particular .
[565] And indeed, I think that it is quite clearly the theme, there's been money through the meeting this morning.
[566] Er, it is a very difficult climate, it's becoming increasingly difficult, and indeed, it's affecting the work that we do, in the sense that, the more government
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [567] awards monies for specific purposes, [...] your offices for specific and confirm the expense of those purposes, annual auditors to actually confirm that it has been so spent.
[568] And it's increasing the burden of work upon your offices and upon the auditors as well.
[569] It is a difficult climate, and the announcement before Christmas that erm, no government expenditure would increase by some two point three per cent, generally across England and Wales, is clearly not erm, worked so well for Lincolnshire with a capping limit increasing only by one point seven per cent , and the S S A, is increasing by one point two per cent .
[570] And quite clearly managing your affairs as you have done in the past within this context, becomes more difficult.
[571] But I think we see that with the capital programme, that quite clearly you're erm, having to take into account the fact that capital spend erm, cannot be er maintained at the level it has in the past, and indeed I believe you are talking about this matter, er, later on this morning.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [572] Yes.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [573] Er, but that's an indication of what's happening in that area, and indeed, the members erm, I am pleased to say, have taken the right attitude to that, recognised that that's the case and er addressing that, together with the revenue spend, erm, in a manner which I find is erm, of responsible and approved.
[574] In spite of this, there has been serious developments and in this year, and they'll be fully in place next year.
[575] And the process under which that was taking place, er reminds you all that you are unhappy with as well.
[576] Erm, the monetary outlook is not going to be easy.
[577] The erm, any other areas that I've drew particular attention as a, as a, key issue is on the matter of er legality and doing work for other bodies, which has been an issue here which er, as you may recall we mentioned that in the last two or three years.
[578] We have done some work with your offices on that, and whilst on most of your activities aren't happy with er the scale of such that it does cause me a problem, there is one particular area that we are in discussion with the Chief Executive, and your offices relating to doing work for other bodies to [...] and the contract vehicle hire service, and er, that's something which we will [...] and no doubt will be brought [...] us in the very near future.
[579] Erm, [clears throat] the only other thing I think it remains for me to say is that erm, the work will be undertaken on a value for money nature.
[580] Most of that is presently with your offices and draw up a reports in a moment, it was on special education needs, and so on.
[581] Erm, we have a programme developing for next year, which we will discuss with your offices, to ensure that we use the time that we validated to your audit er, in an effective, efficient and economic manner.
[582] And the regularity work, which is what we call the work on the accounts, the opinion on the accounts, the work seems very well, and the timetable that was agreed with er, the County Treasurer offices.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [583] and er, which we finished, and I would really just like to say that erm, thanks very much for the cooperation that we received from the offices generally across the authority.
[584] I think it's fair to say, that we do not [...] all matters, and I hope that nobody's here that would appreciate that the audit role is an independent role.
[585] We have considerable rights, of inspection, search, discussion, and the right to documents.
[586] Er, your officers have always, extremely cooperative in that way, and that they're a particular group of officers, they don't like to agree with everything that we say, and we have to go with robust discussions.
[587] Ultimately, I believe that er, the best interest is leave it to ourselves by that particular process, and with that Chairman, I wish to conclude.
Graham (PS3UM) [588] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [589] Anyone wish to ... Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [590] No, it's just a general enquiry, really, I I guess erm, erm, you you've, through you Chairman, I I've I've heard about the involvement of officers, but I wonder what extent there is involvement of of of members in the the the process of preparing those reports and presentations of the report, is is there any ... member comment on that.
Graham (PS3UM) [591] Would you like to, [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [592] Certainly, erm, it has changed this year, erm, but the arrangements now are, that we produce our report across the year, with i , and as you can appreciate the report summarises various, of one thing we done during the [...] with officers around the county round the [...] Erm, at the, at the end of November, we commit to writing this report in summary version, which we then discuss with the Chief Executive and the County Treasurer in particular, they take whatever soundings they wish with other offices and then we agree that letter.
[593] At that point, once the letter is finalised, we then did have a meeting with two members, the Chairman of this Committee that'll be Councillor Park, to just go through it, and that happened on Monday morning of this week.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [594] Great long speech.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [595] Thank you.
Graham (PS3UM) [596] So our involvement was for it to be presented to us before it came to this meeting.
[597] Any other queries on this?
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [598] One question, Mr Chairman, er er er information really er on this section one one oh.
[599] Erm, [paper rustling] does specific questions relating to er, matters that the auditor has brought to you, you've mentioned the Chief Executive, but a general opinion, really.
[600] Is he saying, I understand sir, that you, you approve of cross border tampering from other local authorities or not?
Graham (PS3UM) [601] Erm, may I take the opportunity to say that cross border [...] is a bit of a misnomer, erm, it's, the correct term is really doing work for other bodies.
[602] It's absolutely clear that the public body should be doing work for private sector organisations, and er, to my knowledge, Lincolnshire County Council have not been [...] to that particular erm, definition, although other authorities do and I have had to stop other authorities undertaking contracts where they are er private sector organisations.
[603] So far as doing work with public sector bodies erm, the business services act of nineteen seventy-six came into stand, this creates a lot of er, [...] which work had been done.
[604] Erm, the main requirement is, that where you have resources or applied property to discharge your own functions, people come under the [...] then you are at liberty to use those resources where it doesn't increase the capacity to do work for other public bodies, but you should neither increase your own capacity to do work with other bodies
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Graham (PS3UM) [605] nor should you seek to do derive a profit from the services that you provide to, I don't know, public bodies.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [606] Does that answer your question.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [607] That answers my question, yes.
Graham (PS3UM) [608] Councillor Weller?
Wyle (PS3US) [609] Well, I'll ask er, oh they're not here.
[610] Oh, thank you, first of all for this statement.
[611] I think it's the longest we've approved and [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [612] Long may it's costing you.
Wyle (PS3US) [613] [...] Er, but the question that I'd like to a a ask is, erm, [clears throat] reducing, er it's about capital, because er, where the capital is being in use, and and like yesterday ... reducing capital is always an easy option.
[614] Requesting when there was fifty million programmes, and that [...] it's it's it's an option that governments always take.
[615] I must admit, [...] weak option, but its an easy option.
[616] Lincolnshire's capital, lively financed from revenue, of course grants, and property sales etc. are sold, that money can be transferred into services, and money can be borrowed.
[617] So it is easy option to borrow and spend that money on services.
[618] [...] are rather different, if the builder wants us to borrow on their behalf, that's one thing, whether we should borrow on our behalf, is a question that one has to.
[619] So would he have any comments to make, say next year at this time.
[620] Or is there an area which you would get into on the question of whether how hard we should struggle before we er, do that sort of thing, or whether it's purely a matter for for the County Council [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [621] Could I be before you answer that question, you did ask, didn't you, ask him to be hypothetical and say what would he say in a year's time, and I think what
Wyle (PS3US) [622] Well, I meant, I I I [...] I mean, it is his job talking to [...] comment on [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [623] Well, I'll ask him.
[624] is it, is it he can answer that question, is it he's job to look in what er, happened in a year's time.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [625] It is not my job to comment on the policy of the County Council.
[626] Expect only in that, it was a danger that you were going to incur expenditure, which is of an unlawful n nature, pending on the clearly wish to comment.
[627] Or indeed, if the consequences of that particular policy decision is such that the erm, the revenue considerations were serious and improvable and in which case, you would not be deriving value for money, and I most certainly would have a comment to make.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [628] Johnny , Johnny would ask you if you did the auditing for Westminster, but, er that's a bit wrong at this stage. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [629] I do not wish to discuss [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [630] Well, I, seriously, Mr Chairman, conservative group for the County Council of Westminster is a lot better than it is.
Graham (PS3UM) [631] You'll have to write to Lady Anyone else wish to comment on
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Graham (PS3UM) [632] If not.
[633] Could I, thank you very much, sir, and you're, thank you for coming in, and the way you presented the report, it's a difficult report, and we hope that er, we're in a similar situation [...] Thank you. [paper rustling]
Graham (PS3UM) [634] Right, erm, I'm not too sure ... Paper ten, Treasury Management, and I believe this is going to be taken by Noel Harrison.
Taylor (PS3UW) [635] Chair.
[636] [clears throat] It's er almost two years ago now that erm, and it, I'd like you to wait, but not entirely as a consequence of B C C I's er, demise, that Citra published a code of practice to Treasury Management and a guide to the Chief Officers who were members of that Institution.
[637] Erm, in terms of Treasury Management.
[638] One of the requirements of that particular council guides to the Chief Officers was that, they should bring before the councils a statement that Treasury Management policy and arrangements and that, in fact, was done in the autumn of ninety-two, and the council adopted a particular statement which reflected its circumstances at the time, erm, and the then policy.
[639] By and large that particular go erm, statement, which is actually embodied in financial regulations also, envisage erm, a a situation where there would be no long term borrowing.
[640] Erm, since that particular time, the financial climate has significantly changed, and the government policy in relation to certain areas of expenditure which I comment , which I commented on earlier, erm, has also changed, in that ... instead of paying direct grant, they are now issuing credit approvals, which permits borrowing to agreed levels within the constraints of the capital control mechanisms, that the government have in place, the controlling overall levels of indebtedness of councils.
[641] Erm, whilst those credit approvals do bring reimbursement to the council over time, the equivalent amount to grant in broad terms.
[642] What they, you do is, in fact shift the incidence on cash flow.
[643] Given that change in circumstances, we, it was felt that it would be prudent to propose to members a change to the actual statement which was [...] in place, so that it would permit consideration of longer term borrowing, in particular circumstances and where it's in the interest of the authority, and have the flexibility to do so, in relating to the prudent managements of its affairs, Chairman.
[644] I think all those who the statement, I don't propose to go through it in detail.
[645] I think I could probably stop there.
Weller (PS3UP) [646] Thank you.
[647] Papers headed erm, Treasury Management, but essentially it's about
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Weller (PS3UP) [648] taking out loans and borrowing and I don't think that this County Council ought to be defensive in the slightest about having a tool such as borrowing available to us [clears throat] in terms of financial management.
[649] I think I want to start by reminding everybody that borrowing to finance capital spending is the norm, for almost all local authorities in this country.
[650] I want then, to go on to say that if we take a view, about fairness, and I think that that's an important word that we, certainly from our side, want to use regularly and practice.
[651] If we take a view about fairness, then the funding of capital schemes is fairer if the charge and the cost of the those schemes is spread over the life of the the asset.
[652] Because then all the people that use that asset, not just now but in the future,co make a contribution towards its purchase.
[653] In other words, that we're spreading out the costs and the charges amongst the people that actually use the services, the road, the school, the particular asset that we erm, would be funding.
[654] I think it's also easy to argue that if you take money out of government allocation for service delivery greater than the amount that is necessary, then actually, the people that are getting in in in the sense of capital schemes, the losers are the people that lose out on front line direct services.
[655] To give you an example, in nineteen ninety-three, ninety-four, the capital financing standard spending assessment allocation, for Lincolnshire was twenty-three point seven million.
[656] We spent twenty-nine point one million, which was in excess of five point four million.
[657] That five point four million could have been spent on front line social services, for example.
[658] So in a sense, what we're doing by funding and delivering a very high capital programme out of revenue, rather than borrowing, is we're detracting from our ability to deliver important services.
[659] I think it's also reasonable to point out, that at the moment, the County Council does enter into finance lease arrangements to meet the business needs, of for example Translink and Computer Services.
[660] It's been accepted that these are credit arrangements under the local government Planning and Land Act, so therefore, it is not unreasonable to argue that borrowing will not represent a new departure for the County Council in terms of being able to control capital spending.
[661] We can also recognise, as we did, at an, on an earlier paper that it is national government policy and increasingly so, to encourage the development of capital schemes, borrowing, we noted that in relation to transport and the availability of S C A's I think it's also right to say that the government does set down the level of borrowing which can be entered into in in any one year, that is the credit approvals are controlled by the government and they do make them available to the County Council and to district Councils, so in a sense, the government is both saying that we expect borrowing to be a feature of a budget and also that we want to control, and restrict the amount of money that can be borrowed through the amount of credit approvals.
[662] Final reason, is that fo for borrowing, is that we could take a view, that borrowing in a particular year has to take account of the of the valuable circumstances at that particular time.
[663] We could note, and I think that it's right and prudent to do so, that the current levels of interest rates are at their lowest historically for some twenty years.
[664] They may even go lower, but there's certainly the clear indications from the city that, and from informed sources that interests rates are likely to rise towards the end of this year.
[665] If that's the case, then we could argue,an and will do, that now is a good time to borrow on a fixed term basis over a long period.
[666] I think to sum up, I would be wanting to say, that this County Council takes a view that it is about the provision of services.
[667] Important services have to be
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Weller (PS3UP) [668] given priority.
[669] When you realise that we have had one of the most difficult spending erm, decisions taken by
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Weller (PS3UP) [670] National Government, then the time has got to come at so some stage as to whether you defend a principle of Lincolnshire being a de a longer term debt free authority, or whether you look around the county and say, important services must be protected.
[671] We take a view that this is both so sound financial management and delivery quality services to the people of Lincolnshire.
[672] We think they deserve and want no less.
Graham (PS3UM) [673] Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [674] Thank you.
[675] Well, it's erm, fairly local incident, that this paper has been er borne, er to give the er permission for borrowing, when the labour, liberal er controlling group find themselves in this embarrassing position, er, of having to find an extra eleven million pounds to maintain their services.
[676] They've got themselves into this mess in just nine months.
[677] Now let me cut through all that science, that er, Councillor Parker has has tried to make this issue.
[678] Erm, budgeting whether it's a five
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [679] er, five hundred million budget, or your own household budget, er, in basic terms, is is fairly simple.
[680] And anyone who has controlled a a household budget, will well understand that in the present sort of climate, that is the real world outside this County Council.
[681] You have to cut you cloth according to the means.
[682] And when wages and inflation are running at less than two per cent, you don't go out and increase your spending by four or five per cent .
[683] And you certainly don't go out, and then start economics of the mad-house.
[684] What do you do?
[685] What do the [...] the balance very shortly.
[686] Erm ... when I think of you and I do, when we're confronted with the challenges in our household budgets.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [687] [whispering] You use your Access Cards. []
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [688] We look at things that we would like to do, and set our priorities.
[689] Unavoidably, we have to delay some decisions, we put off other decisions, we look at other alternatives, that is the way that you prudently manage budgets.
[690] You do not go out and borrow.
[691] This County Council under this administration are facing identifying simple economic rules of brevity.
[692] They operate outside.
[693] Someone else can pick up the bill.
[694] The bottom line is, that if you are having to use Council enforcement to repay interest, you cannot spend the same Council tax revenues in providing services.
[695] The customer is the people of Lincolnshire that we represent, they are going to lose out by this sort of policy and we oppose the principle of borrowing for these sort of reasons,
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [696] are part of it.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [697] Thank you, Chairman, I, firstly I'm indebted to Mr Harrison, here, for a new phrase into the English language, as we're being recorded this morning.
[698] He used the word, shift the incidence of cash flow.
[699] In other words, that's, covers a multitude of sins, but basically it means, borrowing.
[700] And borrowing means pay later.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [701] I'm dead against this, er, on principle, I think it's cutting the first sod of the hole that you're preparing to dig yourselves.
[702] Secondly, erm, I am indebted to Councillor Parker for not being mealy-mouthed about this.
[703] He's saying, quite specifically what his political objective is, and that is, that they can spend more revenue on their political priorities, that they choose to spend it on, and it is a way of transferring capital monies into revenue, and it's as simple as that.
[704] And I object to it, [...]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Graham (PS3UM) [705] Yes.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [706] Er, can I ask for a point of clarification.
[707] In the past, er authorities with er er a debt of being limited with the use of their capital receipts.
[708] We are, we are debt free, we've been debt for a long time.
[709] And I'm against the er policy of borrowing.
[710] I think it's retrogrades debt [...] .
[711] Erm, I agree with my colleagues for what's been said, so I won't say any more about that, but it is the point that what happens to the capital receipts, in the future.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [712] [clears throat] The position with the County Council is that while [...] has no long term debt, it has never satisfied the tests of central government, for the capital control regime.
[713] Which they class as a debt free authority.
[714] That requires two conditions, one that you have no long term debt, and that under the capital control regime which exists on the legislation, you have what is termed a nil or negative credit ceiling.
[715] Whilst we satisfied one of those conditions, the authorities never satisfied both.
[716] The fact that, one has as a as a council, credit approvals, it does allow you to set them against capital receipts in in further financing new capital works, to the extent that you don't use them for other purposes.
[717] The government are actually indifferent as to whether you you borrow, and consume your capita er, your credit approvals, or whether you consume your credit approvals by applying them to capital receipts which will be used to buy further capital assets.
[718] Because in their terms, the object of the control regime, is to force down aggregate levels of indebtedness, and there are mechanisms wi within which it works which do that.
[719] But the County Council still has some longer term debt, not external but internally, that is being paid now and not over time, and so the position actually will not change, so long as the Council continues to have more credit approval than it requires to use the new borrowing.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [720] Can I, can can can I just come back [...]
Graham (PS3UM) [721] [...] on that.
[722] Wh what what level are are capital approvals?
[723] What are they running at, erm, you know.
[724] In the last year?
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [725] Over the last year, something over seventeen million, in the forthcoming year there will be a review for about, I think from memory of ar of around about fourteen million.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [726] I think that's supplementary.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [727] Including the supplementary credit approvals, they're just short of seventeen million.
[728] It's about thirteen point four million basic credit approvals, and about three point three million supplementary credit approvals.
[729] So it's sixteen point seven million in total.
Graham (PS3UM) [730] Councillor
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [731] Yes, thank you.
[732] I hold
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [733] [...] Port erm, borrowing, and I think some Tory members are being disingenuous to say the least on this issue.
[734] [sighing] It's [] Councillor Box said, the mess that you are in.
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J9BPSUNK) [735] This is a direct result of the Tory government cutting our late support grant.
[736] It's not a mess that we're in, it's your Tory government are doing this.
[737] If you're saying you're not supporting borrowing, it's, I think you've got a duty to say, what services you're going to cut.
[738] If you cannot just go along and say no we're not borrowing and live within your budget as you are saying.
[739] We're talking about essential services.
[740] In education, for example, we have a a rising pupil numbers.
[741] We have more children needing [end of tape]