Agenda and minutes

Shadow Executive
Wednesday, 26th September, 2018 4.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, TA4 4QA

Contact: Richard Bryant Email:  01823 219736

No. Item




Minutes of the previous meeting of the Shadow Executive.


Declarations of Interest.

    To receive and record any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests or personal or prejudicial interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting. 

    (The personal interests of Councillors and Clerks of Somerset County Council, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)


    Members present at the meeting declared the following personal interests in their capacity as a Member of a County, Parish or Town Council:


    Minute No.

    Member of

    Action Taken

    Cllr A Trollope-Bellew



    Spoke and voted

    Cllr S Coles




    Cllr P Murphy






Public Participation.

    The Chairman to advise the Committee of any items on which members of the public have requested to speak and advise those members of the public present of the details of the Council’s public participation scheme.


    No member of the public requested to speak.


Draft Financial Strategy and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 (attached)

    This report provides Members with an update on producing a 2019/20 budget for the new Somerset West and Taunton Council including a Medium Term Financial Plan and overall Financial Strategy.



    The purpose of the report was to provide Members with an update on producing a 2019/20 budget for the new Somerset West and Taunton Council including a Medium Term Financial Plan and overall Financial Strategy.


    Historically, the former Councils of Taunton Deane and West Somerset separately produced a Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) that was updated during the year as part of their overall financial strategies. The purpose of the MTFP was initially to set the scene and give an early indication of the financial position and reductions required to deliver a balanced budget. Somerset West and Taunton would therefore require a new Financial Strategy for delivering a medium term balanced budget from 2019/20 onwards.


    The Leader introduced the item and stated that he considered the contents of the report demonstrated the value of the hard choices made over the years in reducing the two Councils’ running costs.  He drew Members’ attention to the proposed strategy for council tax going forward; the estimated General Fund Reserves balance of Somerset West and Taunton which showed a healthy position, as well as highlighting the combined budget position of TDBC and WSC within the Medium Term Financial Plan.


    The Interim Financial Services Manager presented the report in further detail, drawing attention to the salient points contained within.  The 2019/20 finance settlement for Somerset West and Taunton would be a combination of the two former councils and the base budgets would be fully reviewed for the new Council in due course.  He advised that there would be a number of changes imminent which would make the level of funding difficult to predict and this would come into effect from 2020/21 onwards.  Information was provided on the Fair Funding Review, the Business Rates Retention scheme and the New Homes Bonus.  The funding predictions were based on current assumptions. 


    The Medium Term Financial Plan summary showed there to be a broadly balanced budget position up to 2021/22 with a predicted budget gap of £407,000 by 2023/24.  The Interim Financial Services Manager reported on the strategy for business rates to help protect against funding volatility, as well as the strategy for New Homes Bonus.


    Clarification was provided that the Somerset West and Taunton council tax charge in 2019/20 for a Band D property was predicted to increase by £5 per annum.  The final decision on the council tax increase would be made in February 2019 via the democratic process.


    It was noted that fees and charges would be aligned wherever possible, and it was recommended that voluntary and community grants and other commitments be carried forward into the new council.


    Attention was drawn to the tabled responses provided at the meeting following a number of questions and recommendations which were raised at the Shadow Scrutiny Committee held on 18 September 2018.


    The report also referred to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and made reference to a report that was considered by Taunton Deane’s Scrutiny Committee.  The proposals contained therein required the endorsement of the Shadow Executive prior  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Forward Plan


Date of next meeting