21 February 2008 Item 9
Revenue Budget and Precept 2008/09 and Provisional Budgets 2009/10 to 2010/11 (Part A)
Capital Programme 2008/09 to 2010/11 (Part B)
Report of the Cabinet
With the concurrence of the Chairman under Section 100B (4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, this matter has been included on the agenda to ensure that timely decisions are taken with regard to the Revenue Budget and precept 2008/09 and the Capital Programme 2008/09-2010/11.
1.1 The Cabinet recommends a council tax increase of 4.5% (£43 for Band D) and a proposed budget, before grant, of £642.7m (excluding schools). The proposed budget is within the guidelines approved by the Cabinet on 17 December 2007 and takes account of the relevant Executive Members consideration of those guidelines together with scrutiny arrangements through the Select Committees. This level of council tax and the budget are proposed following full consultation with key stakeholders.
1.2 The level of council tax proposed is within the Government's capping limit of 5% and has been achieved despite a continuing low formula grant increase of just 2.0% (£2.8m), the total amount of grant for 2008/09 being £142.7m. This includes an adjustment to the provisional settlement of an additional £563,000 for public law family fees to reflect the policy change by the Court Service of full cost recovery for proceedings under the Children's Act. However, this is matched by an equivalent increase in the cash limit for Children's Services as the new costs had not been included in its budget.
1.3 The increase in formula grant for 2008/09 is slightly higher than expected, nonetheless it is well below inflation (retail price index - 4.1% and consumer price index for services - 3.3%) and does not adequately take account of demographic and other pressures faced by Hampshire on social care (increasing numbers of older people and adults with disabilities requiring care, committed costs of the waste management contract and increased landfill tax). Hampshire has the second lowest grant per head (£112 compared with an average of £176) and given that the average grant increase for counties is 5.3%, Hampshire might be expected to have an above average council tax increase. Strong representations were made to the Department for Communities and Local Government but disappointingly, no attempt has been made to answer the specific points raised and hence no change to the final settlement.
1.4 The Government has indicated that it will not hesitate to use its capping powers therefore the proposed budget avoids this risk as well as identifying substantial cashable efficiency savings of £14.6m (2.2%).
1.5 The tight grant position for services contrasts starkly with the 4.5% per pupil increase in the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). The total schools budget is £766m consisting of £671m in DSG, £53.7m schools budget standards fund, £33.8m schools standard grant and £18m general sure start grant. The overall headroom above the base budget in DSG is £10.3m and the Schools Forum has allocated this for deprivation (£3.9m), individual schools budget (£3.7m) including provision for exclusion, pay and benefits and ICT, early years (£1.1m) and central expenditure pressures (£1.6m) including early intervention and preventative services.
2. Main features of the budget
2.1 The main features of the budget are summarised below:
(a) a council tax of £999, below £1,000, which is 4.5% or 0.83p per week more than in 2007/08 per Band D council tax payer
(b) a carry forward of anticipated underspendings in 2007/08 of £5.9m (up to £4.3m on Adult Services, £980,000 on Environment and £630,000 on Policy and Resources)
(c) additional pressures and growth proposals from the Executive Members totalling £23.9m (Adult Services £15.6m, Children's Services £4.2m, Environment £2.5m and £0.8m for both Policy and Resources and Recreation and Heritage)
(d) savings and redeployment proposals of £14.5m put forward by the Executive Members
(e) cashable efficiency savings of £14.6m have been identified, which will be used to meet unfunded pressures not met by the Government's 2% grant increase, in addition to £48m over the last three years.
(f) additional one-off growth of £7.4m:
- £1.4m invest to save contribution for Children's Services towards foster care rates and
to produce savings against the higher longer term costs of independent foster care
- £200,000 for Adult Services for a Commission on Personalisation to develop the most
effective implementation of `personalisation' in the County Council with its various
partners and to influence the Government's future thinking on funding and in respect
of its Green Paper on Adult Social Care
- £100,000 initial set up costs for the Hampshire Senate to improve two-tier working,
seek efficiencies, introduce shared services and to work in partnership to deliver the
improvement targets set for the Comprehensive Area Assessment
- £100,000 for Recreation and Heritage for the Basingstoke Canal and workplace
- £100,000 contingency to fund an anticipated increase in inquests, the cost of which the
County Council has a statutory duty to meet
- £50,000 for Policy and Resources to establish up to 50 apprentices and/or work
opportunities for young people to improve their life chances
- £5.5m contribution to the capital reserve to meet the shortfall of resources to fund the
capital programme identified in 2009/10 and 2010/11 to avoid further unsupported
borrowing, to provide additional flexibility to fund future infrastructure costs
associated with new developments, to acquire future development land and assist in
the achievement of higher targets for capital receipts to be established in
2010/11 and 2011/12.
NB: The initial funding set aside for two years for the Hampshire Action Teams and revised scrutiny arrangements will run out during 2008/09. Specific provision for extending the current arrangements has not been made at this time and will be considered when the pilot arrangements are reviewed.
(g) additional recurring growth of £2.0m including revenue support towards higher capital payments of £11.2m over the next three years, a contribution of £1.2m to an invest to save and modernisation reserve and a contingency for further allocation against business cases, including £250,000 for Recreation and Heritage
(h) income from fees and charges across all service departments totalling £78.9m
3. Budget guidelines and service budgets
3.1 Executive Members have put forward service budgets within the cash limits
set by the budget guidelines and in accordance with an agreed budget strategy. Following a review of Executive Members specific proposals and taking into account the changes that have occurred since the budget guidelines were approved in December 2007, the Cabinet proposes total planned expenditure of £1,395.152m as summarised below:
Revenue contributions to capital Contingency Contribution to earmarked reserves
2008/09 budget requirement
NB: The increase in the budget requirement funded by formula grant and council tax is only £27.3m towards an overall increase in spending of £81.9m, which demonstrates the significance of increases in specific grants and the new `area based grants' to the overall County Council budget.
3.2 In respect of service budgets, general grant and council tax funding have been allocated as the highest priority for maximising wellbeing towards meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in Adult Services (5.6% in County Council terms and 5.3% overall after specific and area based grant changes are taken into account). Children's Services also remain a priority and due to the impact of the Government's specific grant priorities, the largest overall increase in spending benefits Children's Services (6.4%). Priority has also been given to the waste management contract (4.1%). This is a slightly below trend increase as a result of the changes associated with the implementation of producer responsibility for electrical goods which has released £0.7m of the contingency set aside for 2008/09 for this contract. Planned service growth has therefore been allocated to these priority services, with all services having identified savings and other redeployments to meet additional pressures over the base budget guideline figures set.
4. Performance and risk management
4.1 A key component of the Audit Commission's Corporate Assessment is Use of Resources which requires the linking of budgets with performance management and for which the County Council has recently been awarded three out of four in the Comprehensive Performance Assessment for 2007. Accordingly proposals for additional spending should indicate measurable improvements in performance anticipated and an implementation plan for any significant savings. All Executive Members are required to review their plans and monitor achievement against them for all the proposed growth and redeployment proposals, particularly to monitor performance against specific plans for achieving all savings targets and will have explicit regard to the value for money of all their decisions. The Cabinet also regularly monitors the activity, costs and performance of the volatile and high risk budgets.
4.2 The budget proposals recognise the priorities of the Corporate Business Plan, which together with the Corporate Strategy and the Corporate Management Plan provide the framework for the integration of service, workforce and financial planning.
4.3 The main areas of risk for the coming year are equal pay claims arising from the implementation of the new pay framework (to be met by the pay and benefits reserve); grant loss from the unwinding of the grant floor; risks from the budget assumptions particularly around price inflation on purchase of services and energy costs; the achievement of capital receipts, pressure from prudential borrowing and variations in capital payments, which affect capital financing forecasts.
5. Earmarked reserves (budgeted at 31 March 2009)
5.1 The single largest budgeted reserve continues to be the Schools reserve now anticipated to be £41.4m. The Grant Equalisation Reserve is budgeted at £26.1m at 31 March 2008 (£18.7m at the end of the three year budget period) and was set up in 2003/04 when the Government changed the funding formula and started moving grant away from Hampshire. The removal of £9m of damping means that the County Council now just receives floor grant of £29m for 2008/09, which will reduce to £21m by 2010/11, therefore it is planned to run down this reserve over the next six year period to reflect the unwinding of the grant floor. The Pay and Benefits reserve will be increased to £31.1m by 31 March 2009 in order to provide a substantial cushion against the risk of equal pay claims or compensation arising from the implementation of the pay and benefits job evaluation exercise taking account that claims may be payable up to a period of six years; interest will continue to be credited in future years. The Landfill Allowances Reserve (£4.0m) is available to offset future council tax rises, bearing in mind past investment in waste infrastructure and to finance future waste infrastructure to ensure that all recycling and landfill targets are met. The insurance reserve (£5.2m) has been budgeted on the basis that internal premiums will match liabilities chargeable and fire reinstatement costs incurred in 2007/08 and 2008/09. However, recent trends in liability claims suggest that public and employer liability premiums can be reduced therefore a reduction of £450,000 (£375,000 excluding schools) is proposed. The £375,000 released can be used to cover the cost of disaster recovery insurance for the data centre over the next three year period as it relocates from its current location to Ashburton Court North. The capital reserve is budgeted at £1.5m and an addition of £5.5m is proposed to fund the shortfall of resources in the capital programme in 2009/10 and 2010/11.
6.1 Projected balances at 31 March 2008 are estimated at £14.4m with budgeted contributions of £974,000 to be made to balances in 2008/09 and 2009/10. Economic development initiatives of £210,000 over the next two years from the Local Authority Business Grant Initiative (LABGI) received in 2007/08 will be carried forward in balances. The unused contingency of £120,000 for Hantsdirect will also be carried forward from 2007/08 for use in 2008/09. After reinstating the planned removal of £5m for the Manydown purchase, this results in balances at or around the recommended level of £15m or about 0.9% of gross expenditure (2.3% of net expenditure) in 2008/09. This level of balances will also be sufficiently robust for the County Treasurer's assurance required by Section 25 of the Local Government Act (see below).
7. Provisional Budgets 2009/10 to 2010/11
7.1 The formula grant increase for 2009/10 is £2.5m (1.75%) and for 2010/11, £2.2m (1.5%) and as with 2008/09, both are well below inflation and do not adequately recognise the continuing challenges the County Council is faced with. The County Council's floor grant will be reduced to £21m by 2010/11. Without changing the budget guidelines for service related spending, it is possible to set provisional council tax rises of 3.5% in 2009/10 and 2010/11. The continued threat of capping by the Government for excessive increases in council taxes will remain.
7.2 The budget guidelines for 2009/10 and 2010/11 follow those confirmed by the Cabinet on 17 December 2007. Priority has again been given to Adult Services, Children's Services and the waste management contract to reflect demographic and other pressures. Other services remain at base budget level with the full year effects of savings and growth, variations in reserves and use of balances built into the plan.
7.3 The provisional budget requirements for 2009/10 and 2010/11 are estimated as follows:
2009/10: £1,436,246m, other budgets: -£733.138m = a budget requirement of £633,108m
2010/11: £1,488,077m and other budgets: -£801,997m = a budget requirement of £686,080m
8. Section 25 report, Local Government Act 2003
8.1 The Local Government Act 2003 comprises a series of duties and powers that give statutory support to important aspects of good financial practice. Section 25 of the Act requires the Chief Financial Officer (the County Treasurer) to report to the County Council when setting its council tax on the robustness of the estimates included in the budget and the adequacy of the financial reserves in the budget. The County Treasurer's report on this matter is set out in detail in Appendix 1, but in summary it is suggested that provided the County Council considers the factors detailed above in paragraph 6.1 and accepts the budget recommendations, including the level of earmarked reserves, a positive opinion can be given under Section 25 on the robustness of the estimates and levels of reserves.
9. Treasury Management and Annual Investment Strategies, Prudential and Financial Health Indicators
9.1 The County Council is required to adopt a treasury management strategy and an annual investment strategy for 2008/09 in regard to the management of the long-term debt portfolio relative to forecast trends in long and short term interests rates, arrangements for the investment of surplus cash funds during the year and that the investment strategy conforms with the prudential code for financial management. Lender's option/borrower's options loans can also be considered in order to generate short-term savings in interest costs. Guideline annual targets of up to £14m and £7m are proposed for 2008/09 to 2010/11 for long term fixed rate borrowing and lender's option/borrower's options loans respectively, which can be exceeded if the circumstances are appropriate. It is envisaged that longer-term interest rates will remain stable over the next year at around 4.5% although the most recent downward trend could indicate the possibility of marginally lower rates becoming available during 2008. Furthermore, that the County Treasurer be given authority to repay Public Works Loan Board loans held at high coupon rates prematurely, replace with longer term loans at lower rates, and amortise the early termination penalties over the outstanding period of those replacement loans. The Cabinet therefore recommends the approval of the Annual Investment Strategy, set out in Appendix 2 together with the prudential and financial health indicators set out in Appendix, which have been amended to reflect the recommendations made by the Cabinet relating to additional borrowing of £11.2m to support the capital programme.
10.1 The County Council continues to face many pressures, particularly in Adult and Children's Services in order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, and with the waste management contract and landfill tax costs. This position is exacerbated by the continued low level of formula grant increases, which are way below inflation and the average grant increase for counties of 5.3%. Therefore the proposals set out above present a robust response to these difficulties. Despite these challenges, the Adult Services recovery and modernisation plan is on track for completion by 31 March 2008 and the County Council continues to achieve substantial efficiency savings.
a) the Treasurer's report under Section 25 of the Local Government Act 2003 be taken into account when the Council determines its budget and precept for 2008/09 (Appendix 1)
b) the revenue budget for 2008/09 (as set out in the attached draft budget book) and the provisional budgets for 2009/10 and 2010/11 be approved.
c) the total budget requirement for the general expenses of the County Council for the year beginning 1 April 2008 be £642,680,000.
d) the County Council's Band D council tax for the year beginning 1 April 2008 be £999.00.
e) the County Council's council tax for the year beginning 1 April 2008 for properties in each tax band be:
Band A 666.00
Band B 777.00
Band C 888.00
Band D 999.00
Band E 1221.00
Band F 1443.00
Band G 1665.00
Band H 1998.00
f) precepts be issued totalling £497,062,410.03 on the billing authorities in Hampshire, requiring the payment, in such instalments and on such dates set by them and previously notified to the County Council, in proportion to the tax base of each billing authority's area as determined by them and as set out below:
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council 61,753.90
East Hampshire District Council 47,352.44
Eastleigh Borough Council 43,445.08
Fareham Borough Council 42,200.00
Gosport Borough Council 27,432.40
Hart District Council 37,667.80
Havant Borough Council 42,483.00
New Forest District Council 72,101.30
Rushmoor Borough Council 30,928.94
Test Valley Borough Council 45,148.00
Winchester City Council 47,047.11
g) That the Annual Investment Strategy (Appendix 2) and the Prudential and Financial Health Indicators (Appendix 3).
1.1 The Cabinet has considered proposals put forward by Executive Members for the three years 2008/09 to 2010/11. The resultant draft capital programme is attached as a separate document. In drawing up their preferred programmes, Executive Members were requested to:
- submit proposals for a locally resourced capital programme for the three-year period from 2008/09 to 2010/11 within the guidelines of the current programme, adjusted for inflation
- submit a programme of schemes supported by Government grants and scheme- or programme-specific borrowing allocations for the three years consistent with limiting the increase in the capital financing requirement to 2.5% per annum, and to highlight the implications of not taking up Government borrowing allocations in full.
1.2 The total starts value of the programme is (round figures) £443m. The main elements are £326m for schemes supported by Government borrowing allocations and £117m for the three-year locally resourced programme (schemes financed from the County Council's own resources such as capital receipts, contributions from the revenue budget, reserves and other funds).
1.3 In respect of Government borrowing allocations, guidelines have been confirmed which limits the take up over the three-year period of the capital programme. This follows the Government's decision not to provide full formula grant support towards the loans raised by the County Council on the basis of the so-called `supported' borrowing allocations. Lobbying on this issue has continued but unfortunately it has not persuaded the Government to recognise the cost of new borrowing allocations in its calculation of the revenue grant floor, or alternatively, provide its support in the form of capital grants.
2. Capital expenditure
2.1 Capital spending will be broadly matched by resources in 2008/09 but there will be shortfalls of resources in 2009/10 of £4.8m and in 2010/11 of £0.7m to be met from the capital reserve fund as recommended by the Cabinet in the Revenue Budget report. The financing position over the period to 2014/15 is consistent with that reported in February 2007 and is reliant on record capital receipts being obtained (over £64m in 2007/08) which is on target. Invest-to-save funding of £310,000 per annum originally set up for a two-year period has been retained in the Property Services revenue budget on an ongoing basis to help achieve this substantial disposal programme, supplementing the £190,000 per annum previously allocated for this purpose. The Chief Executive will bring forward a business case for a further £300,000 to enable an increase in the targets for future capital receipts.
3. Prudential borrowing
3.1 A framework for the use of prudential borrowing under the Prudential Code for Capital Finance introduced by the Local Government Act 2003 was agreed by the Cabinet in 2003 and updated in February 2006. Prudential borrowing does not attract Government revenue grants towards the loan charges. Instead the loan repayments and interest charges have to be financed by the County Council from its own resources. In compliance with the framework and subject to specific proposals being submitted by the Executive Members for Children's Services (£25.7m), Environment (£7.1m) and Policy and Resource (£1m), further prudential borrowing for the 2008/09 to 2010/11 programmes of up to £33.8m is recommended.
4. Summary of programmes prepared by the Executive Members
4.1 Adult Services
The proposed programme for Adult Services is in line with the guidelines for the locally resourced programme, which were increased by the Cabinet in July 2006 for 2008/09 and 2009/10 after a review of the service's capital expenditure needs and the resources available. The programme also includes provision to use capital grants from the Government of just under £0.3m per annum for capital expenditure under the Mental Health national service framework.
4.2 Children's Services
The proposed programme for Children's Services over the next three years stands at £208.2m, supported in the main by the Government with capital grant and borrowing allocations and partly funded from capital receipts and developers' contributions. This includes an additional £3m agreed by the Cabinet on 8 February 2008 for investment in schools by taking up more of the Government's borrowing allocations than previously planned. For a number of schemes such as school amalgamations and new school places for housing development, the works are required in advance of the receipts and contributions. The approach of providing school places in advance of the receipt of funding ensures they are available at the appropriate time and in the right location to meet demand from new housing, minimising the pressure on other schools and the need for pupils to travel. The programme also includes schemes to the value of £13.0m, which the Executive Member for Children's Services wishes to defer from the 2007/08 starts programme to 2008/09 together with matching resources namely:
Andover Children's Centre 1,850
Basingstoke School Plus 4,000
Elvetham Heath Primary School, Fleet 3,100
Primary school improvements in the Fareham Western Wards 1,327
Stanmore Primary School, Winchester 291
Secondary school improvements 1,115
Schools Access Initiative 412
Developers' Contributions 517
Total to be carried forward to 2008/09 12,962
In respect of New Deal for Schools (NDS), the allocation for 2007/08 is £23.7m. However, a change in the Government's allocation methodology will result in an allocation of £16.0m for 2010/11, which is 32% lower than in 2007/08. In respect of Building Schools for the Future (BSF), there is a possibility that the County Council will have the opportunity to be involved earlier than anticipated timeline of 2011. Therefore the revenue budget for Children's Services proposes the establishment of a small project team to do planning and preparatory work. The County Council is also a pathfinder authority for the primary capital programme aimed at improving a substantial proportion of the primary and primary age special school stock over a fifteen year period. Accordingly, an allocation of £6.5m in 2008/09 is available and new funding of £9.5m in 2009/10 and £11.8m in 2010/11. Additional capital allocations are also available including sure start grant (including children's centres phase 3), extended schools grant, Youth Capital Fund, Targeted Capital Fund grant and disabled children grant. A total of £74.5m has been provided for capital investment in Children's Services for 2008/09 in the form of capital grants and borrowing allocations, which is lower than the £85.0m allocated in 2007/08.
As referred to in paragraph 3.1 above, the Executive Member for Children's Services proposes using prudential borrowing to fund a number of schemes to the value of £25.7m, all of which will be repaid by no later than 2012/13. To avoid the cost of annual loan charges arising from the borrowing being met by the council tax, part of the capital programme for each year has been set aside. Excluding the proposals in (f) above, prudential borrowing for Children's Services schemes has been approved to the value of £39.6m, to be repaid from capital receipts and developers' contributions. The School Balances Loan Scheme has also been used to borrow a further £4.2m from school balances and once repayments to the scheme have been made, proposals will be brought forward to use the School Balances Loan Scheme instead of prudential borrowing.
Although there are sufficient resources to fund all schemes to be started in 2008/09, the position for 2009/10 and following years is more difficult. A significant amount of expenditure is anticipated to provide new pupil places over the three-year period of the programme, which will generate funding pressures. The estimated costs for new primary school places is £40m of which approximately 60% is expected to be available from developers' contributions. The remaining cost will need to be met from the Government's New Pupil Places allocations (approximately £19m), which in practice will be reduced under the County Council's current policy because they are borrowing allocations.
The proposed three-year programme for Environment is £130.0m. This is made up of total local resources of £42.4m and Government support of £87.6m. This includes an additional £6.8m agreed by the Cabinet on 8 February 2008 to take up more of the Government borrowing allocations so that the Winchester Park and Ride and associated bus priority works do not have to be deferred from the 2009/10 programme.
As the resources available to Environment are reduced because of the supported borrowing situation, prudential borrowing is proposed of £4.0m in 2008/09 and £3.1m in 2009/10 to maintain the level of highway maintenance and bridge programme at the current level. The borrowing will be financed by reductions in Environment's locally resourced capital programme and from efficiency savings of £0.7m per year in the term maintenance contract to meet the loan charges. The proposed programme also includes schemes wholly or partly funded by developers' or other contributions totalling £22.9m, including £7.4m in 2008/09.
Several major schemes are being prepared for possible bids for Government funding, including Chickenhall Lane Link Road in Eastleigh and Access to Gosport. The A3 Bus Priority Corridor scheme was accepted as a major scheme in 2003 and will be substantially complete by the end of 2007/08. A bid to cover residual costs of the scheme in 2008/09 has been submitted and a decision is awaited. Furthermore, it is proposed to transfer £0.3m in 2008/09 and £0.4m in 2010/11 to the revenue budget from the locally resourced capital programme to support feasibility and early design work for future major schemes, which if successful would be capitalised.
In respect of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC's), the previously agreed provision of £1m per annum has been included in the three-year programme to improve the County's HWRC's. It is intended to fund this programme from Environment's share of capital receipts and by using capital grants from the Government, including the Waste Infrastructure Capital Fund.
4.4 Policy and Resources
The allocation of the Policy and Resources capital programme between schemes is broadly similar to the existing programme. The proposed programme includes an additional £1.4m agreed by the Cabinet on 8 February 2008 for capital repairs in schools by taking up more of the Government's borrowing allocations than previously planned. The maintenance of the core buildings in the County Council's built estate, through the capital repairs programme, continues to be the main corporate priority. As a result of the reduction in Government funding for NDS it is also proposed to re-profile £5m of the 2007/08 NDS borrowing allocation equally across 2008/09 and 2009/10 in order to smooth the transition to lower programme levels. Sure Start allocations from the Government will also be included in the three year programme of £0.3m in 2008/09, £0.5m in 2009/10 and £0.5m in 2010/11 for the repairs and improvements to the quality of accommodation in early years and childcare settings. An addition to the programme has been made in 2008/09 for investment by HC3S Catering Services in business development with secondary schools. Accordingly, £50,000 will be financed from the business unit's reserves. A provision of £1m has also been identified for 2008/09 by IT Services for hardware replacement and investment to facilitate the migration of the data centre to Ashburton Court, improvements to the Hantsnet infrastructure and to provide additional data storage capacity. It is proposed that this is funded by prudential borrowing, to be repaid through the IT Services trading account within five years. Lastly, the annual provision of £0.9m for advance and advantageous purchase of land is included in the programme.
4.5 Recreation and Heritage
The proposed 2008/09 programme includes a number of additions totalling £2.3m proposed by the Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage to the locally resourced guideline of £0.6m. The programme includes an additional £90,000 agreed by the Cabinet on 8 February 2008 for repairs to a breach in the Basingstoke Canal. A proposal for a potential Discovery Centre in Basingstoke at an estimated cost of £3m is detailed in the recommendations below.
5. Private finance initiative (PFI)
5.1 The only specific PFI scheme identified for inclusion in the programme at this stage is for the replacement of street lighting columns. The bid has been assessed and evaluated by the Department for Transport and HM Treasury and confirmation that the scheme has been fully approved has recently been received. This will allow the County Council and its two partners to move onto the next stage to assess and negotiate with a number of private sector bidders before selecting a new service provider to take over in the autumn of 2009.
6. Further review
6.1 Regular monitoring reports on implementation of the capital programme will be submitted including progress of major projects, the level of capital expenditure and resources in 2008/09, including meeting the challenging capital receipts targets. In addition the Chief Executive and County Treasurer plan to bring forward reports on the Strategic Property Review, capital receipts targets in the longer term and Building Schools for the Future.
a) the capital programme for 2008/09 and the provisional programmes for 2009/10 and 2010/11 be approved as set out in the draft capital programme circulated separately and subject to the conditions set out in section B.3 of the County Council's Financial Procedures and, where appropriate, to the approval of the Executive Member for Policy and Resources to proposals by Executive Members to retain more than a 25% share of capital receipts
b) expenditure on preliminary design and planning work for major transport schemes be permitted when they have achieved a place in the County Council's Local Transport Plan, subject to the cost being met within existing Government allocations
c) a scheme costing £3m for a potential Basingstoke Discovery Centre be added to the Policy and Resources capital programme for 2008/09, to be released to Recreation and Heritage once a detailed project appraisal, business case and funding package has been agreed by the Executive Members for Policy and Resources and Recreation and Heritage
d) authority be given to incur expenditure on land purchases as follows:
(i) up to the sum specified in respect of sites still required for the schemes included in the capital programme for the period 2008/09 to 2010/11 provided that the relevant scheme has been the subject of a feasibility or design project appraisal approved by the relevant Executive Member
(ii) up to the amount included in the programmes for 2008/09 to 2010/11 in respect of advance and advantageous land purchases
T. K. THORNBER, C.B.E.,