Help Balance Broxtowe’s Budget

How would you save £2.2 million? Broxtowe residents are being urged to help shape the Council’s budget for 2017/18 as part of a consultation.

The consultation, which is available online at www.broxtowe.gov.uk/budgetconsultation asks residents to rate services they receive from the Council, what methods they would prefer the Council to implement to save the £2.2 million is needs to save over the next three years, as well as providing an opportunity to give their ideas on how the Council can continue to offer high quality services whilst balancing the books.

Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee, Councillor Paul Simpson said: “With government grant expected to reduce to zero by 2019/20, there are challenging times and difficult decisions ahead for the Council. We aim to rise to this challenge and need our residents to help us by sharing their views on where they want us to spend and save their money.”

To complete the consultation, visit www.broxtowe.gov.uk/budgetconsultation.

You can also send your comments to finance@broxtowe.gov.uk and include “BUDGET COMMENTS” in the subject line or write to: Deputy Chief Executive, Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB

The consultation will be available until Wednesday 30th November.

For more information about the consultation, please contact Broxtowe Borough Council on 0115 917 3228 or email finance@broxtowe.gov.uk

Source: Broxtowe Borough Council press release. 

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31 Responses to Help Balance Broxtowe’s Budget

  1. Does anyone know which line item includes the £7.565million spent in May of this year on buying out Henry Boot from Beeston Town Square (http://m.broxtowe.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=16246)?

    “The purchase will allow the Council to bring in significant income ” Does anyone know how much revenue that investment will bring in each year?

  2. Ian Tyler says:

    Suggest you contact Shayne Flynn, Deputy Chief Executive and principal finance officer. Income per lease holder is usually subject to commercial confidentiality but the gross figures will be shewn.
    Capital funding is often done through the Public Loans Board at preferential rates.

  3. Ian Tyler says:

    Line 40 of the Council’s statement of accounts refers
    Broxtowe Borough Council Annual Statement of Accounts
    The Council owned an area of the town centre in Beeston which is occupied by a number of retail premises and accommodation units. The area was let on a long-term lease through to March 2096. The leasehold interest was held by Henry Boot Ltd and the Council received no income in respect of the retail premises and accommodation units. The lease in respect of buildings is valued at zero in the Balance Sheet. In May 2016 the Council completed the purchase of the leasehold interest and an appropriate value for the buildings based on the income receivable will be reflected in the accounts for 2016/17.
    Operating Leases
    The Council owned an area of the town centre in Beeston which is occupied by a number of retail premises and accommodation units. The area was let on a long-term lease through to March 2096. Under the terms of the lease the Council is entitled to receive ground rent in respect of its title to the land. In 2015/16 the Council received income of £116,411 (2014/15: £54,122), calculated on the basis of as a share of net rental income from the various properties. The annual income included a sum of £20,611 “head rent” that was a minimum receivable irrespective of the level of occupancy of these units. In May 2016 the Council completed the purchase of the leasehold interest and the amount in excess of the head rent in 2015/16, along with all amount due in 2016/17, formed part of the overall lease surrender settlement.
    The future minimum lease payments receivable from this lease in future years are:
    Since the lease has been surrendered, at 31 March 2016 there were no future lease payments due.
    31 March 2015 £000
    Not later than one year
    Later than one year and not later than five years Later than five years
    31 March 2016 £000
    21
    82 1,566
    0 0 0
    1,690
    0

    • RichHartman says:

      So, did the council use existing funds (or reserves) to buy out Henry Boot or did it take out a loan?

  4. Ian Tyler says:

    It would be a loan and there are several avenues available through approved lenders but I believe this was done through the Public Loans Board. The advantage to the Council is that it can now control directly the type of developments proposed on the site without recourse to agreement with a separate leaseholder.The detailed pay down details will be available from the finance officer but my personal view is that it is a sound commercial decision.

    • RichHartman says:

      Ian Tyler – Thank you for clarifying. I agree with you in respect of the advantage of controlling the type and amount of development. The recent alterations do look good but did not realise the full potential of what the site could deliver. I believe that was down to constraints imposed by HenryBoots, not the council planners. Good luck, it’s a huge opportunity now for Beeston town centre.

  5. Howard Shakespeare says:

    Beeston Library is undergoing a £1,000,000 upgrade. It is only a few years since extensive work was carried out on the building.
    An unnecessary project and waste of council tax.

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      How many years Howard?

    • Fred R says:

      Hmm. I’ve been using Beeston Library for well over a decade and can’t remember any “extensive works”, though perhaps my memory’s developing ‘bad sectors’ with age. Perhaps you can refresh it for me? Also, if you have detailed information on the current works, which presumably you have to justify your judgement that they are “unnecessary” and a “waste of council tax”, you really ought to post the info here as this reader has seen naff-all about it, other than something about asbestos removal which would not count as “unnecessary” in the minds of many concerned with public health.

      I will miss the library in the next 9 months, right enough, but that’ll not mean that I’ll moan about it being a “waste of council tax” unless evidence is provided that it is such a waste. Do tell.

      • Mike Johnson says:

        Fred, please see here http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/culture-leisure/libraries/find-a-library/beeston-library you will see that Beeston Library and all the other Libraries in Nottinghamshire are run by Nottinghamshire County Council and in my knowledge, is / are not directly paid for by the Broxtowe Borough Council.

      • Fred R says:

        Thanks for the link, Mike, which makes a welcome input of light into all the heat here. Do you know if there’s any info online about what the Beeston Library refurbishment will involve (other than the asbestos removal) and how they managed to cop the funding in these austere days? I’m quite impressed that Notts CC has found the funding to expand its libraries, when in so many areas of the country libraries are being forced to shut down or go into volunteer management.

        This is a bit of an off-topic question, seeing as it’s nowt to do with Broxtowe, but then this thread has gone so wildly off-topic, and been used to reheat ready-rolled rants, that I don’t suppose it matters much.

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      Typical pontificating HS. Can’t reply to a couple of simple questions.

  6. Joan Wade says:

    Merging Broxtowe with the City would allow more than enough scope to make the savings required – fewer councillors and much less bureaucracy with more money for essential services with the added bonus of lower council tax. .

      • Joan Wade says:

        Lol – No – as one of the Broxtowe Councillors you would clearly not want this but it is time we put local taxpayers and service users before the needs of those who seek to waste OUR money.

    • Tim Brindley says:

      Merging the borough with the city would bring with it the Workplace Parking Levy. (WPL) Currently £379 per parking space on employers’ private land. WPL is not a city centre tax but a city boundary tax.

      An employer with 11 parking spaces in Broxtowe is currently £4,169 per year better off than a similar employer, for example, in adjacent Wollaton..

      • Joan Wade says:

        When the WPL was brought in it was argued that employers would move over the “border” in order to avoid the tax. This did not happened because employers and employees actually welcome good transport links and are prepared to see investment in such. A more prosperous Broxtowe with lower council tax would be good news for all.

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        When the WPL was brought in I was working for a nationwide business based in Triumph Road. The WPL not only applied to the 15 (I think) parking spaces at that site (the Hub) but also included the parking spaces at the branches in different parts of the city. So the staff who worked away from the hub also had to pay the WPL. Also many of the staff at the Hub and branches would have extremely torturous journeys by public transport to and from work and to add insult to injury also have no easy access to the Tram Network, which goes nowhere close to Triumph Road either. Note that I wrote “the staff had to pay the WPL”, my colleagues had to pay extra (on top of vehicle costs) in order to work. The company refused to even contribute to it. I was lucky, I could use the i4 bus to and from work, less than 5min walk each end.

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        Another point. As the next step ref the WPL the City will no doubt be increasing it. Once they have reached an upper limit per space I’m sure that the threshold will reduce from 10 spaces to 5 and eventually to ALL spaces. It then seems logical that householders with drives are then likely to be in the grasping line. Space for more than one vehicle and the householder will have to pay for public transport that doesn’t help them. No thank you very much.

      • Joan Wade says:

        You seem to be getting very carried away here Ian. There are no plans to tax drive ways as part of the WPL and as it has come about as a result of statute the position cannot easily be changed. However, council tax is based on banding which means it is indirectly at least a tax on drive ways. We do not need to be paying for the duplication in council bureaucracy and it is time the politicians put taxpayers before their own interest.

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        As you well understand Joan, Councils like to have their hands on ‘loads a money’ to spend on various projects; some worthwhile, others not. The example of drives isn’t as far fetched as you may think. A few years ago I was on holiday and talking to a couple of pensioners who had been told that they were not permitted to lay a driveway on their property but instead had to continue to pay for a residents parking permit to park outside their own home.

        However Joan, I notice that you make no comments about employees having to pay for the privilege of working within the city boundary.

  7. Barry Morrison says:

    And if you believe that you’ll believe in fairies. Look at the cost of WPL and then tell me how many folks would be prepared to merge with Nottingham City Council and happily pay the WPL..You’re dreaming.

    • Joan Wade says:

      The overwhelming majority of people would be paying less tax. Are you really telling us Barry that you do not think people would be happy to pay less tax and get better services? Why should OUR money continue to go on duplicated bureaucracy rather than improved services?

    • Joan Wade says:

      It is clear that many councillors in both the City and Broxtowe like the present cosy duplication but hey here is an idea Barry – Why not let the people decide in a local referendum?

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        My vote would be against. So that cancels out your vote Joan.

      • Joan Wade says:

        Yes Ian but the idea of democracy is that all the votes get counted.

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        I’m not sure of the way that you voted on June 23 Joan but if people believe in democracy why is there such an outcry about that result. As always Joan you are talking rubbish. IMHO you are trying to be an ‘agent provocateur’, but not succeeding very well.

        And please don’t say that June 23 is off the subject, you brought up democracy, not I.

  8. Ian Tyler says:

    Referendums?

    We’ve held two specific Bramcote referendums in recent years, one to ensure Bramcote be acknowledged as a specific mailing address( it used be listed as Beeston by the Post Office), the other, whether we wished to have a Parish or Town Council to represent our interests. I think these were legitimate issues and very specific in their compass.The first was overwhelmingly adopted, the second convincingly rejected. I followed the trend as I too was conscious that a Bramcote address gives you more loot when you sell your home – hence the high turn-out – what a contrast with the election of a Police Commissioner.
    Now we voted on something we really knew a lot about.

    Like it or not Councillors and MP’s , if they are doing their job correctly, know a lot more about the machinery of local and national governance, in fact that is why we elect them to be our representatives. They are accountable at the ballot box. Some of the responses to the Broxtowe Budget Questionaire illustrate the lack of awareness of the public and why we need to hold our representatives to account rather than make misinformed comments which in some cases did not even apply to the remit held by BBC.

    My personal opinion is that there can be very exceptional cases for referendums but in the main they reflect the lack of principle of politicians looking at short term opportunism to move the burden of responsibility and toady to the proletariate.

  9. Ian Tyler says:

    Oh for some reasoned and substantiated arguments rather than this pathetic point scoring.

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      People put their points of view Ian, as well as facts and possibilities of results of various actions. How can that be ‘points scoring’?

  10. Ian Tyler says:

    Maybe I was over grumpy! – the fly in the ointment of debate is the development of a reasoned argument. Broad brush statements are open to many interpretations which is why it is important to substantiate a point of view with facts to enable debate to centre on an individual point of view.
    Without rancour, I refer back to the comments on libraries. The strategy decided by the NCC goes back some years; it is clearly delineated in the published minutes of the relative committee. Now we may take exception to their decisions but the stated long term objectives are clearly defined, explain why the work being undertaken at Beeston forms part of their strategy, the time frame, the savings they have had to achieve to develop their budget and their ultimate goal. Now that process took a lot of time and effort to cost, years to implement within a reducing budget and a lot of hard work by officers and councillors. The answer to ” why is £1,000,000 being spent on Beeston library” is – it’s not. Now the actual figure of just under £500,000 is clearly stated on the NCC website under the responsible committee’s minutes it also details the justification and balanced budget to enable a rolling programme of improvements to take place.
    Therefore the answer to your question is – no facts, no clarified actions.

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