Report of the Managing Director.
The Cabinet Member with the Resources Portfolio introduced the report of the Managing Director (previously circulated) providing important information regarding the regulation and management of the Council’s borrowing, investments and cash-flow; treasury activity for 2019/20; and seeking approval of the Prudential Indicator results for 2019/20 in accordance with the Prudential Code.
It was reported that the financial year 2019/20 presented similar circumstances to 2018/19 with regard to treasury management and the main implications of this for the Council were included in the submitted report; due to the recent low returns for cash investments new ways to improve investment returns was continually being sought; and that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was anticipated that the cost of short-term borrowing was anticipated to remain low for a number of years.
The submitted report summarised the capital expenditure and financing for 2019/20; the Council’s underlying borrowing need; the Treasury position as at 31 March 2020; prudential indicators and compliance issues; the economic background for 2019/20; treasury management activity during 2019/20; and performance and risk benchmarking.
It was also reported that the Council’s treasury management activity during 2019/20 had been carried out in accordance with the Council policy and within legal limits; financing costs had been reduced during the year; and a saving of £0.268m had been achieved from the original Medium-Term Financial Plan.
A Member in attendance at the meeting referred to the shortfall in the Council’s finances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and in doing so, made reference to the proposal to create a Corporate Marketing function and whether this was the right time to do so. Reference was also made to the continuation of providing a subsidy to car users and to the announcement by the Bank of England that interest rates may be cut and possibly turned ‘negative’. The Cabinet Members with the Resources Portfolio, Stronger Communities and Health and Housing Portfolios responded thereon.
RESOLVED - (a) That the outturn 2019/20 Prudential Indicators, as detailed within the submitted report and those in Appendix 1 of the submitted report, be noted.
(b) That the Treasury Management Annual Report for 2019/20, as detailed in the submitted report, be noted.
(c) That the report be forwarded to Council, in order for the 2019/20 Prudential Indicators to be noted.
REASONS - (a) In order to comply with the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities.
(b) To inform members of the Performance of the Treasury Management function.
(c) To comply with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2003.