Agenda item

Housing Revenue Account - Revised Forecast 2021/22 and Budget Proposals 2022/23

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance


The Cabinet Member Finance and Assets presented his report, telling Members that the focus of the HRA budget proposals was to support Cheltenham’s economic recovery and improve the quality of life for tenants and communities. He said the pandemic continued to have a huge impact and, together with the looming cost of living crisis, represented a massive challenge for our customers and neighbourhoods. The council wanted to do all it could to ensure that Cheltenham’s recovery was shared as widely as possible. 


Specific measures included:


-       significant investment in homes and services - £34m in the next three years to improve existing homes, and £67m for new homes;

-       the aspiration to make Cheltenham a net zero carbon council and borough by 2030, by improving the quality and energy efficiency of existing homes, and ensuring a significant proportion of new homes will be net zero carbon, starting with the development at 320 Swindon Road;

-       high-quality landlord and community services, in collaboration with CBH and other partners, controlling operating costs and delivering value for money;

-       advice on benefits and money issues, support in finding work and training, hubs for and delivery of community activities, digital inclusion opportunities, and close collaboration with schools to help students remain in mainstream education;

-       focus on sustainable, green investment.


He told Members that the proposed HRA budget would supporttenants, help communities to thrive, improve outcomes for young people, reduce inequality and support the economic recovery of Cheltenham through this challenging period.  He thanked officers and CBH for all their help in bringing the report together.


All Members echoed thanks to officers, to the Cabinet Member Finance and Assets for a very clear report, and in particular to CBH, who enjoy a well-deserved and positive reputation for their work, quality of their care, and positive contribution across the town. They also commented that:


-       the services and support available to the most vulnerable members of the community were invaluable, housing being the biggest and most important council service, a decent home being the foundation for everything else;

-       the proposed budget reinforced continual progress and product improvement, thus avoiding problems further down the line; 

-       CBH doesn’t just provide housing, but also helps and supports young people across the borough.  The close bond between CBC and CBH was recognised and appreciated, and would hopefully continue to grow;

-       CBH also worked with Big Local to regenerate parts of the town, and thanks go to officers in the front line of the community investment team for their work.  Some areas of St Mark’s ward need additional support and CBH is a key and critical partner for CBC in this;

-       CBH’s downsizing programme - encouraging people to vacate much-needed 3-4-bedroomed houses and purchasing homes on the open market – deserved recognition, and was important in terms in integrating CBH properties in communities and offering more secure tenancies on decent homes;

-       CBH maintains a good level of apprentices, which is to be welcomed.



The Cabinet Member Assets and Finance was pleased that CBH’s reputation precedes itself, agreeing that it does a fantastic job.  He thanked all colleagues, and hoped that CBH’s finance director, who was present at the meeting, would feed back the positive comments and compliments from Members. 


RESOLVED (unanimously) THAT:


1.    The revised HRA forecast for 2021/22 be noted;

2.    The HRA budget proposals for 2022/23 (shown at Appendix 2) be approved, including a proposed rent increase of 4.1% and changes to other rents and charges as detailed within the report;

3.    The HRA capital programme for 2022/223, as shown at Appendix 3 and 4, be approved.

FOR: (27): Atherstone, Babbage, Barrell, Bassett-Smith, Britter, Clark, Clucas, Collins, Dobie, Harman, Harvey, Hay, Horwood, Jeffries, Lewis, Mason, McCloskey, Nelson, Payne, Pinegar, Sankey, Seacome, Stafford, Wheeler, Wilkinson, Williams and Willingham.










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