Agenda item

Infrastructure Funding Statement 2022

Report of the Cabinet Member for Customer and Regulatory Services


The Cabinet Member Customer and Regulatory Services presented the report, noting that there was a significant volume of paperwork attached to it. The council was obligated to report on how it raised, allocate and spent its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding within the borough. This had been in place for a couple of years now, and this was the second IFS he had presented.

He clarified a number of the documents that had been circulated. The IFS itself set out funds raised and allocated, in a thorough but not very user-friendly format decided by parliament. The Infrastructure List was also attached, setting out a list of projects on which the money could be spent, though it was not set in stone. The next part was the CIL Rate Summary, which was agreed alongside Gloucester and Tewkesbury district councils as part of the Joint Core Strategy, and could not be tweaked very easily. As ever, they needed to be transparent about what they were charging for different kinds of development.

He highlighted page 43 of the main pack, which contained a summary by officers of exactly what was coming in and where it was going. If possible, this would be made into an infographic for the website, giving a much more user-friendly look at the flow of funding. He thanked Tracey Birkinshaw, Liam Jones, Paul Hardiman and the rest of the officer team for the enormous amount of work it had taken to pull all this together.

In terms of the broad financial headlines, the total receipts between April 2021 and March 2022 were £980k. CIL expenditure by the borough council was £9,958, which represented roughly 5% of receipts to that point, as was allowed by statute. Just over £11k had been passed to parish councils, which was an automatic requirement, but they had retained just over £1.2m in total, made up of the leftover receipts plus money carried forward from the previous year. Of that £1.2m, roughly £49k was allocated to administration going forward, while £86k in Neighbourhood Funding collected by the council would go to parish councils on the 28th April.

He further highlighted the £77k in Neighbourhood Funding collected for unparished areas, made up of around £49k receipts from this reporting year and £28k from the previous year. He noted that roughly half of Cheltenham was unparished, and that this was relevant to the next agenda item as it would be prioritised for spending under the Neighbourhood Panel.

This left just over £1m in strategic infrastructure spending, or roughly 80% of total CIL receipts. This would be used for major infrastructure projects to offset and mitigate the impact of development and support their strategic objectives. It was not a vast pot of money for infrastructure projects, and they were in consultation with the JCS partner authorities and the county council.

He added that there had been some discussion on how this impacted on the previous system of S106 agreements, and he reassured colleagues that the county council had been consulted on this. The list of infrastructure projects provided earlier was effectively the county council’s shopping list, and consisted of some £50m-£60m worth of road projects. He pointed out last year that this wasn’t really what was expected from an infrastructure list, considering climate change and other key objectives like education and health.

A process had been put in place by the JCS councils to review this list going forward, and this was also detailed in the papers. He hoped that this would lead to a list more reflective of their priorities, like health and education infrastructure, and transport measures that didn’t just include roads but also more environmentally friendly modes of transport. Ongoing conversations with the JCS councils and county would continue.

He highlighted last year that properly transparent governance mechanisms, and these were adopted in June. The Neighbourhood Panel prioritising funds for unparished areas now had Terms of Reference, whereas the governance process for the strategic funding would feature a Memorandum of Understanding formally agreeing how much to pool with the JCS and if they wanted to take a Cheltenham-specific percentage. This process would be approved by Council, as would the final infrastructure list will also come to Council. There were separate administration governance process keeping an eye on the 5% of funds allocated to administration.

He commended officers for the work they had put in, and hoped it would serve the borough and the wider JCS area by both supporting developments and mitigating their impact on communities, while tackling deprivation and mitigating the effects of climate change.

The Cabinet Member Finance, Assets and Regeneration clarified that if the county council were to request some of the £1m pot, this would be released. From his point of view, the community spend was key, and this all offered a real opportunity to invest in communities.

The Cabinet Member Customer and Regulatory Services added that at its best, this process would demonstrate how the local councils collaborated and listened to their communities. He hoped it would reduce the gap between parished and unparished areas, so the town’s less well-represented areas were properly reflected in its outcomes. Local ward councillors would have a key role in bringing forward funding bids.

The Leader moved to the vote, where it was unanimously:


1.    The publication of the Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) relating to the financial year ending 31st March 2022 by 31st December 2022 be approved;

2.    It be noted that the Annual CIL Rate Summary Statement will be published alongside it by 31st December 2022;

3.    It be noted that the Cheltenham Neighbourhood Panel for the allocation of the unparished borough neighbourhood element of CIL will be in place by the end of this financial year;

4.    It be noted that a further report will be presented by spring 2023 to include the Memorandum of Understanding for the allocation of the CIL Strategic ‘Infrastructure Fund’.

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