To receive and recommend to Council the Final Revenue Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2023/24.
Executive Councillor: J A Gray.
Contact: C Mason 388157
That the overall Final Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2023/24 (as attached as Appendix 1 of the report now submitted and which includes the Revenue Budget at Section 2 and the Capital Programme at Section 3) be recommended for approval to Council.
That the new “Plan-on-a-Page” (as tabled at the meeting as an update version of Appendix 3) be recommended for approval to Council.
By means of a report prepared by the Head of Resources (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) the Cabinet were provided with details of the Final Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2023/24 which included the Capital Programme.
Attention was drawn to changes made to the budget since the Cabinet’s previous meeting, the approved efficiency plan and the “Robustness” statement which identified the risks to the Council and its impact upon General Fund reserves. The Head of Resources tabled a briefing note on the outcome of the budget consultation undertaken with the business community together with an updated “Plan on a Page” (Appendix 3) (copies of which are also appended in the Minute Book).
In receiving the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Performance and Growth) and a response from the Head of Resources on the reasons for the £200K overspend on the grounds maintenance part of the Leisure and Health budget during 2018/19, the Cabinet expressed their appreciation to the Executive Councillor for Strategic Resources, Senior Officers and staff for their efforts in producing a comprehensive budget. Whereupon, it was
that Council be recommended to approve:
(a) the overall Final Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2023/24 (as attached as Appendix 1 of the report now submitted, which includes the Revenue Budget as Section 2 and the Capital Programme at Section 3); and
(b) the new “Plan on a Page” (as tabled at the meeting as an updated version of Appendix 3).
The Panel are to consider the Final Revenue Budget 2019/20 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2023/24.
Contact: C Mason 388157
With the aid of a report by the Head of Resources (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) the Final Revenue Budget 2019/20 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2023/24 was presented to the Panel.
A Member commented that the budget did not mention the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), however it was clarified that CIL is not recorded in the revenue budget. In addition, even though the Council hold CIL in an earmarked reserve, there is no guarantee that it would be spent on the Council budget.
Clarification was given regarding the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) Financial Resilience Index. Members were informed that CIPFA have developed the index independently and that they don’t formally report directly to any organisation. In relation to the Council’s budget the index does not show the Council is a good light because CIPFA only took into account the last three years which shows a dip in reserves but does not state the reasons for it.
In regards to the Commercial Investment Strategy and any potential impact from the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, Members were informed that the Council have long leases with the tenants on those properties and that good due diligence was done before purchasing any property. There is also a contingency fund to cover costs if a tenant suddenly leaves.
After a question about a forecast rise in Car Park income, the Panel was informed that the extra income is expected to come from the changes to the car parks which are designed to encourage dwell.
At the invitation of the Panel, the Executive Councillor for Resources informed Members of Cabinet’s considerations of the alternative budget proposals. Cabinet stated that funding play equipment should be done at a local level and the local highways initiative is a County Council function. In respect to grounds maintenance, the evidence was not clear however the Cabinet would consider a more thorough proposal. In regards to the Community Chest, the fund would have to be spent before consideration is given to increasing the chest.
A Member questioned why there had been a £200k overspend on the grounds maintenance element of the Leisure and Health budget during 2018/19. The Head of Resources stated he did not know but confirmed that he will investigate why.
Concern was raised regarding the litter bin removal scheme, however the Panel was informed that the scheme will not remove all litter bins, only those that are underutilised or in areas where there is more than one bin.
(At 7.33pm, during the consideration of this item, Councillor T Sanderson left the meeting.)
(At 7.34pm, during the consideration of this item, Councillor T Sanderson entered the meeting.)
(At 8.03pm, after the consideration of this item, Councillor M Grice left the meeting.)