Venue: Council Chamber, Altrincham Town Hall, Market Street, Altrincham
Contact: Jo Maloney
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members to give notice of any interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
No declarations were made by Executive Members.
To consider a report of the Executive Member for Finance and the Corporate Director of Finance and Systems.
The Executive Member for Finance introduced the report, drawing attention to the general financial background, the challenges facing the Council in the medium term, and the key features of the current draft proposals. It was emphasised that, as in previous years, the current proposals did not at this stage address the totality of the funding gap, and that further developments, and indeed changes to the financial background, were to be expected prior to the publication of firm proposals in the new year. It was acknowledged that there would be further exploration and discussion of the current income and savings proposals as part of the Budget Scrutiny process, to which the Executive was committed.
An opportunity was provided for Members to raise questions on the report’s content. These focussed on: the sustainability of current proposals; the potential impact of variances in the current year; demography and demand-led challenges in social care budgets, with particular reference to out-of-borough placements; availability of residential care places; car parking and green waste charges; the size of the Investment Fund; the impact of changes to the Business Rates regime; levels of reserves; and staff cost pressures. Members of the Executive gave preliminary responses, it being noted that further detail would be provided outside the meeting and in particular as part of the Budget Scrutiny process.
The Leader of the Council concluded the discussion, drawing attention to the general financial pressures facing local government in particular, and reminding Members that formal approval was being sought for the proposed Asset Investment Strategy.
1. That the 2019/20 to 2021/22 proposed budget strategy, draft revenue budget and MTFS including the income and savings proposals be approved for the purposes of consultation only (where necessary) and that these proposals will also be referred to the Scrutiny Committee for their consideration.
2. That the proposal be noted to increase Council Tax by 3.99% in 2019/20 (comprising 1% adult social care precept and 2.99% general increase) and by 2.99% for 2020/21 and 2021/22.
3. That the remaining budget gap for the years 2019/20 to 2021/22 be noted.
4. That it be noted that the draft proposals are subject to various consultation exercises, analysis and impact assessments, movements in core funding, specific grants, costing and robustness assessments.
5. That the Asset Investment Strategy included at Annex F to the report be approved and adopted.
6. That these decisions be deemed urgent for the reasons set out in the report, and thus not subject to call-in.