Decision Maker: Executive
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The report sets out the Executive’s updated 3-year budget strategy proposals including the draft revenue budget proposals for 2024/25 and the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for the period 2025/27.
The key summary of figures for the revenue budget, based on current estimates are:
· The draft overall budget movement for 2024/25 is an increase in the net budget of £8.59m or 4.1%, from £209.81m to £218.40m.
· The budget gap for the three years before applying any of these draft budget proposals is currently estimated to be £54.93m with £20.08m relating to 2024/25.
· The report presents a draft set of budget proposals to balance the planned budget gap of £20.08m in 2024/25, which in line with our three-year strategy, contributes towards closing this budget gap by £13.68m via a mixture of measures:
o Additional funding
o Planned use of earmarked reserves
o New savings and income generation
· The proposals within the will now form the basis of consultation with members of staff and, where required, the general public and are therefore subject to change; the draft proposals are also subject to review by the Scrutiny Committee.
· It should be noted that if all the budget proposals in the report are implemented there currently still remains a residual budget gap of £29.80m over the three years, comprising:
o £6.41m in 2024/25,
o £12.75m in 2025/26,
o £10.64m in 2026/27,
· Final decisions will be taken by the Executive after taking into consideration further proposals to address the gap, all relevant matters and feedback, at which time a proposed budget will be put to full Council for approval on 21 February 2024.
a) That the 2024/27 proposed budget strategy, including the 2024/25 draft revenue budget and the 2025/27 MTFS be approved and the income and savings proposals be included for the purposes of consultation only (where necessary) and these proposals will also be referred to the Scrutiny Committee for their consideration;
b) That the proposal to increase Council Tax by 4.99% in 2024/25 (comprising 2.0% adult social care precept and 2.99% general increase) and by 2.99% for the remaining years of the MTFS 2025/27 be noted;
c) That the assumptions made in setting the MTFS in Section 4 and the degree of uncertainty be noted;
d) That the remaining budget gap for the years 2025/26 to 2026/27 be noted;
e) That the commentary of the Director of Finance and Systems, the Council’s statutory S151 officer, regarding the financial sustainability of the Council in Section 1 be noted.
f) It was noted that the draft proposals are subject to various consultation exercises, further analysis of reserves, savings and income including impact assessments, potential future movements in core funding and specific grants, revised costings and robustness assessments.
g) It was note that the review of the Capital Programme which is ongoing and the prioritisation process to be undertaken to compile an affordable capital programme 2024/25 to 2026/27.
h) That the continued use of flexible use of capital receipts to support in part the cost of the Modernisation Team in developing the Council’s Finance and Change Programme for 2023/24 and 2024/25 be noted.
Publication date: 15/11/2023
Date of decision: 15/11/2023
Decided at meeting: 15/11/2023 - Executive
Effective from: 24/11/2023