To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (To follow)
The Leader presented a report regarding the Development of the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for 2019 to 2022.
Members were informed that the Council was continuing to deal with significant financial challenges. It was explained that by the end of 2018/19 the Council would have agreed budget savings of £249m since 2011/12. It was noted that for the period of the next Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP 2019/20-2021/22 the Council would need to deliver a further £49m of savings which meant that between 2011/12-2021/22 the Council would have made a total of £298m of permanent savings from its day to day (revenue) budget.
Cabinet were informed of the financial planning assumptions for the period of the new three year MTFP (2019–2022) set within the Council Plan (2018?2022). The report updated the 2018-2022 Budget Planning position, agreed by Council in February which proposed the approach that would be taken to deliver the savings required to achieve a balanced budget over the three year period (2019?2022).
The Leader shared a copy of the consultation document and informed that consultation would be launched on the close of the meeting and would ask for feedback from the public on the proposed 1.99% increase in Council Tax for general purposes in 2019/2020. An increase of 2.00% to support Adult Social Care Services was also assumed in the Budget Proposal. This would be consistent with current 2018/19 Council Tax Levels.
A discussion took place regarding the pressures facing the Council, specific reference was made to Children’s Social Care and the impact of austerity on communities leading to demand pressures upon Council services. The Leader explained a number of assumptions that had been made in preparing the budget proposal and in relation to 2020 onwards, the uncertainty facing Councils as we await the results of the Spending Review 2019 and recent consultations from government concerning Fair Funding and the Local Retention of Business Rates. The MTFP assumes that we will continue to receive no less funding from Business Rates, Top Up Grant and the Better Care Fund post 2020.
It was explained that the majority of savings for the next year would be made from promoting independence, which is a continuation of this year’s programme.
The Leader thanked Cabinet Members and Officers for their hard work in preparing the MTFP and gave special thanks to the late Cllr I Stewart for his dedication and commitment in preparing the budget.
(1) the revised Budget Gap position of £22.730m for 2019/20 and the proposals identified within the report to provide a balanced budget for 2019/20 be noted;
(2) on the basis of the balanced budget proposals (set out within the published report), consultation with the public on the level of Council Tax for 2019/20 of 1.99% increase in general Council Tax and 2.00% increase for the Adult Social Care precept be approved;
(3) the revised Budget Gap for 2020/21 and 2021/22 which results in additional savings of £39.898m still required to be identified at a future date to deliver a balanced budget over the Medium Term be noted.