Agenda item

Draft Revenue Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 - 2021/22 and Draft Capital Programme 2019-2024

To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy to follow)

 

 

 

Minutes:

A report was considered from the Director of Finance  regarding the Draft Revenue Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019-22 and Draft Capital Programme 2019-2024. The purpose of the report was to present to Cabinet the Budget Proposal for 2019/20. The report set out the:-

 

            (a)     Draft Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2019-2022

            (b)     Revenue spending plans to achieve a balanced budget in 2019/20

            (c)     Council Tax Requirement for 2019/20

            (d)     Draft Capital Programme for 2019-24

            (e)     Draft Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20 

 

Cabinet was asked to consider the recommendations in making its Budget Proposal (Revenue and Capital) for Council to consider at its meeting on 14th February 2019.

 

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance presented the report and moved the recommendations.

 

He thanked all staff involved across the different teams in the Council for their input and in particular the Finance Team. In moving the recommendations, he stated that he was pleased to present a balanced budget which was contained in the recommendations for next year, as set out in the report.

 

The Deputy Leader commented on the uncertainty facing councils in planning their budgets.  Once source of uncertainty in the immediate future was Brexit.

 

Many Cumbrian businesses were inextricably linked with Europe and a No Deal Brexit would be disastrous. The Cumbrian MP’s recognised this and could only hope that they were able to make sure that these vital links with Europe were preserved, for the sake of the Cumbrian economy. 

 

The Deputy Leader referred to the link between council finding and Business Rates and council tax revenues which were related to the economy.

 

In recommending the Budget to Cabinet, the Deputy Leader explained that this was the ninth year of reductions in funding from central Government to this Council.  The Revenue Support Grant from government in 2011/12 was £148million pounds. This year it would be £17.8million pounds. A reduction of over £130 million pounds, at a time of ever rising demand.

 

This Council had so far saved a staggering £249million pounds but there was still a further £47million pounds to find over the next 3 years.  The Medium Term Financial Plan at Appendix A, on pages 157-209 very clearly sets out the financial environment within which the Council had to work and detailed how the £22.7million pounds of savings for 2019/20 would be made.

 

This was the last year in which Councils were allowed the ‘flexibility’ to raise Council Tax by an additional 2% to be used on Adult Social Care.  Publication of the Government Green Paper on Social Care for Adults was still awaited which would hopefully detail how this area would be funded in the future.

 

The County Council had a significant Capital Programme of almost £196million pounds, and was investing in new residential provision for our Children Looked After which would reduce reliance on Out of County Placements.

 

Investment had also been made in two new state of the art Care Homes in Copeland and Carlisle, which were due to be opened shortly, joining the new home already opened in Barrow.

 

Cumbria County Council was also grant aiding new extra care facilities across the County, in order to provide more appropriate and cost effective care for those residents who find it just too difficult to continue living in their own homes.

 

The Deputy Leader referred to work being undertaken to digitise transactional, services. This would make it easier for customers to access these as this service would be available 24/7, and would ultimately result in cashable savings. A better service which cost less.

 

The Deputy Leader referred to the Director of Finance/Section 151 Officer’s statutory comment on the robustness of the Budget as set out in the report paragraphs 175 to 192.  Given the uncertainty facing the Council and the pressures to deliver services within reducing resources, the General Fund Balance target had been increased from £10million pounds to £15million pounds.  These reserves helped the Council to cope with uncertainty.

 

In considering the Budget proposal the Deputy Leader referred to the consultation responses from the public set out in Appendix B, which were in general supportive of a 1.99% increase in general council tax for next year.

 

In concluding he formally move the recommendations at paragraphs 22 to 30 as set out in the papers, which would deliver the Council Plan, protect the most vulnerable in society, help reshape the Council to make it fit for the future and provide a strong financial base for the Council moving forward.

 

RESOLVED that,

 

                        (1)       Cabinet note the response to the Budget Consultation set out in Appendix B to the report;

 

                        (2)       Cabinet RECOMMEND to Council the general increase of Council Tax by 1.99% for 2019/20 as assumed in the current MTFP;

 

                        (3)       Cabinet RECOMMEND to Council the additional precept for Adult Social Care of 2.00% for 2019/20 as assumed in the current MTFP;

 

                        (4)       Cabinet RECOMMEND the following to Council:

 

                                    (a)     the draft Net Revenue Budget Requirement for 2019/20 of £378.755m;

 

                                    (b)     the Council Tax Requirement for 2019/20 of £236.497m which results in the precepts on the Districts as set out below:-

 

Table 2 : Precepts

£

Allerdale

42,476,383

Barrow

27,041,150

Carlisle

46,892,836

Copeland

28,478,309

Eden

28,558,766

South Lakeland

63,049,177

Total

236,496,621

 

                                    (c)     the following levels of Council Tax for each property band as set out below:-

 

Table 3a : Council Tax Levels

2018/19

£

2019/20

£

Increase (pa)

£

Band A (up to £40,000)

888.09

923.52

35.43

Band B (£40,001 to £52,000)

1,036.10

1,077.44

41.34

Band C (£52,001 to £68,000)

1,184.11

1,231.36

47.25

Band D (£68,001 to £88,000)

1,332.13

1,385.28

53.15

Band E (£88,001 to £120,000)

1,628.16

1,693.12

64.96

Band F (£120,001 to £160,000)

1,924.19

2,000.96

76.77

Band G (£160,001 to £320,000)

2,220.22

2,308.80

88.58

Band H (£320,001 and over)

2,664.26

2,770.56

106.30

 

                                             representing

 

 

Table 3b : Council Tax Levels

2018/19

2019/20

Total
£

Core Spending 1.99% Increase
£

Adult Social Care Precept 2.00 % increase
£

Total
£

Band A (up to £40,000)

888.09

17.67

17.76

923.52

Band B (£40,001 to £52,000)

1,036.10

20.62

20.72

1,077.44

Band C (£52,001 to £68,000)

1,184.11

23.56

23.69

1,231.36

Band D (£68,001 to £88,000)

1,332.13

26.51

26.64

1,385.28

Band E (£88,001 to £120,000)

1,628.16

32.40

32.56

1,693.12

Band F (£120,001 to £160,000)

1,924.19

38.29

38.48

2,000.96

Band G (£160,001 to £320,000)

2,220.22

44.18

44.40

2,308.80

Band H (£320,001 and over)

2,664.26

53.02

53.28

2,770.56

 

                     (5)          Cabinet RECOMMEND to Council a Budget for 2019/20 that is based on accepting the budget proposals as set out in the report and detailed in the Medium Term Financial Plan 2019-2022 (Appendix A);

 

                     (6)          Cabinet agree the detailed Local Committee revenue budget allocations of £7.938m and capital allocations of £17.440m as set out in Appendix E, subject to agreement of the total Council budget;

 

                     (7)          Consider RECOMMEND to Council:-

 

                                    (a)     the draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2019-2022 (Appendix A);

 

                                    (b)     the draft Capital Budget for 2019/20 of £105.822m, set within the rolling programme of £195.898m (2019 - 2024) as set out in Appendix A;

 

                                    (c)     the School’s Budget for 2019/20 of £251.248m;

 

                                    (d)     the use of reserves and levels of forecast reserves contained in the MTFP (Appendix A);

 

                                    (e)     the fees and charges schedule for 2019/20 as set out in Appendix C;

 

                                    (f)      that Council delegate to Cabinet the authority to set the final charges for the Works Permit Scheme following completion of the consultation exercise and to amend the 2019/20 fees and charges schedule within the Medium Term Financial Plan 2019-22;

 

                                    (g)     the adoption and publication of the statutory Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 set out in Appendix F. This includes setting the minimum hourly rate at the UK Living Wage (as set by the Living Wage Foundation);

 

                     (8)          Cabinet RECOMMEND to Council the approval of the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20 which is set out in Appendix D, specifically the:-

 

                                    (a)     Treasury Management Strategy (Section 2) (including the borrowing strategy is set out in Section 2.4);

 

                                    (b)     Annual Investment Strategy Statement (Section 3);

 

                                    (c)     Prudential Indicators (Section 4);

 

                                    (d)     Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy Statement (Section 5);

 

                     (9)          Cabinet note that to date publication of final Business Rates figures are still to be received and it is proposed that any necessary revisions to the Draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan (2019-2022) and Capital Programme (2019-2024) between the Cabinet meeting at which this report is considered and the Council meeting of 14th February 2019 will be delegated to the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) in consultation with the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council.

 

Supporting documents: