Agenda item

Draft 2020/21 Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy

This report sets out the Council’s draft Medium Term Financial Strategy and associated spending plans for the three years 2020/21 to 2022/23.


The Executive Director of Resources submitted a report setting out the Council’s draft Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and associated spending plans for the financial years 2020/21 to 2022/23.  The following documents were attached to the report:


·         Appendix 1 Summary of General Fund Budget 2020-21 to 2022-23

·         Appendix 2 General Fund Revenue Budget by Service 2020-21 to 2022-23

·         Appendix 3 Detailed General Fund Budgets 2020-21 to 2022-23

·         Appendix 4 Housing Revenue Account Budget 2020-21 to 2022-23

·         Appendix 5 General Fund and HRA Capital Programme 2020-21 to 2022-23

·         Appendix 6 Flexible Capital Receipts Strategy

·         Appendix 7 Fees and Charges

·         Appendix 8 Equality Impact Assessment


The report explained that the proposed MTFS was informed by and supported delivery of the Council’s Corporate Plan priorities, including its commitment to address the climate change emergency.  The underpinning rationale was to deliver a balanced and affordable budget that ensured the Council’s finances were sustainable in both the short and medium term.


The report stated that the overall budget position across the three years would contribute to reserves and that the underlying base budget for 2023/24 would not be reliant on reserves.  The Strategy built on previous work to stabilise the Council’s financial position and build reserves back to a more robust level.  It also sought to facilitate investment in core infrastructure to drive efficiency improvements, facilitate service redesign and thereby manage pressures within demand led services.  The Strategy relied on significant service transformation to drive increased efficiency savings and income generation but service cuts were not required. 


The report set out the budget assumptions including the level of Revenue Support Grant from Government, proposed Council Tax increases of 3.99% (including a one off 2.0% social care precept) in 2020/21 and 1.99% in both 2021/22 and 2022/23, £33.1m of efficiencies and increased income across the period, a contingency provision over the three years (£3.5m 2020/21; £5.2m 2021/22; and £5.5m 2022/23) to mitigate possible slippage or non-achievement of higher risk savings and/or income targets over the period, General Fund capital investment of £358m over the period 2020/21 to 2022/23 of which £202m was for invest to save purposes, and £2.0m of transformation funding (over the period 2020/21 to 2021/22) to support delivery of efficiency savings assumed within the MTFS.


The report noted that budgets to support children’s services (agreed as part of the existing MTFS) included growth to recognise inflationary pressures as well as demographic growth, but also robust savings and efficiency targets underpinned by contingency provision to mitigate against slippage or non-delivery of the most challenging savings.  These assumptions were currently under review as part of the ongoing work with BFFC to agree its Business Plan and contract sum.


The report noted that the draft Budget and associated MTFS were based on the latest information available, and that the current forecasts could be changed by the formal determination of the taxbase, the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement expected in late December or the New Year, and agreement of the Business Plan and associated contract sum for Brighter Futures for Children.  Following the resolution of these matters, and a consultation on the Draft Budget, Policy Committee would be asked recommend a budget to Full Council in order that it could determine its budget, associated Council Tax level and precept for 2020-21 at the meeting on 25 February 2020.


Resolved –


(1)     That the Draft 2020/21 General Fund and Housing Revenue Account budgets, Draft Capital Programme and Medium Term Financial Strategy as set out in Appendices 1-8, be agreed for consultation;


(2)     That the following be noted:


a)       the Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £148.8m for 2020/21and an increase in the Band D Council Tax for the Council of 3.99% (1.99% general increase and 2.00% additional adult social care precept) or £64.93 per annum representing a Band D Council Tax of £1,692.16 per annum as set out in paragraphs 14.1 to 14.3;


b)       the proposed service savings and efficiencies of £6.3m together with additional income of £5.1m in 2020/21 required to achieved a balanced budget for that year as set out in Appendix 2;


c)       the overall savings proposed within the MTFS of £33.1m (of which changes to income, fees and charges is £13.2m) and three-year growth changes to service budgets of £26.4m as set out in Appendix 3;


d)       the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2020/21 of £40.9m as set out in Appendix 4 and an increase of 3.3% in social dwelling rents from April 2020 giving a revised weekly average social rent of £102.57 as set out in paragraph 19.2;


e)       the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account Capital Programmes as set out in Appendices 5a and 5b;


f)       the Strategy for the use of flexible capital receipts to deliver future transformation and ongoing savings as set out in Appendix 6;


g)       the Fees and Charges outlined in Appendix 7 of the report.


(3)     That the responses received during the consultation, and the Equality Impact Assessments carried out where required on the proposed service savings and efficiencies, be taken into account in preparation of the final Budget and MTFS to be submitted  to the Committee at its meeting in February 2020.

Supporting documents: