Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To approve the 2020-2021 Budget and the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period to 2023-2024.
That Council be recommended to approve:
1. The net budget requirement for 2020-2021 of £248.2 million for General Fund services (paragraph 19.1).
2. The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2020-2021 to 2023-2024 as detailed in Table 7 and the budget preparation parameters underpinning the MTFS as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.
3. A Council Tax for Council services in 2020-2021 of £1,681.58 for a Band D property, being an increase of 3.99% on 2019-2020 levels, which incorporates the 2% increase in relation to Adult Social Care (paragraph 9.6).
4. That work starts on developing budget reductions and income generation proposals for 2021-2022 onwards in line with the Five Year Financial Strategy (paragraph 19.5).
5. Revisions to the local council tax support scheme to introduce a disregard of any compensatory payments that are similarly disregarded in the prescribed scheme, and any transitional payments made to compensate for the loss of the severe disability premium in Universal Credit (paragraph 10.5).
That Cabinet is recommended to approve:
1. The changes to the 2020-2021 draft budget for General Fund services, since the draft budget was last reported to Cabinet on 16 October 2019, as detailed in sections 6 to 18.
2. That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Finance, to approve the calculation and allocation of growth in the central share of business rates for 2020-2021 and future years to be passported to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) (paragraph 11.6).
3. That approval be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Finance, to respond to any consultation papers on the Business Rates Retention Scheme, Comprehensive Spending Review, Fair Funding Review and any other related consultation papers (paragraph 14.4).
4. That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources and the responsible Cabinet Member of the relevant service area in question, in consultation with the Director of Finance and the relevant Director to allocate budgets from the Corporate Contingency for Budget Growth once business cases have been completed (paragraph 5.8).
5. That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources and Cabinet Member for Education, in consultation with Director of Finance and Director of Children’s Services, to approve changes to the local funding formula for Schools including method, principles and rules adopted (paragraph 18.4).
6. That authority continues to be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources in consultation with the Director of Finance to consider further opportunities to accelerate pension contribution payments to secure additional budget reductions (paragraph 6.7).
7. That £750,000 be transferred from the Efficiency Reserve to a new specific Climate Change Reserve (paragraph 7.6).
8. That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for City Environment and the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of City Environment and the Director of Finance to allocate funds from the Climate Change Reserve (paragraph 7.6).
That Cabinet is asked to note:
1. That the budget for 2020-2021 is in balance without the use of general reserves (paragraph 19.1).
2. That, in the opinion of the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer), the 2020-2021 budget estimates are robust (paragraph 19.1).
3. That, in the opinion of the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer), the proposed levels of reserves, provisions and balances is adequate in respect of the forthcoming financial year (paragraph 20.6).
4. That a further £15.5 million needs to be identified for 2021-2022 rising to £20 million over the medium term to 2023-2024 in order to address the projected budget deficit (paragraph 19.5).
5. That, due to external factors, budget assumptions remain subject to significant change, which could, therefore, result in alterations to the financial position facing the Council (paragraph 5.6).
6. That, there continues to be a considerable amount of uncertainty with regards to future funding streams for local authorities over the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review period. At the point that further information is known it will be incorporated into future reports to Councillors. Any reduction in the Government’s allocation of funding to the Council would have a significant detrimental impact and further increase the budget deficit forecast over the medium term (paragraph 5.5).
7. That, the overall level of risk associated with the 2020-2021 Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020-2021 to 2023-2024 is assessed as Red (paragraph 21.1).
8. That Councillors must have due regard to the public sector equality duty (Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010) when making budget decisions (paragraph 26.7).
Report author: Mohammed Hasan
Publication date: 20/02/2020
Date of decision: 19/02/2020
Decided at meeting: 19/02/2020 - Cabinet