Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To present the Draft Budget and the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period of 2021-2022 to 2023-2024.
1. That the draft budget strategy linked to the Five Year Financial Strategy, including changes to corporate resource assumptions and growth and inflation be approved, for inclusion in the Draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021-2022 to 2023-2024, to be reported to Cabinet in October 2020.
2. That work continues between August and October 2020 to further develop budget reduction and income generation proposals, in order to ensure that a balanced budget can be set for 2021-2022.
3. That progress on the development of budget reduction and income generation proposals be reported to Cabinet in October 2020 for approval to proceed to the formal consultation stage of the budget process.
4. That further options are explored between August and October 2020 to address the updated projected budget deficit of £8.7 million for 2021-2022 based on the Council’s Five Year Financial Strategy.
5. That the establishment of supplementary revenue expenditure budgets totalling £2,775,198 funded by the Covid-19 Emergency Funding Grant for Local Government be approved. Authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Finance, to approve all virements required to support additional costs and loss of income relating to Covid-19.
6. That the establishment of supplementary revenue expenditure budgets totalling £393,536 funded by the Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies be approved and authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Finance, to approve all virements required to allocate expenditure and grant to individual schemes.
7. That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Finance to establish supplementary revenue budgets funded by grant and approve all virements required to support loss of income relating to Covid-19 once this allocation has been confirmed. As detailed in paragraph 6.5 of the report, the Government have announced a co-payment mechanism for irrecoverable sales, fees and charges income, and at this time of writing this report the full details of the scheme had not been released.
8. That external grant of £999,000 awarded for the Arthur Street Bridge Project be built into the Transport capital programme and that the borrowing previously set aside in contingency for this project be vired to the corporate contingency.
9. That the capital budget of £1 million for the Towns Fund Project, funded by the external grant be approved. That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for City Economy and the Cabinet Member for City Environment, in consultation with the Director of Regeneration and the Director of City Environment, to approve virements to individual projects in order that projects can be implemented in an agile and timely manner.
10. That the capital budgets of £110,000 for the Ring Road St Peters Crossing, and £193,282 for Active Travel Scheme, funded by external grant be approved and authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for City Environment, in consultation with the Director of City Environment to approve any virements required to individual projects in order that projects can be implemented in an agile and timely manner. The establishment of supplementary revenue budgets totalling £44,096 funded by external grant to support the Active Travel Scheme. 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 establish revenue and capital budgets should the Council be successful in securing further funding from this grant fund.
11. That it be noted that, a number of assumptions have been made with regards to the level of resources that would be available to the Council as detailed in section 8 of the report. It is important to note that there continues to be a considerable amount of uncertainty with regards to future income streams for local authorities over the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review period. At the point that further information is known it would 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.
12. That the impact of Covid-19 has had and would continue to have a significant financial impact on the 2020-2021 budget and Medium Term financial Strategy be noted.
13. That it ne noted that, if Government do not provide sufficient grant to fund the full financial implications of Covid-19, the Council would need to identify in year efficiencies, which may impact on service delivery.
14. That it be noted that the Council would need to re-prioritise resources to fund the Recovery Strategy if further funding is not made available from Central Government.
15. That it be noted 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.
16. That the updated projected deficit assumes the achievement of budget reduction and income generation proposals amounting to £8.8 million over period 2020-2021 to 2023-2024 be noted.
17. That it be noted that the 2021-2022 budget timetable would, as in previous years, include an updated report presented to Cabinet in October 2020 detailing budget reduction and income generation proposals that would be subject to formal budget consultation during October to December 2020. Further to this, an update on all budget assumptions and the Provisional Local Government Settlement would be presented to Cabinet by January 2021, with the final budget report due to be approved by Full Council in March 2021.
18. 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.
Report author: Mohammed Hasan
Publication date: 30/07/2020
Date of decision: 29/07/2020
Decided at meeting: 29/07/2020 - Cabinet
Effective from: 06/08/2020
Current call-in Count: 0