Agenda item

Budget Proposals 2021/22

Report from the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.

Decision:

Decision:

The Cabinet recommends to Council, having considered the recommendations and feedback from both the Budget Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the stakeholder consultation:

1.           To set a General Fund budget requirement of £13.859m for 2021/22 detailed at section 3 of this report and shown in detail at Appendix A (inclusive of special expenses).

2.           To propose a Council Tax level of £168.62 for 2021/22 (Band D property).

3.           To note the indicative base estimates for 2022/23 and 2023/24 as detailed in the summary at Appendix A.

4.         To approve Housing Revenue Account (HRA) dwelling rent increases of 1.5 (CPI + 1%) in accordance with Government guideline rent providing an average rent of £80.78 (an average rental increase of £1.19 per a week).

5.           To approve an increase in HRA garage rents of 3%.

6.           To approve an average increase of 3% in HRA service charges for communal facilities and communal rooms.

7.           To approve an increase in shared ownership rents by 1.5% (CPI +1%).

8.           To approve the HRA Revenue Summary for the year 2021/22 shown at Appendix A.

9.            To approve the General Fund Capital programme for 2021/22 to 2023/24 detailed at section 5 of this report and shown at Appendix B.

10.         To approve the General Fund Capital Financing statement detailed at Appendix B.

11.         To approve the Housing Investment programme for 2021/22 to 2023/24 detailed at section 5 of this report and as shown at Appendix B to include an additional £440,000 of the Section 106 monies in order to fund temporary housing in the Stamford area.

12.         Approve the HRA Capital Financing statement detailed at Appendix B.

13.        To approve the movements in General Fund Revenue and Capital reserves and balances detailed at section 7 of this report and shown at Appendix C.

14.        To approve the movements in HRA revenue and Capital reserves and balances detailed at section 7 of this report and shown at Appendix C.

15.        To approve the fees and charges detailed at section 9 of this report and shown at Appendix D subject to an amendment at page 35 to show the Stamford car parking proposed charges to read:

Up to 30 minutes           90 pence

Up to 1 hour                  £1.20

Up to 2 hours                £1.90

Up to 3 hours                £2.50

Up to 4 hours                £4.10

Over 4 hours                 £5.30

 

Considerations/reasons for decision:

 

·       The report from the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, which was presented to Cabinet on 2 February 2021.

·       The report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, which was considered by Cabinet on 12 January 2021.

·       Comments made by the Joint Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the meeting held on 13 January 2021.

·       Feedback from the Council Tax consultation which ran from 16 – 26 January 2021.

·       The budget proposals had been formulated within the context of the Corporate Plan ambitions and alignment to the five priorities.

·       The Spending Review 2020 and the draft Local Government Finance Settlement published on 17 December 2020.

·       The funding position for the General Fund (starting at paragraph 2 of the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources).

·       The General Fund Budget Estimates and Council Tax proposals (paragraphs 3.4 and 3.8 of the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources).

·       The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) rent proposals (paragraph 4.3 of the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources).

·       General Fund Capital Programme shown at paragraph 5.2 and detailed in Appendix B of the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.

·       Capital financing for both the General Fund and HRA shown at paragraphs 6.2 and 6.3.

·       Information on Reserves and Balances (paragraph 7.2 of the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources).

·       Information on Budget proposals in paragraph 3.3.

·       The statutory requirement to set a balanced budget for each financial year.

·       Provisions within the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

·       Provisions within the Local Government Act 2003.

·       Amendments made to recommendations 2, 12 and 16 from those circulated in the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.

 

 

Other options considered and rejected:

 

Option 1: A Council Tax increase of 3% on a Band D property.

Option 2: No Council Tax increase.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources presented the report on the Budget Proposals and the Council Tax Band D charge for 2021/22.  Work on the budget had started in September 2020 and had ran parallel with the setting of an amended budget. Cabinet had been provided with monthly financial updates following the impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s finances. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources thanked the Cabinet, the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Finance Team and the Section 151 Officer for their work in compiling the budget proposals for 2021/22.  A robust scrutiny of the budget had been undertaken at the Joint Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13 January 2021.

 

The consultation on the proposed Council Tax setting with local residents had taken place between 16 and 26 January 2021.  From the responses received over 34% supported a £5 increase in Council Tax for Band D properties.  66% fell within the A-C Council Tax Bands which had an increase of between six pence to eight pence in Council Tax per week.

 

The Government had given council’s the opportunity to increase their core spending power by 4.5% by allowing an increase in Council Tax of £5 for Band D properties.

 

Following the Joint Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s scrutiny of the Fees and Charges for 2021/22, it was recommended that the car park fees at all of the Stamford car parks be reduced by 10 pence per tariff. 

 

The Ward Member grant had been increased to £1,000 during 2020/21 to help with the impact of Covid-19, however this had been reduced to £500 for 2021/22 budget. 

 

The budget focused on three strands; the Corporate Plan actions, the Council’s response to Covid-19 pressures and maintaining a quality service delivery across the Council.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources referred Members to Table 5 which contained key budgetary proposals for 2021/22.  The funding proposals for the Council’s companies were also contained within the report.  It was noted that the Business Plan for LeisureSK Ltd would be reviewed by the LeisureSK Ltd Board and updated in light of the current lockdown and the closure of all leisure centres.

 

Challenges faced by the Housing Revenue Account included the lower rental increase which meant that only a one year balanced budget had been drawn up, subsequent years projected a budget deficit.

 

The Capital Programme had been formulated to deliver the Council’s ambitions of growth and investment in its assets to support the delivery of quality services and were summarised at Appendix B.  The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources recommended the proposals within the report be recommended to Council with the following amendments:

 

·         The figure in recommendation 1 should read £13.859m.

·         To include an additional £440,000 of the Section 106 monies in order to fund temporary housing in the Stamford area at recommendation 11.

·         That the Fees and Charges at Appendix D should show the following tariff for Stamford Car Parking Fees:

 

Up to 30 minutes             90 pence

Up to 1 hour                     £1.20

Up to 2 hours                    £1.90

Up to 3 hours                   £2.50

Up to 4 hours                    £4.10

Over 4 hours                    £5.30

 

The Leader supported the budget before the Cabinet and made reference to:

 

·         The current financial climate and the impact of Covid-19.

·         Feedback received on the budget from the Council Tax consultation.

·         Feedback from the Joint Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

·         The Council’s Corporate Plan and the ambition to support the delivery of quality services.

·         The Covid-19 Recovery Plan.

·         Taking account of Members’ views particularly in respect of the car parking charges at Stamford.

 

The Leader thanked the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and the Finance Team for the work that had been done to enable a balanced budget to be reached.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning gave more detail in respect of the use of the Section 106 monies which had been added to the recommendations to Council.

 

Other Cabinet Members expressed support for the budget and highlighted areas of work within their portfolios during the coming year.

 

On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

 

That having considered the recommendations and feedback from both the Budget Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the stakeholder consultation it recommends to Council:

1.          To set a General Fund budget requirement of £13.859m for 2021/22 detailed at section 3 of this report and shown in detail at Appendix A (inclusive of special expenses).

2.          To propose a Council Tax level of £168.62 for 2021/22 (Band D property).

3.            To note the indicative base estimates for 2022/23 and 2023/24 as detailed in the summary at Appendix A.

4.            To approve Housing Revenue Account (HRA) dwelling rent increases of 1.5% (CPI + 1%) in accordance with Government guideline rent providing an average rent of £80.78 (an average rental increase of £1.19 per a week).

5.            To approve an increase in HRA garage rents of 3%.

6.            To approve an average increase of 3% in HRA service charges for communal facilities and communal rooms.

7.            To approve an increase in shared ownership rents by 1.5% (CPI +1%).

8.            To approve the HRA Revenue Summary for the year 2021/22 shown at Appendix A.

9.           To approve the General Fund Capital programme for 2021/22 to 2023/24 detailed at section 5 of this report and shown at Appendix B.

10.        To approve the General Fund Capital Financing statement detailed at Appendix B.

11.        To approve the Housing Investment programme for 2021/22 to 2023/24 detailed at section 5 of this report and as shown at Appendix B to include an additional £440,000 of the Section 106 monies in order to fund temporary housing in the Stamford area.

12.        Approve the HRA Capital Financing statement detailed at Appendix B.

13.         To approve the movements in General Fund Revenue and Capital reserves and balances detailed at section 7 of this report and shown at Appendix C.

14.         To approve the movements in HRA revenue and Capital reserves and balances detailed at section 7 of this report and shown at Appendix C.

15.         To approve the fees and charges detailed at section 9 of this report and shown at Appendix D subject to an amendment at page 45 to show the Stamford car parking proposed charges to read:

Up to 30 minutes             90 pence

Up to 1 hour                     £1.20

Up to 2 hours                    £1.90

Up to 3 hours                   £2.50

Up to 4 hours                    £4.10

Over 4 hours                    £5.30

Supporting documents: