Issue - meetings
Medium Term Financial Strategy 2015/16 to 2024/25
Consultation on the Council Tax Support Scheme is subject to a Call-In.
MEMBERS ARE REMINDED TO BRING THEIR COPY OF THE MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY PHASE 1 BUDGET PROPOSALS DOCUMENT FROM CABINET DATED NOVEMBER 2014 TO THE MEETING IN ADDITION TO THIS AGENDA PACK.
Meeting: 24/11/2014 - Cabinet (Item 7)
Cabinet received a report as part of the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework that required it to initiate and propose budget proposals to set a balanced budget for the forthcoming financial year.
The purpose of the report was for Cabinet to approve the first phase of budget proposals for consultation to contribute towards closing the budget gap of £25m. Subject to Scrutiny feedback and comments from all residents, partner organisations, businesses and other interested parties, Cabinet would recommend budget proposals to Council in December 2014 to implement at the earliest opportunity; to approve and outline the approach for the remaining budget process; and to outline the financial challenge the council faces in the current financial year and in setting a balanced budget for 2015/16.
Councillor Seaton introduced the item and advised that the Council was committed to ensuring a bright future for the city and all its people and that would mean maintaining focus on education, jobs creation, economic prosperity and the quality of life for residents.
Further key points highlighted by Councillor Seaton included the substantial amount lost in grant funding equating to £44m; the government grant reductions of £12.3m in 2015/16, and the additional financial pressures faced as a result of an increasing demand for services and legal changes; the total of £25m of savings and efficiencies which needed to be found in order to balance the books, whilst also allowing the Council to continue to invest in the city for future generations; an overview of why the gap had increased by £3m from the report presented to Cabinet in September 2014; the close work being undertaken with officers and the cross party working budget group; the budget proposals being shared as early as possible and the proposals being released in two phases to achieve this; the first set of budget proposals looking to save £16.8m and the second set, to close the remaining £8m gap to be published in the new year; the budget conversation that was on the website and which had featured in local media; the conversation being kept open until 11 December and all feedback to be considered at Cabinet on December 15, with recommendations to Council on 17 December; the early responses received and the value put on services such as meals on wheels, flytipping, graffiti, work around ASB, domestic abuse, drink, drugs and mental health, street cleansing, parks and open spaces.
Cabinet debated the report and key points raised, along with responses to questions provided by Councillor Seaton included:
· The Cabinet had spent many days looking into the budget proposals and there had been a number of all party budget meetings held;
· A number of false facts had appeared in the press. It was misleading to say that the opposition groups had made suggestions that had subsequently been ignored;
· Suggestions that were not practical, or implementable, could not be considered;
· The public’s views were taken seriously, as had been demonstrated by the library consultation, and the public were requested to take ... view the full minutes text for item 7