Cabinet received a report which formed part of the Council’s formal budget process set out within the constitution and legislative requirements to set a balanced budget for 2015/16 and medium term financial strategy to 2024/25.
The purpose of the report was to recommend to Council budget proposals for 2015/16 through to 2024/25, in line with the final local government finance settlement for 2015/16 and in advance of some Department for Education specific grants being finalised. The draft Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) was presented during the Cabinet meeting of 19 January and, subject to updated information contained within the report, was the basis for Cabinet to recommend the budget for approval by Council. Attached to the report were the relevant documents Cabinet referred to within the report.
The report also provided an update on budget consultation responses received so far, recognising that that the consultation remained open until 2 March and that some meetings with key stakeholder groups were still to take place.
Cabinet considered the report and RESOLVED to:
a) The budget is set in the context of council priorities;
b) The budget for 2015/16 takes note of the budget monitoring position for 2014/15;
c) The revenue budget for 2015/16 and proposed cash limits for 2016/17 to 2024/25 (including investment and savings proposals);
d) The capital programme for 2015/16 and proposed cash limits to 2024/25 and associated capital strategy, treasury management strategy and asset management plan;
e) A council tax freeze in 2015/16 with indicative increases for planning purposes of 2% for 2016/17 to 2024/25;
f) That education funding is spent at the level of funding resources available to both schools and the council in 2015/16 and future estimates to 2024/25;
g) The budget is supported adequately with reserves, provisions and robust budget estimates set in the context of the risks outlined in the report;
h) The proposals for setting fees and charges for 2015/16;
I) To allocate £70,000 from the risk management contingency for 2015/16 to enable the library proposals to be amended to allow a staff presence at all times within the larger libraries across the city, and to assist with the implementation plans (noting that Cabinet will not make a final decision on library options until their meeting of 20th March);
J) To increase the capital sum for Street Cleansing by £200,000 in order to enable further investment into making services more efficient and to help keep our city clean; with the capital financing costs in 2015/16 of £4k being met from the risk management contingency, and
K) To maintain the risk management contingency at a minimum level of £500,000.
6. Have regard for the continuing uncertainty of national public finances and that it may become necessary to amend the budget in year if there are national changes to public spending following the general election in May.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Significantly affecting two or more electoral wards;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Notice of proposed decision first published: 12/12/2014
Decision due: 23 Feb 2015 by Cabinet
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Resources
Lead director: Acting Corporate Director Resources
Relevant internal and external stakeholders.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee: Sustainable Growth and Environment Capital
Meeting Open to Public: n/a