To consider the General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy Update (2020/22 – 2025/26).
The Executive considered a report providing a General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) update for the period 2020/22 to 2025/26.
The Strategic Director (CF) undertook to provide the Leader with a breakdown of the “Other COVID spend (funded from grant)” figure of £500,210 set out in the Table at Paragraph 4.1.2 of the report.
It was RESOLVED:
1. That change to the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) principles, as outlined in Paragraph 4.1.6 of the report and amended in Paragraph 4.10.9, be approved.
2. That, for modelling purposes, Council tax increases be set at the threshold of 1.99%, subject to any change in Government rules to achieve a balanced budget, as set out in Paragraph 4.6.9 of the report.
3. That the updated inflation assumptions used in the Medium Term Financial Strategy, as set out in Section 4 of the report, be approved.
4. That the approach to Making Your Money Count (MYMC) budget options, as set out in Section 4.8 of the report, be approved.
5. That an amount of £300,000 for 2022/23 be approved for inclusion in the budget setting process to support the Transformation Fund, to help deliver the MYMC Target, as set out in Paragraph 4.8.4 of the report.
6. That a Making Your Money Count Target of £2.14million (of which £1.91Million is not identified), be approved for the period 2022/23- 2024/25, as set out in Section 4.9 of the report.
7. That the potential expansion of the Revenues and Benefits Service be approved, subject to a full business case, as set out in Paragraph 4.8.11 of the report.
8. That the 1st quarter changes to the General Fund, as outlined in Section 4.3 and also in Appendix B of the report, of £377,840 net underspend, be approved.
9. That the changes to business rates and section 31 grants, as set out in Paragraph 4.5.5 of the report, be noted.
10. That the financial impact of COVID in 2021/22 and future years, as set out in Section 4.1 of the report, be approved.
11. That the use of £265,930 of COVID finance settlement funding for homeless pressures, as set out in Paragraph 4.3.10 of the report, be approved.
12. That General Fund growth be only approved for the Council’s FTFC priorities and the growth allowance in the 2022/23 budget is £75,000. Growth above that level will need to be funded by further savings in addition to the £2.14Million target identified.
13. That a minimum level of balances for the General Fund of £3.46million be approved for 2021/22, as set out in Paragraph 4.10.8 of the report.
14. That the MTFS be regularly updated for any material financial pressures so forecasts are updated and then be re-presented to the Executive for approval.
15. That the Trade Unions and staff be consulted on the key messages contained within the Medium Term Financial Strategies and more specifically when drawing up any proposals where there is a risk of redundancy.
Reason for Decision: As contained in report.
Other Options considered: As contained in report.