To consider the Council's draft 2023/24 General Fund Budget, Council Tax Support Scheme and draft proposals for the 2023/24 Council Tax.
The Executive considered a report in respect of the Council’s draft General Fund, Council tax Support Scheme and draft proposals for the 2023/24 Council Tax.
In reply to a Member’s question, the Strategic Director (CF) confirmed that the Covid-19 pandemic had contributed to a net loss to the Council of approximately £4Million, primarily though reduced income along with some increased costs.
It was RESOLVED:
1. That the 2022/23 revised net expenditure on the General Fund of £11,938,420 be approved, as set out in Paragraph 4.10.1 of the report.
2. That the inclusion of the 2023/24 Fees and Charges of £325,840, including the 5% increase in market rents approved for inclusion at the December 2022 Executive meeting (Appendix B to the report), in the draft 2023/24 budget, be noted.
3. That the draft General Fund Budget for 2023/24 of £10,723,320 be proposed for consultation purposes, with a contribution from balances of £664,462 and a Band D Council Tax of £232.31 (assuming a 2.99% increase).
4. That the updated position on the General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), as summarised in Section 4.12 of the report, be noted.
5. That the minimum level of General Fund reserves of £3,419,753, in line with the 2023/24 risk assessment of balances, as shown at Appendix C to the report, be approved.
6. That the contingency sum of £400,000 within which the Executive can approve supplementary estimates, be approved for 2023/24 (reflecting the level of balances available above the minimum amount).
7. That the 2023/24 Making Your Money Count (MYMC) options, as set out in Section 4.2 and Appendix A to the report, totalling £1,373,999 and £32,502 (cost) for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) respectively, be included into the Council’s budget setting processes for consideration by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, subject to resolution 8. below.
8. That, for 2023/24, £32,000 be transferred from the Business Rates Gains allocated reserve to fund next year’s firework display and town twinning event, together with the reviews set out in Paragraphs 4.7.12 and 4.7.13 of the report.
9. That the Growth options included in Section 4.8 of the report be approved for inclusion in the 2023/24 General Fund (£73,150) and HRA (£56,892) budgets.
10. That the pressures identified in Sections 4.2 and 4.9 of the report be noted.
11. That, for 2023/24, £300,000 budget to pump prime Transformation and included in the General Fund budget setting processes, be noted, to enable to significantly contribute to the savings targets, as set out in Section 4.12 of the report.
12. That the use of the business rate gains only once realised, and ring fenced for use for the financial resilience of the Council, be approved.
13. That the decisions taken on Resolutions 3 – 12 above be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration, in accordance with the Budget and Policy Framework Rules in the Council’s Constitution.
14. That the Equalities Impact Assessments appended to the report in Appendices D and E be noted.
15. That key partners and other stakeholders be consulted and their views considered as part of the 2023/24 budget setting process.
Reason for Decision: As contained in report.
Other Options considered: As contained in report.