2023/24 Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy
- Meeting of Finance and Management Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 1st February, 2023 2.00 pm (Item 41.)
This report provides an update on the developing budget for 2023/24. To consider:
1) The draft base budgets for 2023/24
2) The Medium Term Financial Strategy
3) The response from the statutory budget consultation
That FMOS consider the latest update of the draft budget.
The Chief Finance Officer Elizabeth Griffiths introduced the 2023/24 Budget and Medium Term Finance Strategy, and gave an explanation on how the paper has been presented. The Committee were asked to take into account the updated position since the budget was last considered in December. The following points were highlighted;
- The last report highlighted the £1.8m deficit as the settlement figure was not confirmed.
- New Homes Bonus has been extended for 1 year and is £1m less than the previous year. This is a 1 year settlement and not guaranteed to continue.
- It is not known whether there will be a funding guarantee and funding could be lost in the future.
- Significant inflation which has caused disproportionate pressures
- Rates reset will not happen till at least 2025/26
- Uncertainty on GLL income.
- Waste team have requested a 10% increase to their container budget which was not included in this draft but will be for Council.
- NNDR rates calculation was later than usual this year due to late issuing of the guidance by government and then further delayed by and software upgrades. This was expected to result in another adjustment to the budget of £15,000 ahead of Council.
The Chair clarified that the budget papers presented to committee are the same set of papers to be discussed at the Executive meeting on 8 February 2023. The Revenue Budget had options of growth and no growth. The Executive would make recommendations on this paper to put to Council. So there were two versions to discuss. The Chief Finance Officer explained that both versions had been included so that members could see the impact that the proposed budget growth had in both the short and long term.
The Committee discussed the following points;
- Fixed-term Contracts for staff created challenges for recruitment and retention of staff. The Chair asked for this to be noted as and passed to the Executive.
- Grants were given during Covid and used for short term projects with an understanding that there was a time limit on the contract of employment. In some posts there is a possibility to extend the contract with a view to finding funding from an outside source. Where roles have ended, staff are re-deployed into other vacancies where possible.
- Clarification that the Leisure contract contingency was cumulative within the MTFS calculation.
- Wage settlement for Publica Staff,- the current year saw a fixed cashed increase across all payscales which averaged at 6%. The Chief Finance Officer confirmed that the difference between Publica staff and Councillors figures can been shown.
- Costs of Members Allowances- an additional amount has been included in next year’s budget to cover uplifts not yet reflected in the budget which had caused an overspend in the current year.
- Finance team are currently under resourced - there has been a shared request from other Publica Councils for an additional post but it was under discussion as to the exact post and further requests were expected.
- Leisure facilities and the provision of swimming pools. Most residents only have the opportunity to learn to swim in one of our three main leisure centres and the provision of leisure facilities remains a challenge post Covid. A strategy is being developed to consider how we might improve the performance and take the leisure service forward.
- Unicorn Public House, was discussed at a previous Uplands Planning committee. The Estates Team are dealing with this case. Claire Locke will provide a written response to Councillor Cooper.
Committee Resolved to:
1. Comment to Executive and noted the report.
Councillors Graham and Parkinson left the Council Chamber at 4pm.
- 20230125 budget update for FMOS, item 41. PDF 114 KB
- Budget changes Annex A, item 41. PDF 261 KB
- Comparison to Q3 results Annex A supp, item 41. PDF 422 KB
- Prior year comparison Annex B, item 41. PDF 75 KB
- Budget increase proposals Annex C, item 41. PDF 59 KB
- Capital Programme Annex D, item 41. PDF 56 KB
- MTFS no growth Annex E (1), item 41. PDF 62 KB
- MTFS with growth Annex E (2), item 41. PDF 63 KB
- MTFS graphs Annex F, item 41. PDF 72 KB
- 20221229 Change in taxbase Annex G, item 41. PDF 69 KB
- Fees and Charges Annex H, item 41. PDF 652 KB
- Budget survey Annex I, item 41. PDF 631 KB