Councillor R C Evans, Cabinet Member: Finance, Governance & Customer Services presented the report of the Director: Finance & HR which set out how the Council would deliver the Strategy and its five key priorities. It sought approval of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy together with the budget framework for 2023/24.
It was noted that there had been a significant increase in demand for services and higher costs, particularly in relation to the provision of Adult Social Care and energy costs. There was a freeze on the general portion of Council Tax for the year, with a 2% rise in relation to the Adult Social Care precept.
The meeting adjourned at 19.54.
The meeting resumed at 20.03.
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, a recorded vote was taken on the recommendations as follows: -
Councillors M Boylan, A J Burford, E Callear, L D Carter, G H Cook, S Davies, A R H England, R C Evans, C Healy, A S Jhawar, J Jones, G C W Latham-Reynolds, J Lavery, A D McClements, R Mehta, K Middleton, G Offland, R A Overton, I Preece, S A W Reynolds, S J Reynolds, H Rhodes, K S Sahota, P J Scott, C F Smith, B J Thompson, C R Turley, P R Watling, B Wennington, D R W White.
Councillors S Bentley, S P Burrell, E J Carter, N A Dugmore, A J Eade, J Gough, M B Hosken, A Lawrence, T J Nelson, J M Seymour
Councillors K T Blundell, E J Greenaway, T L B Janke, K T Tomlinson, W L Tomlinson.
RESOLVED – that:
a) The following be approved:
a. The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for 2023/24-2026/27 and the budget framework for 2023.24 set out in the suite of reports;
b. The second year of the freeze of the general Council Tax level announced last year;
c. The application of the Government’s 2% Adult Social Care Precept in 2023/24;
d. The net investment of a further £7.26m into Adult Social Care in 2023/24;
e. The net investment of £2.5m into Children’s Safeguarding in 2023/24;
f. The budget savings listed in Appendix 10 of the report totalling £7.931m in 2023/24;
g. The continuation of work with partner organisations, including Town & Parish Councils and Voluntary Sector and Community Groups to seek to identify ways to mitigate the impact of some of the cuts to services that we can no longer afford to deliver and to note the availability of the Invest to Save/Capacity Fund which is available to support partnership working;
h. The base budget in Appendix 8 of the report;
i. The policy framework for Reserves and Balances and their planned use outlined in Appendix 6 of the report;
j. The Risk Register included at Appendix 14 of the report;
k. The adoption of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, a link to which is included within Appendix 16 of the report, ready for implementation from 1 April 2023; ... view the full minutes text for item 259
To receive the final recommendations in respect of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy.
The Cabinet Member: Finance, Governance & Customer Services presented the report of the Director: Finance & Human Resources. The report detailed the Revenue Budget, medium term Capital Strategy and Programme, the Investment and Treasury Management Strategies and Prudential Indicators. The report sought approval of the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy for the four years 2023/24-2026/27.
On 3 March 2022 the Council approved the current Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for the four year period up to 2025/26. Since the Strategy had been set, there had been a significant increase in demand for key services and higher costs relating to these services, particularly around adult social care and energy costs.
There were significant financial challenges nationally; the continuing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis.
In view of this significant uncertainty over the future of local government finance and what resources may be available to the Council beyond the following year, and the uncertainties caused by these issues and the local elections in May 2023, a detailed budget for 2023/24 within the context of the four year MTFS was proposed.
The report identified key strategies including:-
· No increase in the general Council Tax precept, however, the Government’s 2% Adult Social Care precept would be applied, which would raise £1.588m towards the additional investment required in Adult Social Care services.
· Extra net investment of £7.26m into Adult Social Care Services and an additional £2.5m into Children’s Safeguarding.
· A programme of capital investments totalling more than £364m as set out in the Capital Strategy and Capital Programme reports which included:-
· £70m investment into NuPlace and Telford & Wrekin Homes
· £70m to support further Growth Fund initiatives which would bring new employment opportunities into the Borough
· £40m for education capital projects, including investment in school expansion projects to increase pupil places
· £40m for transport and highways schemes
· £8.7m for a swimming pool in the Dawley area
· £1.8m into the Stronger Communities project
The Council continued to provide a comprehensive package of support for residents to help with the cost of living.
Since 2009/10, the Council had delivered savings of £141m per annum. The report put forward additional proposals to deliver further savings and generate additional income.
Attached to the report were a number of appendices, including a robustness statement from the CFO, analysis of base budget movements, and details of Reserves and Balances.
The Capital Strategy report was a requirement of the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities. The aim of the strategy was to give an overview of the long-term context in which capital expenditure and investment decisions were made and to highlight the consideration given to risks and rewards as well as the achievement of Council priorities.
Recommendations by Cabinet would be considered at Full Council on 2 March 2023 as Full Council was responsible for setting the overall revenue and capital budget framework. At that meeting the Council Tax for 2023/34 would also be set.
The Chair of the Business & Finance Scrutiny Committee presented the ... view the full minutes text for item 213