Agenda and minutes

Business and Finance Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 10 January 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford, TF3 4NT

Contact: Sam Yarnall  01952 382193

Items
No. Item

BFSC34

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

BFSC35

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2021 be confirmed and signed by the chair.

 

BFSC36

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 - 2025/26 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

a)    To consider the draft budget proposals agreed by Cabinet on 6 January 2022

b)    To consider any alternative budget proposals put forward; and

c)    To agree items for further scrutiny

 

The Cabinet Member for Council Finance and Governance will attend for this item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the Councils budget proposals as set out in the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 – 20225/26 report to Cabinet on 6 January 2022. The report set the Council’s budget for the extended three to four year period that covers the revenue budget and capital plans. Members heard a summary of the budget proposal that detailed the key aspects of the report. The budget would cover a one-year period, as a result of a funding settlement from the Government on 16 December 2021. The Committee heard that the proposal detailed a longer four year period and that this would be revised as further information was provided.

 

The Committee heard that recently the Government had increased grants and but there had been an increased demand on key services such as Adult Social Care and Children’s Safeguarding. Despite this the Council had not overspent on the budget for 15 years despite having to deliver £133.7m ongoing annual budget savings by the end of 2021/22.

 

The summary outlined that the Council had a comparatively low level of council tax. The report outlined that currently the average Council Tax at Band D in the Midlands region was more than 13% higher than in Telford & Wrekin.

 

Members heard that the Government assumed that all local authorities that are responsible for delivering social care services would implement a 2% general council tax increase plus a 1% Adult Social Care precept next year. This Council was committing to freeze the current general level of council tax for both 2022/23 and for 2023/24 but would apply the Governments’ assumed 1% Adult Social Care precept next year.

 

The Chief Financial Officer then discussed the need for a number of investments which included : a net investment of £0.66m into

Children’s safeguarding during the next year and £4.9m in to Adult Social Care during the next financial year then rising to £6.7m by 2023/24.  This meant that the Council’s net budget for Children’s Safeguarding next year would be over £37 million and for Adult Social Care the net budget would be almost £53.3 million.  During the next financial year over £90 million, the  equivalent to over 65% of the total net revenue budget, for both Adult Social Care and Children Safeguarding services. Also proposed was a £10m investment for affordable housing initiatives and £37m additional investment in the Telford Growth Fund to protect existing jobs and to attract new jobs.

 

Members heard a summary of the savings proposals for the year 2022/23 there would be savings of £5.6m, which would increase to £8.6m in 2023/2024.

 

A consultation period on the proposals would run from 7 January to 6 February 2022. Members will scrutinise the Administration’s budget proposals and any alternative budget proposals put forward by any Opposition group(s). Members heard that cabinet will agree final recommendations to full Council on 17 February and that final decisions on the budget and council tax for 2022/23 would be taken to full Council on 3 March 2022.

 

The Chief Financial Officer updated  ...  view the full minutes text for item BFSC36

BFSC37

Chair's Update

Minutes:

The Chair thanked the Director: Ken Clarke for the delivery of a workshop, in December 2021, on local government finance.