Agenda item

Budget 2021/22: Review of Service Dashboards and Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAs)


The Deputy Chief Executive & Chief Officer – Finance & Trading, presented the report which set out updates to the 2021/22 budget within the existing framework of the 10-year budget and savings plan.  The report presented savings items that had been identified which needed to be considered, and requested further suggestions from Members, before finalising the budget for 2021/22.


Informed by the latest information from Government and discussions with Cabinet, it was proposed that the Council continued to set a revenue budget that assumed no direct funding from Government through the Revenue Support Grant or New Homes Bonus. This would result in the Council continuing to be financially self-sufficient. To achieve this aim and to ensure a balanced budget position over the next 10-year period would be more challenging this year due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.


The budget process would be shorter with the Council’s budget set at the November Council meeting instead of the February Council meeting.  This should enable any changes to be implemented before 1 April 2021 and minimise the period of uncertainty for staff.


The annual budget gap included in the report was £826,000 which was largely due to Covid-19.  Savings proposals had been identified in the report for this Committee but Members were asked for their suggestions in order to contribute to reducing the budget gap, and their recommendations would be considered by Cabinet as part of the process to set a balanced 10-year budget.  By addressing the issues this year, the Council would once again be in a strong financial position that other councils would aspire to.


As a result of the pandemic and forced new ways of working such as planning applicants putting up their own notices, it was believed that there would be savings but they had yet to be quantified.  The Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Officer Planning & Regulatory Services advised that there had been a number of efficiencies which it was hoped could continue but for budgeting purposes they needed to be investigated to see what could be quantified for budget setting.


It was generally agreed that the necessity for remote meetings must have incurred savings and should be looked at for the future.  It was acknowledged that this was not the Committee’s remit and that this was dependant on legislation.


It was also noted that the dissolution of the Building Control Partnership from Tonbridge and Malling was not financially driven so there were no cost savings to report at this stage.


Public Sector Equality Duty

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.


Resolved: That it be recommended to Cabinet that


a)     the savings proposals identified in Appendices F & G to the report (SCIAs 11 (21/22) and 12 (21/22)) applicable to this Advisory Committee, be considered;


b)     it be noted that no further income or growth proposals were identified; and


c)     consideration be given to asking Officers to maintain current best practice and efficiencies and to examine any cost savings for future budget setting, and to look at building control changes for future savings.

Supporting documents:


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