Agenda item

Budget update 2023/24


The Portfolio Holder Portfolio Holder for Finance & Investment presented the report which set out progress made in preparing the 2023/24 budget and updated Members on key financial information. The changes detailed in this report reduce the annual budget gap to £126,000 if approved.

The Deputy Chief Executive and Officer Finance & Investment further advised that the report contained a number of changes since the report to Cabinet in December 2022, including the announcement of the Provisional Local Government Settlement which had resulted in a number of changes including the reference to ‘Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) funding from 2024/25 subject to recycling performance. It also mentioned that the ‘Fair Funding Review’ and ‘Business Rates Reset’ would not take place in the next two years.


He further advised that other major changes outside of the settlement were Using the extra income from the Business Rates Retention Pool in 2023/24, additional interest receipts based on income received from the investments in Multi Asset Income Funds, a dividend from Quercus 7, and reduced contributions required to the superannuation fund following the recent triennial valuation.


The Finance & Investment Advisory Committee had discussed how the flexibility of the 10-year budget approach had assisted in these uncertain times.  With inflation at a long time high, the future extent of price increases and how long they continued for remained uncertain.  Therefore, the budget included those items where there was certainty or a good indication but for others, assumptions have remained unchanged.  As has been shown with the Council’s approach to the 2022 pay award and the SCIA for utility costs it was currently best to deal with these issues when they arrive.  The danger of changing assumptions with the current uncertainties was that greater savings and reductions to service may be made than end up being required.


It was highlighted that Members needed to recognise that when there was greater certainty it was highly likely that additional savings would be required in the next budget process.


The report requested Cabinet to consider each growth or saving SCIA in Appendix E, the additional growth and saving proposals made by the Advisory Committees in Appendix F and recommend an increase level of Council Tax for 2023/24.


Members considered the options set out before them and decided not to pursue a savings suggestion concerning potentially holding daytime meetings.



Public Sector Equality Duty

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


Resolved: That


a)    the growth and savings/additional income proposals as set out in Appendix E be included in the budget;


b)    the further growth and savings/additional income suggestions put forward by the Advisory Committees listed in Appendix F be dealt with as follows –


Income from a Council energy saving advice service – the Portfolio Holder to have further discussion with the Chief Officer

Replicate Environmental Health’s working practices and structural changes across other services - the Portfolio Holder to have further discussion with the Chief Officer

Continue to review the Council’s energy use in the Argyle Road building - the Portfolio Holder to have further discussion with the Chief Officer

Examine the cost savings that daytime committee meetings could bring – no further action; and


c)    a Council Tax increase for 2023/24 of 3% be recommended to Council.

Supporting documents:


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