Agenda item

Budget 2024/25: Review of Service Dashboards and Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAs)


The Head of Finance presented the report which set out updates to the 2024/25 budget process within the existing framework of the 10-year budget and savings plan.


Some changes had been made to future assumptions and they would be continued to be reviewed during the budget process. The key cost driver continued to be inflation, with pressure coming through on service demand, the pay award and the cost of goods and services. The items listed in Appendix E reported a current annual budget gap of £1.368m. Members were advised that they were likely to have to make more difficult decisions during the 2024/25 budget setting process than they had had to make for many years.


Informed by the latest information from Government and discussions from Cabinet, it was proposed that the Council once again set a balanced 10-year budget and continued to aim to be financially self-sufficient with no direct funding from Government through additional Revenue Support Grant or New Homes Bonus.


The report presented growth and savings items that had been identified which needed to be considered, and requested further suggestions from the Advisory Committee, before finalising the budget for 2024/25.


The Committee considered the proposal set out in Appendices G and H, which was a reduction in the members' travel budget which matched the current usage requirement. There was support for this proposal.


Members gave further consideration to additional suggestions for growth and savings which had been suggested by Members and required consideration of the Committee. Those suggestions relevant to this Advisory Committee were as follows:


  • More active management of the council’s bank current account.  There was no specific proposal for the budget, following on from the debate under the Treasury Management update and future reports where risk appetite would be discussed further.
  • Forego Members allowances increases in 2024/25.  Members were advised that they could always forego their allowances as an individual decision, whilst noting it was important to ensure that being a Councillor remained accessible to everyone.
  • Increasing the maximum council tax which could be charged on unoccupied property. Currently the maximum would only be charged if the property had been left vacant for 2 years but this could be applied after 1 year. Members supported the suggestion and were content with it being an idea put forward for further consideration.


Following debate Members agreed that only the third suggestion should be referred to Cabinet for further consideration.


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 saving proposal (SCIA 4) identified in Appendices G&H to the report applicable to this Advisory Committee, be considered; and


b)      Advise Cabinet with the following suggestion:


·       Increasing the maximum council tax which could be charged on an unoccupied property. 



Supporting documents:


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