Medium Term Financial Plan 2020/21 to 2023/24 - Update Report (Presentation)
The Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Resources delivered a presentation which provided an update in respect of the MTFP for the period 2020/21 to 2023/24 (Appendix 1).
During the delivery of this presentation the following matters were highlighted for Members’ consideration:
· The Council would usually receive final confirmation of the financial settlement from the government in early December. However, the timeframes could change should there be a general election.
· The local authority was in the process of reviewing the capital programme, particularly aspects such as vehicle replacements and investment opportunities. A significant budget had been allocated to investments made by the Council but this had not been spent as anticipated and therefore the budget had been amended to reflect current practice.
· The Council was anticipating that a greater contribution would need to be made to increment payments for staff during the period of the plan than had originally been anticipated.
· The national pay award for staff, at 2 per cent, was 1 per cent higher than had been planned.
· The Council had retendered the authority’s insurance and this would result in £80,000 in savings.
· The Council was also making savings in the Minimum Revenue Position (MRP).
· The Government had announced that the Council would receive funding from the New Homes Bonus (NHB) in the first year of the four year plan. This was more than had been anticipated, though it appeared unlikely that further NHB funding would be received in subsequent years.
· The Government had also announced that district Councils would only be able to increase Council Tax by up to 1.99 per cent before triggering a referendum, which was less than the 2.99 per cent that had been anticipated.
· In December the MTFP report would contain a clear position statement in respect of how the Council would deliver savings and balance the budget for the full period of the plan.
· The Housing Revenue Account (HRA), including a review of Council rents, would be considered by the Executive Committee in January 2020.
Members subsequently discussed the Council’s budget in detail and in so doing noted that difficult decisions would be required in order to achieve a balanced budget between 2020/21 to 2023/24. Concerns were raised about the loss of NHB funding for district Councils in future years. Members also noted that Worcestershire County Council would receive the majority of funding from Council Tax returns and could raise their Council Tax contributions by up to 3.99 per cent, subject to the additional funding being invested in social care services.
The Committee concluded the discussions by thanking the Executive Director for Finances and Corporate Resources, the Financial Services Manager and the Financial Services team for their hard work.
the report be noted.