78 Medium Term Financial Plan 2021/22 to 2024/25 (including the capital programme and Housing Revenue Account) PDF 789 KB
The Medium Term Financial Plan 2021/22 to 2024/25 is due to be pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee scheduled to take place on Thursday, 11th February 2021. As this meeting will take place after the publication of the main agenda for the Executive Committee meeting, any recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on this subject will be reported for the Executive Committee’s consideration in a supplementary pack.
The Head of Financial and Customer Services presented the Medium Term Financial Plan 2021/22 to 2023/24. During the presentation of this report the following matters were highlighted for Members’ consideration:
· The preparation of the budget had been really challenging as it had taken place during a global pandemic and at a time of significant uncertainty regarding local authority finances.
· The Council could increase Council Tax by 2.99 per cent or £5. Redditch Borough Council had opted to increase Council Tax by £5 as this would result in a slightly higher return for the authority.
· There had been a gap in the budget for the 2021/22 financial year which had needed to be addressed when balancing the budget.
· The proposed budget would result in a return of £44,000 to balances in 2021/22. However, there remained a gap in place for 2022/23 and 2023/24 which would need to be addressed moving forward.
· The Council had received a significant amount of grant funding from the Government to help manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the authority’s financial position. A large proportion of this grant funding would be allocated to supporting Rubicon Leisure Limited.
· Over £700,00 of earmarked reserves had been used to help balance the budget in 2021/22. Members were advised that these funds could not be reused in future years.
· The Council had received financial contributions from the New Homes Bonus (NHB), which had been unexpected, though this was only available for one year.
· A significant contribution to balancing the budget had also been made through the Lower Tier Services Grant, though there was uncertainty about the position of this grant moving forward.
· The budget had been balanced without falling below the minimum balances threshold for the Council. However, there was a risk that, if a similar approach was adopted to balancing the following year’s budget, the Council could fall below those minimum levels.
· A significant bid for capital funding had been included for Disabled Facilities Grants, though these were not funded by the Council.
· There was also a relatively large bid for capital funding for electric vehicle charging points, though some of these costs would be offset with grant funding.
· The position of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) had improved considerably when compared to recent years and Officers were anticipating a return of £96,000 to balances in 2021/22.
· The improving position of the HRA was partly as a result of the increase that the Council was now permitted to make to rents for Council properties.
· Efficiency savings had also been achieved by the Housing Department which had had a beneficial impact on the HRA. There had been a reduction in the turnaround time for void properties and this, together with investment in new Council houses, was resulting in an increase in rent collection for the authority.
· There had been savings in Repairs and Maintenance in 2020/21, as there had been a focus on priority work only during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Officers recognised that any delayed work would still ... view the full minutes text for item 78