Issue - meetings

Medium Term Financial Plan (including Worcestershire Regulatory Service Board Budget Recommendations, Treasury Management Strategy, Capital Strategy, Minimum Revenue Provision and Investment Strategy) (Tranche 2)

Meeting: 06/02/2024 - Executive (Item 88)

88 Medium Term Financial Plan (including Treasury Management Strategy, Capital Strategy, Minimum Revenue Provision and Investment Strategy) (Tranche 2) pdf icon PDF 2 MB


The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling presented the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP – including the Treasury Management Strategy, Capital Strategy, Minimum Revenue Position and Investment Strategy) Tranche 2 for the Executive Committee’s consideration.


Members were asked to note that the Council had set its budget in two tranches, similar to the 2023/24 MTFP process.  The initial tranche was published in autumn 2023 and approved at the Council meeting held in January 2024.  The second tranche took into account the final Local Government Settlement figures and the authority’s final budget would be approved in February 2024.  Members were advised that the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budgets would be included in this tranche.


In terms of the Council’s revenue position, the Executive Committee was reminded that at the Council meeting held on 29th January 2024 this had been approved with a deficit of £518,000 over the three-year period 2024/25 to 2026/27.

The financial settlement, which had been confirmed on 18th December 2023 by the Government, had allowed the following opportunities for additional funding to be considered which included:

·       Increasing Council Tax from 1.99 per cent to 2.99 per cent resulting in additional funding of £67,000.

·       Increasing planning fees for small applications by 25 per cent and other applications by 35 per cent would recoup £60,000 at present activity levels.

·       There would be additional grant funding of £244,000 due to the overall Local Government Settlement.

By February 2024, the Council was in a position to fully understand the implications of the 2022/23 and 2023/24 pay awards to staff, given that the 2023/24 pay award was implemented in December 2023.  Consequently, Members were advised that the following savings could be made:

·       £100,000 could be released from the 2022/23 Pay Award contingency.

·       £150,000 could be released from the 2023/24 Pay Award budget approved in Tranche 1 of the MTFP process.

However, there were additional pressures amounting to £261,000 that need to be accounted for.  This included:

·       An increase in staffing numbers in Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) due to higher levels of Food Safety compliance testing requirements by the Food Standards Agency, at a cost of £40,000.

·       Planning and Environmental Enforcement costs of £45,000. This increase was linked to a report presented to the Executive Committee in January 2024.

·       Investment in Play Audits starting at £10,000 and rising to £50,000.  These costs had arisen as discussed in respect of the Play Audit report that had been approved at the Executive Committee meeting held in January 2024.

·       Housing Strategy Review costs of £71,000.  This was to account for the increased statutory duties that were being placed on Private Sector Housing teams to address the damp and mould issues that had been raised nationally.  In addition, the Renters Reform Bill would bring new duties and responsibilities to District Councils particularly in relation to improving renting standards.

·       Following an approach from Wyre Forest District Council to disband the North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration (NWeDR) shared service, Officers had been working on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88