To consider the MTFS and Budget proposals for 2020-21.
RESOLVED to recommend to Council the approval of the following individual recommendations:
A) Section 25 Report – Robustness of Estimates and Adequacy of Reserves:
I. Takes account of the advice in the report when determining the 2020/21 General Fund budget and Council Tax
II. Approves the risk assessment relating to the robustness of estimates as detailed in the report.
III. Sets the minimum safe contingency level for 2020/21 at £1.300 million for the General Fund and £0.463 million for the Housing Revenue Account.
IV. Approve the Reserves Strategy set out in Annexe A1
V. Agrees that no transfers to or from the Working Balance should be built into the 2020/21 budget.
B) Commercial Strategy
VI. Approve the Commercial Strategy.
VII. Approve the revised investment fund of £300 million.
C) Medium Term Financial Strategy
VIII. Approve The Medium Term Financial Strategy
D) Treasury Management Strategy
IX. Approve the Treasury Management Strategy
X. Approve the amended maximum level of investment with Money Market Funds from £1 million per fund to £2 million. This means a total of £10 million investment over 5 Money Market Funds.
E) Capital Strategy
XI. Approve the Capital Strategy
XII. Approve the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) as set out in Annexe E1.
F) Capital Programme
XIII. Approve the 5 year Capital Programme
G) Housing Revenue Account (HRA)
XIV. Approve the Housing Revenue Account
H) General Fund Revenue and Council Tax
XV. Approve the General Fund Council Tax requirement of £5,956,841
XVI. Approve the schedule of fees and charges as set out in Annexe H6
I) Equalities Impact Assessment
XVII. Note the outcome of the EQIA.
Councillor Hargreaves presented the report on MTFS and budget proposals for 2020/21 and provided an overview of the key issues stated in the report. He said no questions had been submitted in advance of the paper, although he had accepted a request to provide Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) for all Council investments, not only those relating to Aspire, during the next budget setting process.
The following areas of the budget report were brought to Cabinet members’ attention:
· The minimum safe contingency level for Working Balances were £1.3 million for the General Fund and £0.463 million for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).
· The Commercial Strategy had been considered a number of times by Cabinet and had been recommended for approval by the Investment Board in January.
· The MFTS had been through the Scrutiny process and set out the council’s financial position over the next 5 years.
· Future years’ allocations for the New Home Bonus would be based on legacy payments only, with no payments from 2023/24.
· Council Tax would be increased by £5 (per annum) in 2020/21 for a Band D property, with future years based on an uplift of 1.99%.
· The General Fund – 5 year summary was outlined and Members were informed that the Commercial Strategy 2020-2024 would be key in addressing the deficit and maintaining the current level of council services.
· The Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21 outlined borrowing, investments and risks. The Strategy increased authorised borrowing and recommended suitable counterparties from whom the Council could borrow.
· The Capital Strategy outlined capital expenditure and financing relating to assets that would be used for more than one year. For 2020/21, the Council was planning capital expenditure of £25million on General Fund projects (ICT development, asset maintenance and vehicle replacement), HRA (council housing) and Capital Investments. The Annual Minimum Revenue Provision statement, which stipulated the minimum provision the council was required to put to one side to repay debt in later years, stood at £4,212,000 for 2020/21.
· The creation of the Uttlesford Norse Group had impacted on the budget, which had been adjusted to account for this joint venture.
· The Capital Programme April 2020 – March 2025 was predicted to spend £76.217 million on the General Fund and HRA over this 5 year period. There were no new projects on the current programme.
· The HRA budget and the reserves position for 2020/21 were set out. Housing and supported accommodation rents were proposed to increase by 2.7% as per government policy. Other service charges were highlighted, including the increase to garage rents of 2.4%. All measures had been endorsed by the Housing Board and the Tenants’ Forum.
· The Council Tax requirement for 2020/21 was £5,956,841, which balanced to the level of the current yield, assuming an increase of £5 in Council Tax for a Band D equivalent property,
· There would be £300,000 allocated to support members’ initiatives and £300,000 to support the Local Plan process.
· Members’ Priorities could be found in the Corporate Plan although there was flexibility as not all of ... view the full minutes text for item 6