To consider the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Budget Proposals 2020/21.
Councillor Hargreaves presented the report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Budget proposals for 2020/21. He said he had received no questions in advance of the meeting and there would be a recorded vote on the Council Tax Resolution, as required by law.
Councillor Hargreaves outlined the key issues stated in the report, the supporting strategies were as follows:
He highlighted the following in his report:
· 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, to mitigate against risks.
· 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 was not a cost saving exercise but rather to future proof the Council’s maintenance service.
· The New Homes’ Bonus scheme had received more money than originally budgeted.
Councillor Hargreaves thanked the Finance officers for their hard work in preparing the budget. He formally proposed the recommendations listed in the report.
Councillor Armstrong seconded the proposal.
Councillor Dean, who had given notice of an amendment to the recommendation relating to the Capital Strategy, Appendix F formally proposed the amendment as follows:
Council notes that in the Capital Strategy (page 103 and at Annexe F2 on page 119) the proposed capital expenditure on Council Housing in year 2021/22 and succeeding years will reduce from the current level.
Council is therefore resolved to:
The proposed amendment was seconded by Councillor Caton.
Councillor Dean said Central Government had lifted restrictions that prevented local authorities from borrowing to build council housing, ... view the full minutes text for item 8