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Agenda item

Medium Term Financial Strategy & Budget Proposals 2018/19

Minutes:

Mr Mark Green, the Director of Finance and Business Improvement, introduced the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Budget Proposals to the Committee. Mr Green explained that:

 

·  The Capital Programme had already been agreed by this Committee, and the Treasury Management Strategy had been agreed for recommendation to Council by the Audit Governance and Standards Committee.

 

·  The revised estimates for 2017/18 and budget estimates for 2018/19 in Appendix D reflected the savings proposals and the Strategic Revenue Projection.

·  The proposed savings had not changed and had all been considered by the Service Committees.

·  The Committee had agreed to become part of the Kent Business Rates Retention Pilot, and the proposed projects funded by this pilot were contained in Appendix C.

·  The Strategic Revenue Projection had been updated since the last time it was considered by this Committee in December. The effect of this update was that the surplus for 2017/18 had reduced from £320,000 to £97,000.

·  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government had confirmed that the threshold Council Tax could rise before a referendum was required was 3%, however the Council had anticipated a 2% increase. If a 3% increase was agreed it would provide the Council with an increased £142,000 in 2018/19 enabling the Council to balance its budget.

 

 In response to questions from the Committee, Mr Green confirmed that:

·  If the Council chose to raise Council tax by 2% instead of 3%, there would be a deficit of £45,000 instead of a surplus of £97,000 for 2018/19.

·  The proposed 2% pay award had not been anticipated, but a 2% pay increase had been offered by employers during the national pay negotiations. Although the Council was not part of the national pay negotiations it was felt that a 2% pay increase was needed in order to attract and retain staff. The 2% applied to increments as well as base salaries.

The Chairman of the Cobtree Manor Estate Trust Committee, also a member of this Committee, requested that the proposals relating to the Cobtree Manor Estate Trust be considered by the Cobtree Manor Estate Trust Committee.

 

The Committee requested further information on the projects outlined in the Business Rates retention pilot projects before they made a decision on whether to fund them.

 

A proposal to reallocate £20,000 from Communications to Environmental Enforcement was debated. The Committee felt that Environmental Enforcement should be more of a priority for the Council than Communications and therefore the Council should allocate some resource from one area to the other.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.  The outcomes of consideration of budget proposals by the Service Committees are noted.

 

2.  The updated Strategic Revenue Projection set out in Appendix A is agreed.

Voting: Unanimous

3.  The Budget Savings Proposals set out in Appendix B are agreed.

Voting:  For - 8  Against - 1  Abstentions - 6

 

4.  The projects to be funded from proceeds of the Business Rates Retention Pilot set out in Appendix C are given further consideration regarding their priority and scope by this committee.

 

Voting:  Unanimous

 

5.  The Revised Estimates for 2017/18 and the Budget Estimates for 2018/19 set out in Appendix D for recommendation to Council are agreed.

 

Voting:  Unanimous

 

6.  The Capital Programme, set out at Appendix E, is agreed for recommendation to Council.

 

Voting:  For - 14  Against - 1  Abstentions - 0

 

7.  The Treasury Management Strategy, set out in Appendix F, is agreed for recommendation to Council.

 

Voting:  Unanimous

 

8.  A £7.29 increase in Council Tax for 2018/19 is agreed for recommendation to Council.

 

Voting:  For - 8  Against - 4  Abstentions - 3

 

9.  The Medium Term Financial Strategy set out in Appendix H is agreed.

Voting:  For - 9  Against - 0  Abstentions – 6

10.  The appropriate matters for decision to set a balanced budget for 2018/19 and the necessary level of Council Tax in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and the Localism Act 2011 including the decisions made above are recommended to Council.

 

Voting:  Unanimous

 

11.  That £20,000 is moved from the Communications budget to the Environmental Enforcement budget.

 

Voting:  For - 8  Against - 7  Abstentions - 0

 

Supporting documents:

 

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