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
·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
·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
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
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
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.
3.The Budget Savings Proposals set out in Appendix B
For - 8Against - 1
Abstentions - 6
4.The projects to be funded from proceeds of the
Business Rates Retention Pilot set out in Appendix C aregiven further consideration regarding their priority
and scope by this committee.
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.
6.The Capital Programme, set out at Appendix E, is
agreed for recommendation to Council.
For - 14Against - 1
Abstentions - 0
7.The Treasury Management Strategy, set out in
Appendix F, is agreed for recommendation to Council.
8.A £7.29 increase in Council Tax for 2018/19 is
agreed for recommendation to Council.
For - 8Against - 4
Abstentions - 3
9.The Medium Term Financial Strategy set out in
Appendix H is agreed.
For - 9Against - 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.
11.That £20,000 is moved from the Communications
budget to the Environmental Enforcement budget.