Agenda item

Budget Report and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/Chief Finance Officer

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate which sought to inform of the proposed Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax 2022/23 for recommendation to Budget Council on 23rd February 2022. The information contained in the report was subject to the approval of the Mayor of Greater Manchester Council Tax precepts for 2022/23.

 

The report also outlined the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 to 2026/27. The Medium Term Financial Strategy provided the latest budget position for the Council, set out the key financial challenges and issues which would be faced over the period, and provided details of the assumptions and estimates which underpinned the budget. The strategy also took account of the latest known developments both regional and at a local level.

 

Alternatives considered:

No alternatives were presented.

 

RESOLVED:

1.    That the proposed revenue budgets outlined in Appendix 1 of the report, based on a budget requirement of £248.947m for 2022/23 be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

2.    That, subject to confirmation of the Mayor of Greater Manchester precepts:

a.    A Council Tax for district purposes of £1,779.01 for Band D properties (2.99% increase) for 2022/23 be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

b.    A Council Tax (including precepts) of £2,110.26 for Band D properties (3.62% increase) be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

3.    That the position in relation to Education Services Grant and Schools Funding be noted and Cabinet delegate the decision regarding any changes to the final allocations for the Dedicated Schools Grant to the Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, the Cabinet Members for Children’s Services and Finance and Corporate, and the Leader of the Council;

4.    That it be noted that any final balance on the 2021/22 budget would be transferred to the Equalisation Reserve;

5.    That the establishment of a targeted Council Tax reduction scheme for 2022/23 with an estimated cost of £3m to be funded from one off funds as detailed in paragraph 4.3.9 of the report be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

6.    That it be noted that the proposed revenue budget includes a £1M transfer to the Equalisation Reserve from the Collection Fund Surplus to smooth future losses linked to the pandemic as detailed in paragraph 6.1.5 of the report;

7.    That a contribution of £0.4m towards the Discretionary Crisis Fund from the Collection Fund Surplus to support vulnerable residents as detailed in paragraph 6.1.5 of the report be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

8.    That the updated Budget Carry Forward policy, as detailed in Appendix 3 of the report be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

9.    That the updated Reserves policy, as detailed in Appendix 8 of the report be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

10.That it be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval that the proposed Capital Programme for 2022/23 to 2026/27 as detailed at Appendix 4 of this report, noting that some of the assumed external funding included in the programme was still subject to clarification from Government and in some cases may involve bids for funding. It was therefore recommended that all approvals are subject to confirmation of funding allocations;

11.It be approved that the new spending proposals requiring additional revenue and capital resources should only be considered during the financial year in extreme circumstances as determined by the Budget and Policy Framework. The proposals would need to be reported to the next available Council meeting in accordance with the Budget & Policy Framework;

12.That the Council’s updated Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 to 2026/27, as provided at Appendix 6 of the report be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

13.That the Council’s updated Pay Policy Statement (see appendix 7 of the report) and the proposed amendments to the Council’s terms and conditions within the Pay Policy as detailed in paragraph 5.7 of the report be considered and recommended to Budget Council for approval;

14.That it be considered and recommended to Budget Council that delegated authority for allocations from the £0.25m Climate Change fund included in the proposed budget be given to the Head of Corporate, Policy & Performance in conjunction with the Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Sustainability, the Cabinet Member for Finance & Corporate and the Leader of the Council;

15.That it be considered and recommended to Budget Council that the Housing Benefit Local Discretionary Scheme to disregard 100% of war disablement pension and war widows’ pension for both working age and pension age claimants be continued from 1 April 2022, as detailed in paragraph 5.8 of the report;

16.That it be considered and recommended to Budget Council that the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate be given delegated authority to distribute the Council’s allocation in respect of the recently announced ‘Energy Rebate Scheme 2022’ of £150 for all households in Bands A to D, as detailed in section 6.4 of the report;

17.That it be considered and recommended to Budget Council that the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate be given delegated authority to distribute the Council’s allocation in respect of the recently announced discretionary fund to provide targeted support from the ‘Energy Rebate Scheme 2022’ for households in Bands E to H, as detailed in section 6.4 of the report.

 

 

Reasons for the decisions:

Cabinet Members are required to consider and recommend to Budget Council before the 11th March 2022:

1.    A balanced Revenue Budget for 2022/23 and provisional budgets for 2023/24 and 2024/25;

2.    The Council Tax increase for 2022/23;

3.    The Medium Term Financial Strategy provides a key part of the budget setting process.

Supporting documents: