Agenda item

Medium Term Financial Strategy (Agenda item 8)

Report of the Executive Member for Governance (Lady K Fisher).


The Executive Member for the Governance Portfolio requested that Members consider the Medium Term Financial Strategy prior to recommendation to Council for approval.


A number of amendments were proposed (see recommendation below). 


In response to a question concerning the amendment in recommendation number (1) (see below) the Chief Executive advised that it would be wrong to state that the £2m Commercial Property Reserve was a fixed figure as it depended on any downturn in the economy; it was there to shield the council tax in any downturn that might occur.


The Opposition Leader asked whether this strategy should reflect, not just the economic downturn, but also the Local Government Review (LGR), as an unquantified and unspecified risk which might result to the extent of the Council looking favourably at schemes that were being developed.  The Executive Member for the Business Transformation Portfolio advised that the Council would continue to support its communities.  He reminded Members; however, that if the LGR did continue to go ahead communities should be made well aware that their council tax could double. 


The options available to Members were either to recommend or not to recommend the strategy to Council for approval.


The reason for the recommendation was to provide a clear framework for Officers to manage the Council’s finances over the medium term and to meet the requirements of the Use of Resources Key Lines of Enquiries.


RECOMMEND to Council that, subject to the following amendments, the Medium Term Financial Strategy be approved:


1)           Appendix A, page 32 of the report - additional wording be added to the end of the fourth paragraph, to read: “the Authorities annual assessment of reserves will be sued to ensure this risk is mitigated against by maintaining the Commercial Property Reserve at £2m”.


2)           Appendix D, page 66 of the report - the wording to Budget Principles number 6, to read: “we should seek additional scrutiny and challenge for accessing capital resources and ensure the programme only reflects schemes that are sufficiently scoped to allow delivery which commence during the financial year (although schemes may cross over financial years where their nature necessitates this commitment)”.


3)           Appendix D, page 67 of the report - additional wording to Budget Principles number 16, to read: “A Revenue and Capital Budget is set for one year with an indicative budget being set for a five year period up to 2013/14 in line with the Business Plan”.


4)           Appendix F, page 71 of the report – additional wording be added to the fourth paragraph, to read: “the Cabinet receives quarterly governance reports and the Audit Committee receives reports on financial and risk matters”.


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