Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Strategy (Agenda item 7)
- Meeting of Cabinet, Tuesday, 15th September, 2009 9.30 am (Item 82.)
- View the background to item 82.
Report of the Executive Member for the Governance and Corporate Development Portfolio (William Smith).
Members are reminded that the Cabinet, at its previous meeting held on 4 August 2009, had recommended that both documents be placed on the Council’s website for consultation for a period of one full cycle of Cabinet before returning to this meeting in September.
Members were asked to consider the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Strategy following the period of public consultation that was now coming to an end.
It was a requirement of the Use of Resources Key Lines of Enquiries to have a Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Strategy in place, covering a minimum of three years.
The Strategies had been well received by the Audit Commission in 2008/09 and had both been updated to reflect the changing economic circumstances and the improvements that the Council had made over the last 12 months.
Further amendments were proposed as follows:
Medium Term Financial Strategy
· Page 13 of 24 under the heading Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) to be amended to read: “The Authority was judged as ‘good’ under CPA”.
· Page 7 of 14 under the heading Balance of Funding to be amended to read: “…helping Breckland to charge the lowest ‘District’ Council Tax of any district in England”.
· Page 9 of 14 under the heading Monitoring of the Delivery of the Capital Programme to be amended to read: “The functions carried out in 2 will be delivered by an Officer and Member Working Group……”.
The Executive Member for Governance and Corporate Development conveyed his thanks to the Finance Officers for producing an extremely good report that was easy to read. He also thanked his predecessor, Lady K Fisher, who had overseen the whole process.
He drew Members’ attention to a number of areas in the report which he felt were worth highlighting particularly with regard to Breckland’s aspiration of a 0% council tax increase for 2010/11, the General Balance, which it would be proposed to set at a minimum level of £2m, the new Capital Working Group and the new Contract Monitoring Team.
Referring to the Council Tax, however, Breckland’s aspiration might be difficult to achieve following the Prime Minister’s recent announcement on public spending cuts. He also mentioned that, although the average Council Tax Band in England was a ‘D’, the fact that the majority of homes in Breckland were in Band B meant that residents were paying a lot less towards the services that the District provided.
Referring to the chart illustrating the Authority’s income from sales, fees and charges, he asked the Cabinet to note that the income illustrated by King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, Breckland’s nearest neighbour of comparative councils, included car parking charges; Breckland Council’s did not. The Executive Member for Governance and Corporate Development pointed out that this authority would not introduce such charges unless requested by the Town and Parish Councils.
Lady K Fisher, the former Executive Member for Finance and Governance, thanked her successor for his comments and also thanked the Officers for all their hard work. She knew that Breckland faced considerable challenges in the future but felt confident that the Council was relatively well placed.
The Chairman questioned the General Income fund which illustrated a steady increase in grant income; he asked the Finance Manager whether the Council ought to be less optimistic following the recent announcement from Government about the estimated spending cuts. Members were informed that three years of government grants had been factored into the strategy; however, there would be major challenges in this particular area and the Council should not be overly pessimistic about grant levels.
Members were informed that the Chief Executive had been tasked with reducing the Council’s current spend by 10% to prepare for future cuts in public spending.
To recommend or not to recommend the Strategies to Council for approval.
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 the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Strategy be approved.
- A07_MTFS report, item 82. PDF 72 KB
- A07a_Breckland 2010-2015_MTFS, item 82. PDF 119 KB
- A07b_Breckland MTFS appendix a, item 82. PDF 90 KB
- A07c_Breckland MTFS appendix b, item 82. PDF 179 KB
- A07d_Breckland MTFS appendix c, item 82. PDF 101 KB
- A07e_Breckland MTFS appendix d, item 82. PDF 61 KB
- A07f_Breckland MTFS appendix e, item 82. PDF 63 KB
- A07g_Breckland MTFS appendix f, item 82. PDF 58 KB
- A07h_Capital strategy 2009 v2, item 82. PDF 208 KB
- A07i_Capital Strategy_app 1, item 82. PDF 15 KB