Issue - meetings

Budget Setting Report

Meeting: 11/01/2011 - Cabinet (Item 7)

7 Budget Setting Report (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Report of the Executive Member for the Corporate Resources Portfolio (Stephen Askew).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance presented the report which outlined the 2011/12 revenue and capital estimates for the General Fund, the proposals for the setting of discretionary fees and charges and the outline financial position through to 2015/16.

 

The Accountancy Manager and the Revenues and Projects Accountant were in attendance to answer questions.

 

Members were provided with a presentation which covered all key points and the recommendations within the report.  It was noted that under the fees and charges schedule the pest control service would be amended to show that the domestic rats and mice service in 2011/12 would be free of charge.

 

A question was asked as to how the Homelessness Grant compared to the previous year.  Members were informed that this grant had been increased from £60k.  A further question on this matter related to what these monies were spent on.  The Assistant Director for Housing and Environmental Health explained that the grant funding was used to prevent homelessness by working with those people to find solutions.  There were many schemes available which refrained from putting families into bed & breakfast accommodation.

 

The Executive Member for the Corporate Development & Performance Portfolio thanked the Finance Team for all their hard work throughout the year.  The Team had worked methodically with Members and had placed the Council in a much enviable position than many other authorities in the area. A number of years ago he had asked for growth to be looked at and was pleased that even though Council Tax had been frozen for three years prudent and sustainable growth had been maintained.  He felt that the Council had responded well to the Value for Money agenda and had over achieved in the efficiency requirement to balance the budget; however, with regard to the funding gap, where it was being asked that this shortfall be met from a one-off contribution from the General Fund, he agreed that this process was necessary to continue with productivity but would not agree to this course of action in future.  In concluding his discussion the Executive Member for the Corporate Development & Performance Portfolio wholeheartedly supported the budget.

 

The Chief Executive reminded Members that this was a draft budget settlement and with this in mind an opportunity had arisen for Breckland Council to make representations to Government.  He explained that when the spending review was announced, it had been declared that the headline reduction for local authorities’ budgets would be no more than 8.9% which included parish council precepts, this had in fact, brought Breckland’s actual reduction to 10.5%.  A meeting had been arranged with the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) to highlight this fact.

 

The Executive Member for Planning, Health & Housing asked where the Homelessness Grant sat within the budget.  In response, Members were informed that this grant sat within the General Fund.  The Executive Member was not happy with this response as he had concerns as to how the Housing Team was expected to deliver this service when the funding was in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7