Issue - meetings

Budget, Medium Term Plan and Capital Strategy 2019-20

Meeting: 21/02/2019 - Council (Item 28)

28 Budget, Medium Term Plan and Capital Strategy 2019-20 (Agenda item 11) pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Report of Councillor Philip Cowen, Executive Member for Finance and Delivery.


Additional documents:


Councillor Cowen, the Executive Member for Finance & Delivery presented the report.


All Members had been given the opportunity to follow the budget process from the start.  The draft budget papers had been considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 27 November 2018.  The report was then taken to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting followed by the public consultation period held during December which finished in January 2019.  At the recent Cabinet meeting in February, Members were provided with an updated paper and this Full Council meeting was the final stage of the budget process.  As it was such a significant and important issue for the Council and for its residents, the Executive Member for Finance & Delivery hoped that all Members had taken the opportunity to read the final report thoroughly. 


Attention was drawn to page 41 of the agenda pack where the ten recommendations were highlighted. The Executive Member for Finance & Delivery pointed out that this budget was an incredibly positive budget for any Council to review and this authority had achieved a budget, going forward, that was balanced and would provide the Council with Reserves with which it could support its local communities.  He conveyed his thanks to the Officers involved for all their hard work and commitment and commended the budget to Members.


Prior to any questions being asked and in response to the Chairman, Members agreed to take the 10 recommendations enbloc. The Chairman also reminded Members that under the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, a recorded vote must be taken.


Councillor Jermy raised the following points. 


The Labour Group took its role very seriously within the Council; it raised opportunities when needed whilst also giving praise where it was due.  The Group also highlighted matters that could be lacking, not for the sake of it, but in the hope that it might be able to make some improvements. Looking back at last year’s Labour Group proposals, despite not being carried, Councillor Jermy had been really pleased to see some amendments around street lights where many had been or were being replaced with LED energy efficient lamps which had been welcomed.  


Similarly, another amendment proposed in the previous year, was to increase the availability of affordable housing which again was defeated; however, there had been a marked improvement in the focus of affordable housing that could be seen within the Annual Monitoring report and it had been confirmed that over 28% of housing within the District were affordable which again was to be welcomed. 


Another proposal in relation to tourism had been put forward in the previous year asking for £5k for each of the market towns to invest in tourism information services, which again was voted down; however, a few months later ShopAppy was launched but he understood that it would cost more than the Group’s initial proposal.    Its impact remained to be seen and he would remain sceptical as he would much rather have seen locally based community solutions.  He hoped  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28

Meeting: 05/02/2019 - Cabinet (Item 8)

8 Budget, Medium Term Plan and Capital Strategy 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Report of Executive Member for Finance and Delivery, Councillor Phil Cowen.

Additional documents:


The Executive Member for Finance and Delivery gave a detailed report of the Council’s budget.  The highlights included:

·        The Government Finance Settlement had been received since the report was issued and does not change the figure included within the report.

·        No reliance on the New Homes Bonus and Revenue Support Grant.

·        Norfolk Councils had been successful in being awarded one of the 15 retained National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) 75% pilot scheme for 2019-20.  This funding would be set aside with 50% into the Growth and Investment fund and 50% into the General Fund to help protect the Council against short term budget pressures as a result of the Fair Funding Review (effective 2020-21).

·        Adequate provision had been set aside in case of future Business Rates Appeals which would be unknown.

·        Council Tax would be set at £88.83 for a Band D property (a £4.95 per annum increase on 2018-19 levels).

·        The request to increase the establishment by 1.0 FTE which was crucial to ensure that the delivery of the growth within the District.


Councillor Joel asked for an update on the Business Rate Relief and if businesses could still apply for that provision.  The Executive Director for Commercialisation confirmed it would continue in this financial year using the tapering system. 


Councillor Borrett spoke as Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee and given the financial stresses Breckland and Local Government had faced endorsed the budget; and for the Revenue Support Grant to be removed demonstrated that Breckland had managed their finances well.


Reasons for Recommendation

To comply with budgetary and policy framework.



1)     Recommendations 1 to 10 are approved.

2)     Amendments are made before recommendations 1 to 10 are approved.


RESOLVED to RECOMMEND to Full Council that:

1)     The Breckland revenue estimates and parish special expenses for 2019-20 and outlined position through to 2022-23 (as set out in Appendix B and E of the report) be approved.


2)     The capital estimates and associated funding for 2019-20 and outline position through to 2022-23 (as set out in Appendix H of the report) be approved.


3)     The fees and charges shown at Appendix D and D2, for adoption on 1 April 2019 be approved.


4)     The Council Tax is set at £88.83 for a Band D property in 2019-20 (a £4.95 per annum increase on 2018-19 levels).


5)     The financial Medium Term Plan and associated staffing full time equivalents at Appendix A be approved.


6)     The Capital Strategy at Appendix G be approved.


7)     The Business Rates relief for retail business premises contained in the guidelines at Appendix I of the report be approved (this is offset by a Government grant).


8)     The additional one off income generated from the 2019-20 75% Business Rates Pilot scheme is set aside, 50% in the growth and investment reserve to fund future feasibilities and funding applications and 50% to the General Fund (as detailed in paragraph 1.10 of the report).


9)     To increase the establishment by 1.0 FTE (shared with SHDC at 60% BC  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8