Agenda item

Draft Budget, Medium Term Plan & Capital Strategy

Report of Executive Member Finance, Pablo Dimoglou.

Minutes:

The Chief Accountant presented to Members the draft budget highlighting key points.

 

A number of key assumptions had been made with the Transformation and Revenue part of the Budget:

·        Reduce the reliance on the Revenue Support Grant by 2019/2020.

·        New Homes Bonus

o   assumed that 0.4% growth will not be rewarded

o   assumed it would be paid for 5 years, then reduced in 2017-18 to 4 years

o   Growth was at 597 homes per year, based on the Local Plan

o   A reliance of the new homes bonus of £1.8m in 20-21

o   Council tax rises of at least 2% each year.

·        NNDR

o   Growth is Snetterton Biomass (£193k) in 2017, and the Necton Substation (circa £400k) in 2018

·        Contribution to the Growth and Investment Funds are maintained as the current budget.

·        Assume that the rural services delivery grant will continue.

 

The Moving Forward programme was a four-year programme, and was on track to achieve the £389k saving for the current year and had already achieved £898k by 2019-20.  There had been some projects which had been delayed but this would not impact the delivery of the overall programme over the four years.

 

The current budget position was shown along with a number of opportunities presented to Members on future savings options.  The 2017-18 budget gap was higher than other years due to the timing of some Moving Forward projects, but the gap reduced by 2018-19.

 

Councillor Jermy asked for a breakdown of the Moving Forward Programme projects to show where the issues were. 

 

Councillor Nairn asked if the Necton Sub-station would allow for 100% retention of business rates.  It was confirmed this would be the case as it was for renewable energy.

 

The Chief Accountant went on to clarify to Members the reserves and highlighted the key risks and opportunities for the Council.

 

Councillor Oliver asked where the reserves were held.  It was explained that the capital was held over fixed term investments and instant access accounts.  The Executive Member Finance added that it was important to look into this again to ensure it was to the right benefit for the Council.

 

Councillor Richmond asked if the Council had received all monies outstanding from the Iceland bank situation.  The Chief Accountant confirmed that a small amount was still outstanding and this had been factored into the budget.

 

The draft programme for capital expenditure was explained and informed that the Executive Members would be considering the capital programme going forward.

 

Councillor Jermy had noticed that under affordable housing there was expected £292k in Section 106 monies, and asked if this was on track to be distributed.  The Chief Accountant confirmed this and added that the Affordable Housing spend corresponded with the Housing Strategy and would ensure that the value would be spent at the right time and in the right way.

 

The Chairman thanked the Chief Accountant for the report. 

 

It was discussed that a Budget Task and Finish Group would be set up immediately to allow for Members to discuss the opportunities and input into the budget consultation.  Councillor Stasiak would Chair the group.

 

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