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Agenda item

Budget & Council Tax 2017-18

Report of the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services

 

Cabinet Member:     Councillor Read

Commissioner:         Myers (in advisory role)

 

Recommendations:

 

That Cabinet recommend to Council:

 

·         Approval of the Budget and Financial Strategy for 2017/18 as set out in the report and appendices, including the need to deliver £24m of budget savings and a basic Council Tax increase of 1.99%.

 

·         Approval of the Government’s proposals for the maximum Adult Social Care precept of 3% on Council Tax for 2017/18 to fund additional costs and investment in Adult Social Care Services.

 

·         Approval that the precept figures from South Yorkshire Police Authority, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority and the various Parish Councils within the Borough be incorporated, when known, into the recommendation to the Council on 8th March 2017.

 

·         That an updated Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) is brought back to Cabinet in 2017/18 after the accounts for 2016/17 have been closed. 

 

·         Approval of the proposed use of reserves as set out in Section 3.5, noting that there may be a variation subject to the Final Local Government Finance Settlement and that the final determination will be approved as part of reporting the outturn for 2016/17.

 

·         Approval that any changes resulting from the Final Local Government Finance Settlement be reflected in the Budget report to Council on 8th March with the balance of any change being reflected in a change in the required use of reserves.

 

·         That it notes and accepts the comments and advice of the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services (Section 151 Officer), provided in compliance with Section 25 of the Local Government Act 2003, as to the robustness of the estimates included in the Budget and the adequacy of reserves for which the Budget provides (Section 3.9).

 

·         That it notes the consultation feedback from the public and partners following publication of Directorate budget savings proposals on the Council’s website for public comment from 1st December 2016 to 3rd January 2017 (Section 5).

 

·         Approval of the use of in-year Capital Receipts to maximise capitalisation opportunities arising from service reconfiguration to deliver efficiencies and improved outcomes for clients and residents, and thereby minimise the impact of costs on the revenue budget as included in the Flexible use of Capital Receipts Strategy 2017/18 (Appendix 5).

 

·        Approval of the proposed Capital Strategy as presented in Section 3.7 and Appendix 3A and 3B, to a value of £280.240m.  This requires prudential borrowing of £49.636m to fund non-HRA schemes over the five year period, for which provision has been made in the revenue budget for the associated financing costs. 

 

·         That the approved Capital Strategy budget be managed in line with the following key principles:

 

(i)            Any underspends on the existing approved Capital Programme in respect of 2016/17 be rolled forward into future years, subject to an individual review of each carry forward by the Strategic Capital Investment Group.

 

(ii)          In line with Financial Regulation 13.8, any successful grant applications in respect of capital projects will be added to the Council’s approved Capital Programme.  This will include projects that are included within the Development Pool, where funding has yet to be identified.  

 

(iii)         Capitalisation opportunities and capital receipts flexibilities will be maximised, with capital receipts earmarked to minimise revenue costs.

 

·         Approval of the prudential indicators and limits for 2017/18 to 2019/20 contained in this report. (Appendix 4 – Section 3.1 – 3.4)

 

·         Approval of the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement which sets out the Council’s policy (Appendix 4 – Annex A).

 

·         Approval of the Treasury Management Strategy for 2017/18 to 2019/20 and the Authorised Limit Prudential Indicator (Appendix 4 – Section 3.5); and,

 

·         Approval of the Investment Strategy for 2017/18 to 2019/20 (Appendix 4 – Section 3.5.5).

 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report presented by Councillor Read, Leader of the Council, which proposed the Council’s Budget and Council Tax for 2017/18 based on the outcome of the Council’s Provisional Local Government Financial Settlement, budget consultation and the consideration of Directorate budget proposals through the Council’s formal Budget and Scrutiny process (Overview and Scrutiny Management Board) alongside a review of the financial planning assumptions within the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

In setting the proposed 2017/18 Budget, Council were being recommended to an increase of 1.99% in the Council’s basic Council Tax and a further 3% increase for the Adult Social Care precept; a combined increase of 4.99% for 2017/18.

 

This Budget incorporated over £10m of additional investment in Children’s Safeguarding and over £3m of additional direct investment in Adult Social Care alongside indirect budget increases resulting from increased costs of current service provision. It would enable the reinstatement of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Living Wage rate from April, 2017 for the Council’s own staff and would also provide £100k funding to help to partially mitigate the impact of Welfare Reform on the most vulnerable – through the provision of a budget for food parcels and crisis loans.

  

Whilst doing this, the Budget minimised, as much as possible, the adverse impact on universal services (those which benefited all Rotherham residents as opposed to targeted services for people with specific needs) and also provided some additional income streams related to leisure activities.

 

The Budget would provide resources to support and enable the delivery of the specific savings included within this report and to assist with the development and delivery of the further £42m savings that were required over the next two financial years.  

 

Following extensive dialogue with Trades Unions it was assumed that the savings in respect of changes to staff terms and conditions of employment would be achieved.

 

Feedback from both public and partners in relation to the budget proposals were also provided that were published on the Council’s website for consultation until 3rd January, 2017.

 

The Section 151 Officer confirmed some of the Council’s reserves had been used to balance the budget, but an approach to develop investment and savings options was to be implemented to address the funding gap in the future.

 

Councillor Alam confirmed the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board had been heavily involved in the scrutiny of the budget, which was confirmed by Councillor Steele, Chairman.  He outlined where concern had been expressed, further information sought and could now confirm the Board’s overall in support.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That Council be asked to:-

 

·                Approve the Budget and Financial Strategy for 2017/18 as set out in the report and appendices, including the need to deliver £24m of budget savings and a basic Council Tax increase of 1.99%.

 

·                Approve the Government’s proposals for the maximum Adult Social Care precept of 3% on Council Tax for 2017/18 to fund additional costs and investment in Adult Social Care Services.

 

·                Approve the incorporation of the precept figures from South Yorkshire Police Authority, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority and the various Parish Councils, when known.

·                Ensure an updated Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) is brought back to Cabinet in 2017/18 after the accounts for 2016/17 have been closed. 

 

·                Approve the proposed use of reserves as set out in Section 3.5, noting that there may be a variation subject to the Final Local Government Finance Settlement and that the final determination will be approved as part of reporting the outturn for 2016/17.

 

·                Approve that any changes resulting from the Final Local Government Finance Settlement be reflected in the Budget report to Council on 8th March with the balance of any change being reflected in a change in the required use of reserves.

 

·                Notes and accepts the comments and advice of the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services (Section 151 Officer), provided in compliance with Section 25 of the Local Government Act 2003, as to the robustness of the estimates included in the Budget and the adequacy of reserves for which the Budget provides (Section 3.9).

 

·                Notes the consultation feedback from the public and partners following publication of Directorate budget savings proposals on the Council’s website for public comment from 1st December 2016 to 3rd January 2017 (Section 5).

 

·                Approve the use of in-year Capital Receipts to maximise capitalisation opportunities arising from service reconfiguration to deliver efficiencies and improved outcomes for clients and residents, and thereby minimise the impact of costs on the revenue budget as included in the Flexible use of Capital Receipts Strategy 2017/18 (Appendix 5).

 

·                Approve the proposed Capital Strategy as presented in Section 3.7 and Appendix 3A and 3B, to a value of £280.240m.  This requires prudential borrowing of £49.636m to fund non-HRA schemes over the five year period, for which provision has been made in the revenue budget for the associated financing costs. 

 

·                Approve the management of the Capital Strategy budget in line with the following key principles:-

 

(i)        Any underspends on the existing approved Capital Programme in respect of 2016/17 be rolled forward into future years, subject to an individual review of each carry forward by the Strategic Capital Investment Group.

 

(ii)       In line with Financial Regulation 13.8, any successful grant applications in respect of capital projects will be added to the Council’s approved Capital Programme.  This will include projects that are included within the Development Pool, where funding has yet to be identified.  

 

(iii)      Capitalisation opportunities and capital receipts flexibilities will be maximised, with capital receipts earmarked to minimise revenue costs.

 

·                Approve the prudential indicators and limits for 2017/18 to 2019/20 contained in this report. (Appendix 4 – Section 3.1 – 3.4)

 

·                Approve the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement which sets out the Council’s policy (Appendix 4 – Annex A).

 

·                Approve the Treasury Management Strategy for 2017/18 to 2019/20 and the Authorised Limit Prudential Indicator (Appendix 4 – Section 3.5); and,

 

·                Approve the Investment Strategy for 2017/18 to 2019/20 (Appendix 4 – Section 3.5.5).

Supporting documents: