Issue - meetings

Medium Term Financial Strategy and Budget Setting report - General Fund and Housing Revenue Account

Meeting: 07/02/2018 - Cabinet (Item 12)

12 Medium Term Financial Strategy, General Fund 2018-19 (including council tax setting), Housing Revenue Account Budget 2018-19 (including housing rents), Capital Programme and Treasury Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Additional documents:




(1)  Not for call-in.  Cabinet recommended that Council:


Revenue and Capital – General Fund (GF)


(a)          Approves the revenue estimates for 2018-19 as shown in the GF Budget Setting Reports (BSR) Section 5 at Appendix 1 to the report.


(b)          Approves the precautionary items for the GF, GF BSR Appendix B, Appendix 1.


(c)          Approve the GF revenue forecasts as set out in GF BSR Section 6, Appendix 1.


(d)          Instructs the Executive Management Team to identify additional income/savings of £449k for 2018-19 rising to £1.3m in 2022-23.


(e)          Approves the GF Capital Programme and associated funding up to the year ended 31 March 2022, as set out in GF BSR Appendix D, at Appendix 1.


(f)           Approve the creation of a Planning Policy earmarked reserve and the transfer of £224k into the reserve from the GF reserve, being the carry forward of underspend from 2016-17 not used in 2017-18, as shown in GF BSR Section 3 and delegates approval of the use of this reserve to the Executive Director – Corporate Services in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Staffing.


(g)          Requests  that the Portfolio Holder (Housing) delegates the decision in respect of any variation in fees to be charged by the Home Improvement Agency (HIA), to the Director of Housing, following agreement of the proposed level of charges by the Shared HIA Board, GF BSR Appendix A. 


(h)         Instruct the Head of Finance, on the basis of the proposals set out in the GF BSR, to prepare formal papers to set the council tax requirement and amount of council tax at the Council meeting on 22 February 2018.


(i)           Sets the Council Tax Requirement for 2018-19 at £8,616,465.16


(j)            Sets the amount of Council Tax for each of the relevant categories of dwelling in accordance with Section 30(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 on the basis of the District Council Tax for general expenses on a Band D property of £140.31 plus the relevant amounts required by the precepts of the Parish Councils, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority, details of those precepts and their effect to be circulated with the formal resolution required at the Council meeting.


Revenue – HRA


(k)          Approves the HRA savings, increased income, unavoidable revenue pressures, bids and reduced income items, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G(1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to the report.


(l)           Approves the non-cash limit adjustments, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G(1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to the report.


(m)        Approves the resulting HRA revenue budget as shown in the HRA Summary Forecast 2017-18 to 2022-23 in Appendix I of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to the report.


(n)         Approve the retention of the balance of the 4 year savings target included originally as part of the 2016-17 HRA Budget Setting Report to mitigate the impact  ...  view the full decision text for item 12


The Finance and Staffing Portfolio Holder  presented for the Cabinet’s consideration the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS); General Fund Budget 2018-19, Capital Programme and Treasury Management Strategy, as set out in the documents appended to the report submitted to Cabinet, and responded to questions from Cabinet Members.  In introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder pointed out that the level of General Fund Balances was not shown on the bottom of the MTFS spreadsheet on page 190 of the report, but noted that further detail about the reserves level was shown on page 207.


The Housing Portfolio Holder presented the Housing Revenue Account and responded to Cabinet Members’ questions.


Councillor Orgee, Chairman of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee, outlined the comments of the Committee as follows:


·         With reference to page 177 of the report, the Committee had acknowledged the importance of the Cambridge – Milton Keynes - Oxford corridor programme and had sought assurances that the Council would be engaged with the process with a view to protecting and promoting the interests of South Cambridgeshire.  The Committee had been comforted by the Chief Executive’s response at the meeting as to involvement of the Council with partners in the discussions.

·         There had been a lengthy debate on the cost of planning appeals but the figures presented had not been challenged.

·         The Committee had noted the proposals relating to the creation of a Compliance Manager Post and the financial consequences of statutory  changes in relation to homelessness and had not challenged the figures presented.

·         With regard to page 205 which highlighted risks, the Committee had suggested that it would be helpful to put a timeframe on those risks and, for example, to identify those risks that might occur within, say, the next 6 – 12 months and those which were over a longer timescale.  Scrutiny and Overview Committee had also highlighted the potential rise in interest rates as a possible risk to the Council’s finances.

·         There had been general support for the budget proposal and no specific discussion or challenge on the Council Tax proposal.

·         Noting the reference to the savings target, it should also be acknowledged that in addition to achieving savings,  increased income was a way of delivering the savings target.  It would  therefore be helpful to refer to savings and income when looking to address a budget shortfall.

·         The Committee had appreciated the depth and thoroughness of the presentations from the Finance and Staffing and Housing Portfolio Holders at the meeting.


During discussion, Councillor Howell congratulated the Housing Portfolio Holder and Housing staff on the HRA, particularly with regard to the approach taken to the reinvestment of Right to Buy receipts.


The Executive Director, Corporate Services, invited Cabinet to consider and endorse the Ermine Street Housing Business Plan. In order to facilitate consideration of the Business Plan, it was accordingly AGREED:-


That in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12