A report from the Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services is attached. This sets out the Council’s 2015/16 provisional revenue outturn (based on spend to the end of February 2016 and departmental outturn forecasts). (Key decision – reference number 4152)
(8.20 – 8.25 pm)
James Rolfe (Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services) introduced his report (No.223) setting out the Council’s 2015/16 provisional revenue outturn (based on spend to the end of February 2016 and departmental outturn forecasts).
1. An amendment to page 2 of the report in relation to Schools: that the Government’s White Paper stated that schools were expected to either become academies, or be in the process of converting to academy status by the end of 2022 not 2020 as stated in the report.
2. That the report included an update on potential financial implications for the 2016/17 Medium Term Financial Plan following the Chancellor’s 2016 Budget announcement on 16 March 2016.
3. The potential implications resulting from possible changes to business rates, as set out in the report. The Government had published a discussion paper in March 2016 on moving to 3 year business rates revaluations.
4. The continued financial pressures faced by the Council, as highlighted in the report. The Council was on track to achieve the 2015/16 projected outturn position. Discussions would continue to be held with regard to 2016/2017 with monitoring of required budget savings and spending controls.
5. A discussion took place with regard to the potential impact of changes to business rates. It was noted that whilst the Government had recently issued a discussion paper there was no certainty of the outcome yet. Councillor Sitkin highlighted the concerns being expressed within the business community, and the need for clear communication and discussion with businesses in the Borough as the situation became clearer. There were many factors that would require careful consideration to accurately assess the potential financial impacts of any changes implemented by the Government. Councillor Georgiou outlined the significant work that would be required to accurately assess the number and location of businesses in the Borough and, the financial implications for both the businesses and the Council. Effective communication would need to take place as the proposals and their impact became clearer.
6. Councillor Orhan highlighted the 2016 Budget implications for Schools as detailed in section 3 of the report. In the Chancellor’s budget he had announced £500 million of additional funding to accelerate the transition to a National Funding Formula for schools; it was unlikely that this would benefit Enfield, for the reasons set out in the report. Councillor Orhan expressed her concerns over the Government’s proposals and the potential impact for Enfield; and, the increased financial pressures that could be experienced by Schools in the future.
Alternative Options Considered: Not applicable to this report.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to note
1. The forecast outturn and the use of on-off earmarked reserves and in-year savings.
2. That, officers would continue to work to identify further savings to be reported to Cabinet in July in the 2015/16 Revenue Outturn so as to minimise the final use of reserves.
3. The implications on the Chancellors 2016 Budget and that the Medium Term Financial Plan would be updated where possible for all known pressures and ... view the full minutes text for item 7