Venue: Virtual Meeting - Please use links on the Agenda Front Sheet to join the virtual meeting
Contact: Andy Ellis Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org 0208 132 1111)
WELCOME & APOLOGIES
The Chair, Cllr Susan Erbil welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Greer following a family bereavement and Cllr David-Sanders due to illness. Cllr Boztas was acting as a substitute for Cllr Greer and Cllr Laban was acting as a substitute for Cllr David-Sanders.
All Members of the Committee introduced themselves and The Chair explained the purpose and format of the meeting.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were received.
Enfield’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee has set up a Budget Meeting to consider the proposals within the Council’s 2021/22 Budget Consultation.
The purpose of the Committee Meeting is to:
a) Seek comments on and consider the Budget Consultation proposals.
b) Prepare a response on the Budget Consultation proposals for consideration by Full Council as part of the budget setting process.
Members of the Committee are asked to note:
a) That the final response from the Committee will be included as part of the Council’s final 2021/22 budget proposals to be considered and approved at the Council meeting on 2 March 2021.
1) Cllr Mary Maguire, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, informed the Committee that Cabinet had met on 3 February and had agreed to recommend the 2021/22 budget and the 5 year Medium Term Financial Plan to Full Council on 2 March 2021. As required by law, the budget is balanced and Cllr Maguire summarised the details of the Cabinet recommendations.
2) Cllr Maguire welcomed scrutiny of the budget from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
3) Fay Hammond, Executive Director of Resources and Matt Bowmer, Interim Director of Finance, highlighted the following issues within the presentation. This is a resilient budget, that is sustainable each year, protecting services for residents. This year saw an in-year strategy in relation to Covid-19, including a review of fees and charges and reviewing reserves. This in-year strategy has helped the financial position of the of the Council for this year and will support the budget next year. Where Savings have been made, they will be re-invested in to service areas, for example, Adult Social Care.
4) There has been increased scrutiny of the budget this year via the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Panel.
5) Over the past 5 years, Enfield has become a more resilient Council. Although Covid-19 has had an impact on finances, Quarter 3 will see an in-year underspend, which will support or budget position next year.
6) The Council has continued to reduce the use of capital receipts and in 21/22, the level of receipts will be maintained at £1.8m.
7) The Council has continued to maintain the level of stable reserves which has increased to £44.9, which will help moving forward as the financial position is very uncertain.
8) The budget setting has 2 elements this year. The underlying budget is performing well, served by the savings that have come forward. The pressures relating to demography have been met by a modest increase in grants and the increase in Council Tax of 4.99%. The pressures have been off-set by savings of £12.997m, which puts the Council in a surplus position. However, the impact of covid-19 on finances has to be considered, the £18.6m of government grants is welcomed, however, this grant does not fully cover the pressures and a gap remains. In relation to Business Rates, 2021 saw a considerable amount of support for businesses. The Spending Review and Local Government Finance Settlement have no support for business rates, leading to a £4m pressure in Enfield.
9) On the Covid-19 side of the budget, there is a £10.2m deficit which will be addressed, in part, by the use of a reserve for Council Tax, taking the deficit back to £7.1m, bringing the budget overall in to balance.
10)Moving forward, the 2022/23 pressures include a £14.5m reversal of 2021/22 Covid-19 pressures.
11)There is a lot of uncertainty in the budget, including uncertainty with grants in the medium term and no long- term solution to funding for Adult Social Care.
12)The level of reserves going beyond the Medium-Term Financial ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
To note the dates of future meetings as follows:
Wednesday 17 February 2021
Thursday 1 April 2021
Provisional Call-in Meetings
Wednesday 3 March 2021
Thursday 25 March 2021
Tuesday 27 April 2021
The dates of future meetings were noted.