A report from the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services will be circulated as soon as possible. (Report No.204, agenda part two also refers). (Key decision – reference number 4371)
(8.20 – 8.30 pm)
Councillor Dino Lemonides (Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency) introduced the report of the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services (No.194) recommending the general revenue budget and council tax for the 2017/18 financial year.
1. That Report No.204 also referred as detailed in Minute No.21 below.
2. That Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 required any Member who was two months or more in arrears on their Council Tax to declare their position and not to vote on any issue that could affect the calculation of the budget or the Council Tax. Any Member affected by Section 106 who failed to declare this could be subject to prosecution.
3. That in summary the report recommended:
· A net revenue budget of £228.4m, a 3.95% decrease when compared with 2016/17.
· A core council tax of £1,166.90 at Band D, a 1.99% increase.
· A further £34.33 at Band D to pay for Adult Social Care as allowed by central government, a 3% increase on 2016/17.
This would result in a headline charge for Enfield Council of £1,201.23 at Band D, a 4.99% increase.
4. The outcome of the recent budget consultation as set out in the report.
5. The continued pressures on service demand in the areas of Adult Social Care and Children’s Services together with the ongoing reduction in public spending by the Government.
6. Members’ attention was drawn to Appendix 8 of the report providing a “Statement of the Section 151 Officer under the requirements of Section 25 of the Local Government Act 2003 and robustness of budget estimates and adequacy of the services – February 2017”. Members noted the forecast budget gap over the next 3 years in relation to the Medium Term Financial Plan, as set out in the report.
7. Councillor Sitkin noted the expenditure which had been incurred in relation to street lighting and festive lighting and highlighted the inaccuracy of an earlier press release regarding this issue.
8. The recent press reports regarding the Government’s funding settlement for Surrey County Council. Members expressed their concern over the apparent lack of fairness in the distribution of financial settlements to local authorities nationally and, their view that allocations to the minority should not be to the detriment of the majority of local authorities.
Alternative Options Considered: The Council operated a budget planning and consultation process during which a wide range of options were considered in detail before recommendations were made. Issues raised and discussed had greatly contributed to the report including information from the Budget Consultation set out in the report. As part of its planning for both 2017/18 and future years the Council had considered future levels of Council Tax.
RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL
1. To draw the attention of Members to the comments in paragraph 2.14 of the report regarding S106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 which required any Member who was two months or more in arrears on their Council Tax to declare their position and not vote on any issue that could affect the calculation of the budget or Council Tax.
2. With regard to the revenue budget for 2017/18 to:
(i) Set the Council Tax Requirement for Enfield at £114.169m in 2017/18.
(ii) Set the Council Tax at Band D for Enfield’s services for 2017/18 at £1,201.23 (paragraph 8.1 of the report), being a 1.99% general Council Tax increase and a 3.00% Adult Social Care Precept.
(iii) Approves the statutory calculations and resolutions set out in Appendix 10 of the report.
3. With regard to the Prudential Code and the Capital Programme to:
(i) Note the information regarding the requirements of the Prudential Code (section 9 of the report).
(ii) Agree the Approved Capital Programme for 2016/17 to 2020/21 as set out in section 9 (and Appendix 9) of the report. Also note the Indicative Capital Programme and recommend that Council agrees that these indicative programmes be reviewed in the light of circumstances at the time.
(iii) Agree the Prudential Indicators, the Treasury Management Strategy, the Minimum Reserve Provision policy and the criteria for investments set out in section 9 and Appendices 4 and 5 of the report.
4. To agree the Medium Term Financial Plan, including the savings proposals set out in Appendix 2 of the report, and adopt the key principles set out in paragraph 10.9 of the report.
5. With regard to the robustness of the 2017/18 budget and the adequacy of the Council’s earmarked reserves and balances to:
(i) Note the risks and uncertainties inherent in the 2017/18 budget and the Medium Term Financial Plan (sections 10 and 11 of the report) and agree the actions in hand to mitigate them.
(ii) Note the advice of the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services regarding the recommended levels of contingencies, balances and earmarked reserves (section 12 of the report) and has regard to the comments of the Executive Director (section 13 of the report) when making final decisions on the 2017/18 budget.
(iii) Agree the recommended levels of central contingency and general balances (section 12 of the report).
6. Agree the Schools Budget for 2017/18 (section 5.11 and Appendix 13 of the report).
7. Agree the Fees and Charges for Environmental Services for 2017/18 (section 10.12 and Appendix 12 of the report).
8. Agree the Fees and Charges for Adult Social Care Services for 2017/18 (section 10.13 and Appendix 11 of the report), subject to consultation.
9. That the New Homes Bonus be applied as a one-off contribution to the General Fund in 2017/18.
10. Approve the adoption of the new flexible use of capital receipts as announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government for 2016/17 to 2019/20 and the proposed use of new capital receipts in 2016/17 and 2017/18 (Appendix 14 of the report). To note that, in using this flexibility, £2m of capital receipts had been used as one-off funding in 2017/18 in order to balance the budget, highlighting the need for fair funding settlements in the future.
11. Note that the Council signed up to the Government’s four-year funding offer during 2016/17 and published an efficiency plan (Appendix 15 of the report). As such, it was not expected that the future years Government funding figures shown in this report would change.
12. Consider the feedback and results from the Budget Consultation and Overview and Scrutiny Committee Budget meeting on 19 January 2017 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to delegate authority to the Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency and the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services to agree any necessary changes in preparation of the Budget 2017/18 and Medium Term Financial Plan report to Council on 28 February 2017.
Reason: To set the Council’s Budget requirement and level of Council Tax for 2017/18 within the timescales set out in legislation. To agree the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators and, the Capital Programme for 2017/18.
(Key decision – reference number 4371)