A report from the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services is attached. (Report No.152, agenda part two also refers) (Key decision – reference number 4597)
(7.05 – 7.15 pm)
Councillor Doug Taylor (Leader of the Council) introduced the report of the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services (No.145) setting out the general revenue budget and council tax for 2018/19 financial year. The report also updated the Council’s medium term financial strategy in the light of those decisions. James Rolfe (Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services) outlined the report in detail for Members’ consideration.
1. That Report No.152 also referred as detailed in Minute No.17 below. The reports would be considered and fully debated at the Council meeting on 21 February 2018.
2. That the report set out proposals for a balanced budget for 2018/19. James Rolfe extended his thanks and appreciation to all those who had been involved in the formulation of the budget proposals now being presented.
3. Members’ attention was drawn to major Government initiatives which would affect Local Government funding in the future, as set out in the report. Initiatives included the Fair Funding Review which the Government was planning to implement in April 2020. A consultation document had been published in December 2017 – “Fair funding review: a review of relative needs and resources” which the Council would be responding to. The Business Rate Retention proposals were also highlighted as set out in section 5 of the report.
4. The additional funding allocations to Adult Social Care and Children’s Services as outlined in the report.
5. An additional recommendation to the report as set out in the decision below, “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 2018/19 and Medium Term Financial Plan Report to Council on 21 February 2018”.
6. The continuing financial pressures on the Council in going forward. Members’ noted that £500k of central contingency had been ring-fenced for Children’s Services to meet growing demand pressures on service provision.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED that 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 this report including information from the Budget Consultation set out in the report. As part of its planning for both 2018/19 and future years the Council had considered future levels of Council Tax.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL: The Cabinet agreed to make the following resolutions and recommendations to Council:
1. With regard to the revenue budget for 2018/19 to recommend to Council:
(i) To set the Council Tax Requirement for Enfield at £121.079m in 2018/19.
(ii) To set the Council Tax at Band D for Enfield’s services for 2018/19 at £1,261.17 (paragraph 8.1 of the report referred), being a 2.99% general Council Tax increase and a 2.00% Adult Social Care Precept.
(iii) To approve the statutory calculations and resolutions as set out in Appendix 10 of the report.
2. With regard to the Prudential Code and the Capital Programme to recommend that Council:
(i) To note the information regarding the requirements of the Prudential Code (section 9 of the report).
(ii) To agree the Approved Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2021/22 as set out in section 9 (and Appendix 9 of the report). Also note the Indicative Capital Programme and it is recommended that Council agrees that these indicative programmes be reviewed in the light of circumstances at the time.
(iii) To agree the Prudential Indicators, the Treasury Management Strategy, the revised Minimum Revenue Provision policy and the criteria for investments as set out in section 9 and Appendices 4 and 5 of the report.
3. 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 10.8 of the report.
4. With regard to the robustness of the 2018/19 budget and the adequacy of the Council’s earmarked reserves and balances to:
(i) To note the risks and uncertainties inherent in the 2018/19 budget and the Medium Term Financial Plan (sections 10 and 11 of report referred) and agreed the actions in hand to mitigate them.
(ii) To 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 have regard to the comments of the Executive Director (section 13 of the report) when making final decisions on the 2018/19 budget.
(iii) To agree the recommended levels of central contingency and general balances (section 12 of the report referred).
5. To recommend that Council agrees the Schools’ Budget for 2018/19 (section 5.10 and Appendix 14 of the report referred).
6. To agree the Fees and Charges for Environmental Services for 2018/19 (section 10.11 and Appendix 11 of the report referred).
7. To agree the Fees and Charges for Adult Social Care Services for 2018/19 (section 10.12 and Appendix 12 of the report referred), subject to consultation.
8. To agree the Fees and Charges for Finance, Resources and Customer Services and Chief Executive’s Departments for 2018/19 (section 10.13 and Appendix 13 of the report referred).
9. To recommend that Council agrees that the New Homes Bonus £1.986m is applied as a one-off contribution to the General Fund in 2018/19.
10. To recommend that Council agrees the planned flexible use of capital receipts in 2017/18 of £6.7m and approves the planned flexible use of capital receipts in 2018/19, being £1.7m.
11. To note the feedback and minutes from the Budget Consultation and Overview and Scrutiny Committee Budget Meeting on 18 January 2018 as set out in Appendices 1a and 1b of the report.
12. To recommend that Council agrees that the design principles contained in Appendix 17 of the report should be used to inform the design of a new leadership and management staffing structure.
13. To agree to delegate to the Chief Executive the authority to design and implement a new leadership and management staffing structure in line with the design principles.
14. To note that Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 required any Member who is 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 fails to declare this could be subject to prosecution.
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 2018/19 and Medium Term Financial Plan report to Council on 21 February 2018.
Reason: To set the Council’s Budget Requirement and level of Council Tax for 2018/19 within the timescales set out in legislation. To agree, the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators and the Capital Programme for 2018/19.
(Key decision – reference number 4597)