Agenda item


A report from the Executive Director of Resources is attached.  (Key decision – reference number 5548)


Cllr Tim Leaver (Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement) introduced the report of the Executive Director Resources providing an update on the funding and spending assumptions set out in the 2023 to 2028 Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and bringing forward a further tranche of savings proposals. Attention was drawn to the budget gap. The Council’s financial resilience was highlighted, and the intention to increase Council Tax, alongside the context of the impacts of government austerity policies, Covid-19, inflation, interest rate rises and the current economic situation. These proposals looked to the future and focus on investments in areas for the longer term to make a difference and improve the lives of residents.


Officers confirmed the pressures faced by the borough, that at the end of the five year period it was still expected to have reserves over what they were in 2018, and that a balanced budget would be set which the local authority should be proud of.


The Leader highlighted comparisons with the circumstances of other boroughs. Confirmation was provided on maintenance of a Council Tax Support scheme. Increases in fees and charges were kept mostly below inflation. Proposals reflected the Council’s commitment to services valued by residents. Any gap identified in this report would be closed by February and it was clear that a balanced budget would be provided. Thanks were expressed to Cllr Leaver for his leadership and to every Cabinet Member for contributing to the process.


DECISION:  The Cabinet agreed to:


1.  Note the current budget gap of £5.264m for 2023/24 before the finalisation of the business rate forecast and the final tranche of savings.

2.  Note the forecast funding gap of £65.528m across the entire period covered by the medium term financial plan of which £10.162m is in 2024/25. 3.  Note the details announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which was delivered on 17 November 2022, including the delay of social care reforms.

4.  Note the outcome of the Local Government Finance Settlement set out in Paragraphs 58 to 86 of the report.

5.  Note the additional funding for Adult Social Care, coupled with the deferral of Adult Social Care reforms.

6.  Note that the smaller Business Rate Pool of eight London boroughs including Enfield will extend for a further year in 2023/24.

7.  Note the funding and spending pressures set out in paragraphs 88 to 145 of the report.

8.  Approve the further income and savings proposals brought forward in January of £5.214m for 2023/24 set out in Appendix 3C.

? £4.960m from efficiencies and,

? £0.254m from receipts and income generation.

9.  Note the anticipated ongoing investment in Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education required to meet demand pressures totalling £14.568m (a 10.6% increase on the current budget of £137.940m).

10.  Note the investment of £0.600m in 2023/24 and a total of £2.400m by 2025/26 in a Community Law Enforcement Team to make Enfield’s streets safer. This was a pledge made in the Labour administration’s manifesto.

11.  Note the intended use of £2.000m Council Tax surplus within the 2023/24 General Fund revenue budget.

12.  Note the use of reserves in 2023/24 to meet welfare costs set out in paragraphs 154 to 157 of the report.

13.  Note the overall forecast level of reserves over the medium term, ensuring the Council’s financial sustainability set out in paragraphs 158 to 166 of the report.

14.  Note the proposed fees and charges set out in Appendices 4a to 4d and the continuation of the flexibility introduced in 2021/22 for these to be varied in year where appropriate.

15.  Note the intention to increase Council Tax by 4.99% (2.99% core and 2.00% Adult Social Care Precept) for 2023/24, in line with revised referendum limits.

16.  Note the details of the consultation on the 2023/24 budget proposals set out in paragraphs 186 to 188 of the report.


The report sets out the options considered, if any, and the reasons for the recommendation and the decision.


(Key decision – reference number 5548)

Supporting documents: