Members gave consideration to a report which presented the Prosperous Communities Committee budget for 2021/2022.
The 2021/22 base budgets and variance to the 2020/21 base budget were explained in the body of the report.
The Business Support Team Leader highlighted the key points of the report to the Committee including the total cost of services for 2021/22 being £4.603m (£4.708m 2020/21).
This had resulted in base budget increases of £0.111m, and additional income of £0.217m, resulting in a net movement of £0.109m.
Included within the movement of £0.109m was £0.05m relating to Secondary Employer Pension Contribution payments (Pension Deficit contribution). In addition, there were £0.144m of budgets relating to Earmarked Reserves to support one off project resources in 2021/22 (£0.409m in 2020/21). This was a movement of £0.265m from 2020/21 to 2021/22.
Services within the Committee had also contributed to Earmarked Reserves £0.085m in 2021/22 for asset replacement programmes (£0.085m in 2020/21). There was no movement from 2020/21 to 2021/22 to report.
Excluding pension deficit and earmarked reserves, there was an increase of £0.13m on the base budgets for the committee, further details of which were contained within the report at section 2 and summarised to the Committee.
In response to Members’ enquires, Officers confirmed the earmarked reserve for climate and sustainability was £500k. Earmarked reserves were a combination of projects reported both to committee and Management Team. Officers undertook to circulate the list of current reserves.
Officers clarified the reduction in the Leisure Management Fee was not related to Covid but rather as a result of a re-negation of the base budget fee. Budgets had been set at pre-Covid levels, any loss against predicted income would be reported through the Government Covid Impact reporting and recouped through grants, as had been the case this year (20/21). As such no adjustments had been or would be required.
With reference to trade waste and the reduced income, Officers clarified that a number of business had been covered by an umbrella contract. That contract had expired, Officers were approaching the businesses on an individual basis. It was hoped that some business would be retained but as the contracts were not yet secured, they could not be included within the base budget.
In responding to further questions, Officers confirmed the Well-Being contract was due to expire 2023, hence there was no projected income beyond that date. The Authority was not anticipating re-tendering for the contract. It was clarified that no figures had been included in the line termed “other Council properties” for future years, as these were expected to reach a cost neutral point. Street naming and numbering had been a new service area created mid-year
Members took assurance from the survey results that the Council’s Corporate Priorities and Objectives appeared to be in line with respondents. Whilst noting it was in conflict with some other priorities, Members felt it worthy of noting the number of respondents indicating they would still prefer/require paper communications and considered this was something that should be borne in mind in future engagement and consultation work.
With no further questions on being moved, seconded and put to the vote, it was: -
RESOLVED that the draft Prosperous Communities budget 2021/22 and revenue estimates to 2025/26 be recommended to Corporate Policy and Resources Committee for the purpose of budget setting 2021/22 and for inclusion in the Medium Term Financial Plan 2021/22 to 2025/26.