The Committee gave consideration to the final budget report of the evening, presented by the Assistant Director of Finance and Property Services and Section 151 Officer. She explained that the purpose of the Executive Business Plan was to set out the actions the Executive would take to deliver the Corporate Plan objectives over the next 3 years. The purpose of the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) was to set a robust overall framework for the Council’s Financial Strategy and spending plans over the next 5 years in support of delivering the Corporate Plan. The report set out the revised financial plans within the Financial Analysis for changes in Government Funding, the economic environment, local engagement and the priorities for the Council. The plan reflected the revisions to previous estimates and covered the period 2022/23 to 2026/27. The Medium Term Financial Analysis included the draft budget for 2022/23 for scrutiny and consideration prior to recommending to Council.
Members heard that the report presented a balanced budget for 2022/23, without the requirement to support it with funds from the General Fund Balance. It addressed the financial implications arising from the recommended revisions to the MTFP and the requirement to determine the Council Tax for 2022/23 taking into account the approved Tax Base 31,038.46 and Council Tax Surplus £0.225m. It was noted that the Provisional Settlement was announced on 16 December 2021 and had been incorporated into this report, the grants were in line with expectations for a one year settlement with the addition of a Services Grant of £0.208m and a further allocation of Local Services Grant of £0.136m.
The 2022/23 Draft Budget totalled £14.977m and was fully funded and presented a balanced budget. Contributions to Earmarked Reserves totalled £2.637m and Use of Earmarked Reserves totalled £1.692m and were projected to be £16.163m at the end of 2022/23. The movement on the General Fund Balance was a reduction of £0.777m and was forecast to be £3.320m at the end of 2022/23. The Capital Programme totalled £33.458m over the Medium Term Financial Plan and was fully funded.
In response to questions from Members regarding the civic car and recent increases in car prices, it was explained it was an estimate and would be reviewed but was the amount available in current budgets. There had also been a question regarding the extension of Gainsborough cemetery and this was clarified to be the responsibility of the District Council and was needed to increase the number of plots available. The extension was not to purchase additional land but rather to extend access routes to areas of the existing cemetery.
A Member of the Committee enquired as to future indications of Officer resourcing, to which it was explained that there would be some efficiencies made due to natural wastage.
The Chairman thanked all for their comments and, having been moved and seconded, it was
a) the approval of the Executive Business Plan and Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 – 2026/27 be recommended to Council;
b) the review of Reserves and the proposed use and contributions to both the General Fund Balance and Earmarked Reserves as detailed at 2.8 within the Medium Term Financial Plan be approved;
c) a balanced Revenue Budget for 2022/23 (Appendix A) be recommended to Council;
d) the Capital Programme 2022/23 – 2026/7 (Appendix 4) be recommended to Council;
e) the Statement of the Chief Finance Officer on the Robustness of Estimates and Adequacy of Reserves be accepted;
f) the Pay Policy Statement (Appendix 6) be recommended to Council;
g) any housekeeping or changes required due to the final financial settlement and any approvals elsewhere on this agenda, to this Draft Executive Business Plan and Medium Term Financial Plan, be delegated to the Assistant Director of Finance, Business Support and Property Services (S151 Officer) in consultation with the Chairman of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee prior to the final consideration by Council on 7 March 2022.