Budget and Council Tax 2017/18 and Financial Outlook 2017/18 to 2019/20
- Meeting of Cabinet, Wednesday, 1st February, 2017 4.00 pm (Item 79.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 79.
- View the background to item 79.
This report presents the Cabinet's revenue and capital budgets for the 2017/18 financial year together with a proposal for a Council Tax level for 2017/18.
Vishaka Robinson gave a statement (attached as Appendix and available on the Minute Book at Democratic Services) speaking against central library move proposals.
Daniel Carey gave a statement (attached as Appendix and available on the Minute Book at Democratic Services) expressing his concern on the consultation for the central library move proposals.
Mary English gave a statement (attached as Appendix and available on the Minute Book at Democratic Services) speaking against central library move proposals.
Dionne Pemberton gave a statement (attached as Appendix and available on the Minute Book at Democratic Services) speaking against central library move proposals.
Paul Stansall addressed the Cabinet by saying that Lewis House, as proposed new venue for the library, was not the right use class in planning terms for that purpose. Paul Stansall also expressed his concerns in terms of the health and safety of the Lewis House, in particular that escape stairs contravene building regulations.
Luke John Emmett addressed the Cabinet by saying that cultural organisations (i.e. Bath University) would be affected with any arts cuts, which would be detrimental to the area. The cuts in arts would also create negative impact on the economy. Luke John Emmett also said that £1 invested in arts returns between £2 - £7 of income.
Jacob Bishop-Ponte addressed the Cabinet by expressing his concerns on cuts in youth services. Jacob Bishop-Ponte believed that youth services would disappear in near future because of those cuts and that responsibility put on Town Councils was not reasonable. Jacob Bishop-Ponte concluded his statement by saying that the budget had let down young people.
Councillor Andrew Furse asked how £5.9m of spent on libraries would create £800k of savings. Councillor Andrew Furse also said that the budget cuts would have an impact on young and vulnerable people, that cuts to arts would be significant and that there would be a shift in frontline services.
Councillor Eleanor Jackson gave a statement (attached as Appendix and available on the Minute Book at Democratic Services) speaking against the budget cuts.
Councillor Joe Rayment said that to him it looked like that the Cabinet had not had meaningful consultation with the public about the budget, and that the budget had been set at the last minute.
Councillor Dine Romero expressed her concerns that the budget would create long term adverse impact on youth service, and that it would affect young and most vulnerable residents. Councillor Dine Romero also said that would have to pay more for services from the Council and that there would be expensive consequences to these cuts.
Councillor Paul May said that the administration care about services for residents. The whole budget process had been quite stressful due to the level of cuts in funding from the central government. Councillor Paul May thanked everyone involved in the process.
Councillor Charles Gerrish said that answers to comments from Councillor Furse were included in the Q&A sheet for this meeting. Councillor Charles Gerrish also said, in response to comments from Councillor Dine Romero, the Council would continue to provide other than digital access to Council services, although the Council would need to recognise that there was a pressure from the central government for digitalisation.
Councillor Charles Gerrish thanked Councillor Paul May and all officers involved for their support in setting up the budget. Councillor Charles Gerrish also thanked everyone who made their comments on the budget.
Councillor Charles Gerrish introduced the report by saying that this was one of the most challenging budgets ever. Councillor Charles Gerrish welcomed these detailed plans to invest in the area, as part of a balanced budget that would continue to protect essential frontline services and focus on the priorities that matter the most to local people. The Cabinet had taken due regard for equality in its decisions by carrying out equality analysis, as per Equality Impact Assessment. An Equality Analysis on budget proposals had been included in Appendix 6.
The Cabinet set out the following:
· Its medium term financial planning assumptions which set the basis for the draft budget proposal for 2017/18.
· Its draft budget proposal for 2017/18.
The report provided the detail of the second year of the Directorate Plans and recommended revenue and capital budgets for 2017/18, together with capital commitments for future years, and a level of Council Tax for 2017/18.
The budget proposal had been built on the prudent financial management of the Council and had been designed to maintain front line services as far as possible whilst recognising the significant financial challenge facing the public sector. The budget also focussed on delivering important manifesto commitments, growing income and further increasing the efficiency of Council services.
The budget proposals included:
· A net £2.0m or 1.7% decrease in the non-schools budget to £112.796m
· An increase in the DSG estimated at £5.3m with total funding of £128.8m (including academies). The majority of the additional funding relates to the additional resources provided to accommodate increased pupil numbers in our schools, and the changes announced in relation to additional resources for early years to enhance the provision for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Taking account of this, the overall total represents a cash freeze per pupil compared to the previous year.
· An increase in the Council’s level of Council Tax, comprising a 2% Adult Social care precept and a 1.50% general increase in order to help protect frontline services. This excludes Police, Fire and Parish precepts.
Whilst significant savings and additional income generation proposals totalling
£14.7m were included in our proposed budget, it was also recommended that
Council Tax is increased by 1.5% in 2017/2018 in order to avoid cuts to frontline services. The proposed band D Council Tax for Bath & North East Somerset Council next year is £1,284.33 (£1,240.90 in 2016/2017), an increase of £3.62 per month for a Band D property.
The proposed net revenue budget for Bath & North East Somerset Council next year, 2017/2018, was therefore £112.796m, a net cash decrease of £1.983m on the previous year. This included the impact of significant reductions in government funding amounting to 15.8% (£5.7m) for 2017/2018.
Councillor Charles Gerrish moved the recommendations as printed in the report with the following addition:
· To reduce by £30k the saving from the review of the Dog Warden Service (page 137) in 2017/18.
· To reduce by £50k the savings from the Parks service (page 136), in 2017/18.
· To provide £50k of additional funding to the Catering Service Budget to meet the increasing inflationary costs of food faced by Catering Service.
Councillor Tim Warren seconded the motion. Councillor Tim Warren also thanked everyone who were involved in the budget and everyone who spoke at the meeting today. Despite to unprecedented cuts in funding from the central government, the Cabinet had identified specific investment priorities, as part of the commitment to delivering three core aims, to ensure the Council:
· Is efficient and well run;
· Invests in the future of the area; and
· Puts the interests of residents first
Councillor Tim Warren also said that this budget would help in continuing delivery of key priorities including improving transport, creating homes and jobs, supporting young and older people alike, and investing in cleaner, greener and healthier communities.
The rest of the Cabinet unanimously welcomed the budget by highlighting key aims and priorities within their portfolio, as per report.
RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to recommend:
1. That the Council approve:
a) The General Fund net revenue budget for 2017/18 of £112.796m and the associated Council Tax increase of 1.50% plus a further 2% precept for Adult Social Care, as set out in Appendix 2.
b) That no Special Expenses be charged other than Town and Parish Council precepts for 2017/18.
c) The adequacy of reserves at Appendix 2 Table 10 with a risk-assessed level of £13.5m.
d) The individual service cash limits for 2017/18 summarised at Appendix 2 Table 6 and detailed in Annex 1.
e) That the specific arrangements for the governance and release of reserves, including invest to save proposals, be delegated to the Council’s Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance & Efficiency and the Chief Executive.
2. That the Council include in its Council Tax setting, the precepts set and approved by other bodies including the local precepts of Town Councils, Parish Councils and the Charter Trustees of the City of Bath, and those of the Fire and Police Authorities.
3. That the Council notes the Section 151 officer's report on the robustness of the proposed budget and the adequacy of the Council's reserves (Appendix 2, Annex 2) and approves the conditions upon which the recommendations are made as set out throughout Appendix 2.
4. That in relation to the capital budget the Council:
a) approves a capital programme of £56.083m for 2017/18 and notes items for provisional approval in 2017/18 and the programme for 2018/19 to 2021/22 (including invest to earn) as shown at Appendix 2, Annex 3 including the planned sources of funding .
b) delegates implementation, subject to consultation where appropriate, of the capital programmes set out in Annex 3i to Annex 3iii to the relevant Strategic Director in Consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member.
c) Approves the CIL allocations as set out in Appendix 2 and the proposed arrangements for agreeing the use of CIL for the unparished area of Bath.
d) approves all other delegations as set out in the budget report.
e) approves the revised Minimum Revenue Provision Policy as shown at Appendix 2, Annex 4 with the changes to become effective immediately.
f) approves the Capital Prudential Indicators as set out in Appendix 2 Table 8.
5. That the Council agree the Council’s proposed pay policy statement as set out in Appendix 5.
6. Authorise the Council’s Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance & Efficiency, to make any necessary changes and presentational improvements to the draft budget proposal for submission to Council.
7. To reduce by £30k the saving from the review of the Dog Warden Service (page 137) in 2017/18.
8. To reduce by £50k the savings from the Parks service (page 136), in 2017/18.
To provide £50k of additional
funding to the Catering Service Budget to meet the increasing
inflationary costs of food faced by Catering Service.
- E2914 Budget Report Cabinet 1st Feb 17, item 79. PDF 88 KB
- Appendix 1 - Budget Aims & Ambitions, item 79. PDF 71 KB
- Appendix 2 - The Budget Proposal 17-18, item 79. PDF 283 KB
- Appendix 2 Annex 1 2017-18 Revenue Cashlimits, item 79. PDF 25 KB
- Appendix 2 Annex 2 - S151, item 79. PDF 61 KB
- Appendix 2 Annex 3 Capital Programme, item 79. PDF 69 KB
- Appendix 2 Annex 3i Structural Maintenance Capital Programme 1617-draft, item 79. PDF 22 KB
- Appendix 2 Annex 3ii Transport Improvement Programme 9th Jan, item 79. PDF 18 KB
- Appendix 2 Annex 3iii Corporate Estate Planned Mtce Programme, item 79. PDF 17 KB
- Appendix 2 Annex 4 - Council MRP Policy, item 79. PDF 18 KB
- Appendix 3 - Savings Details, item 79. PDF 101 KB
- Appendix 4 - Monitoring Officer Advice, item 79. PDF 19 KB
- Appendix 5 - Pay Policy statement 2017-18, item 79. PDF 108 KB
- Appendix 6 - Equality budget 2017 Final, item 79. PDF 46 KB