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Agenda Item No. 9(f)

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

COUNCIL MEETING: 5 MARCH 2014

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET:  24 FEBRUARY 2014

 

C2212        FINAL PROPOSALS FOR THE REVENUE BUDGET 2014/15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Members were asked to consider the Final Proposals for the Revenue Budget 2014/15, before making their final recommendation to Council, in respect of the budget for the financial year 2014/15.  The report also set out the savings targets for the years 2015/16 and 2016/17.

 

The Council was required under statute to fix the level of Council Tax for 2014/15 by 11th March 2014. The final decision on the budget could not be delegated and must be made at a meeting of Council. This was scheduled to be held on the 5th March 2014.

 

Revenue Settlement 2014/15

 

WG had provided the Council with final figures for next year’s settlement. The Council’s total Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) had been notified as £215.041M, which represented a decrease of £4.171M over 2013/14.

 

Transferred into the settlement were resources totalling £119k relating to the First Steps Improvement Package Additional Funding (a significant decrease on the £646k awarded for 2013/14) and £177k in relation to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme Additional Subsidy. There were no transfers out of the settlement. 

 

In addition, the settlement included the transfer in of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme 'top up' of £788k and an increase to cover the costs of borrowing under the Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI) for Highways of £152k.

 

WG required each local authority to compare its total budget for education to its Education Indicator Based Assessment (IBA).  It must then report on the reasons why it may have chosen to set a budget for education that differs from its IBA (£95.826M for the Vale). The report would need to be made available for consideration by the Council’s Schools Budget Forum, full Council and by WG. A proposed draft of the report had been prepared jointly by the Chief Learning and Skills Officer and Director of Resources and was attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The Council would receive from WG Revenue Support Grant (RSG) of £118.125M and Non-Domestic Rates £39.516M. These amounts together total £157.641M and constitute the Council’s Aggregate External Finance (AEF).

 

When taking into account the above the effective reduction in AEF for the Council was just over 5%, about £8.5M. This was larger than the 4% reduction assumed in the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

WG had announced that the Outcome Agreement Grant allocated to the Vale was £1.236M. This was an unhypothecated grant (i.e. not earmarked for particular services). The Council was not guaranteed to receive the full amount of the Outcome Agreement Grant. The proportion of the grant eventually received in 2014/15 was determined by a ratings score of the Council’s performance in achieving its 2013/14 Outcome Agreement targets.

 

In addition, revenue funding for collaborative initiatives in 2014/15 had been made available by WG in the form of £1.485M for the continuation of the Regional Collaboration Fund (RCF) and £1.114M (plus £557k capital) allocated to the Vale in respect of the new Intermediate Care Fund (ICF). The RCF funding was being utilised to support existing initiatives associated with social care, the Regulatory Services shared service, Cyd Cymru energy, the Cardiff and Vale Sexual Assault Referral Centre and Alcohol Treatment Centre. The ICF allocation was to be used to build on effective working across health, social services and housing to improve the planning and provision of integrated services.  A report on progress on the RCF and proposals for the ICF projects would be submitted to Cabinet in the near future.

 

Further details on the projections for 2015/16 and 2016/17 were addressed later in the report.

 

Cabinet approved the Budget Strategy and Timetable for 2014/15 on the 29th July 2013 (Minute No. C1427). As part of this strategy, Directors were asked to consider bringing forward the implementation of the approved savings for 2015/16 and 2016/17 and to consider other areas for further savings. This resulted in initial proposals to bring forward £2.324M of savings to add to the £4.975M already set for 2014/15 (a total of £7.299M).

 

The 2014/15 initial revenue budget proposals built upon the strategy in the light of the provisional 2014/15 settlement figures received from WG. This showed a provisional shortfall against base budget of £9.854M rising to a possible £15.838M if all cost pressures were to be funded. This potential level of budget shortfall in one year is unprecedented and the Cabinet Budget Working Group (BWG) had been undertaking further work when formulating the final revenue budget proposals contained in this report.

 

In particular, the BWG had regard to the need to achieve a balanced budget both for 2014/15 and in future years. This included:

  • The results of consultation with the school budget forum, scrutiny committees and external stakeholders;
  • Ways in which cost pressures can be reasonably reduced or mitigated;
  • A further review of the proposed savings for 2014/15;
  • The progression of corporate projects on income generation, transportation costs and buildings;
  • The existing financial strategies in place for Education & Schools, Social Services and Other Services;
  • Possible increases in council tax;
  • The projected funding position for 2015/16 and 2016/17;
  • The potential to use substantial levels of reserves as part of a defined financial strategy and to allow a more thorough review of options for savings and their implications, alternative methods of service delivery and collaborative ventures.

Proposed Budget 2014/15

 

The proposed budget for 2014/15 had been set in line with the current financial strategy and a summary of the overall position is attached at Appendix B to the report.

 

Asset rentals were accounting adjustments reflecting charges to services for the use of assets. They did not constitute “real†expenditure and were reversed out and replaced by the cost of capital within Policy. Similarly IAS 19 changes were technical accounting adjustments to the costs of pension contributions, which were reversed out in Policy. Neither of these adjustments were therefore a part of the total expenditure of the Council.

 

Recharges/transfers related to movements in charges between internal Council Services and the transfer of functions. Overall there was a neutral impact on the budget.  Included was a transfer of £320k from Education to Children and Young People for the education element of the costs of jointly funded Looked After Children residential placements.

Budget Adjustments included an increase to the Social Services budget (£42k) in respect of a change in the use of the Social Services Fund; a reduction of £880k to Policy as provision for the incremental effect of job evaluation which was no longer required; and a reduction of £67k in respect of time limited growth items in the 2013/14 budget.

 

Inflation (excluding schools) amounts to £2.252M of which £0.603M relates to 1% allowance for pay awards and £1.649M (2%) for general price increases. It should be noted that the current stance of the unions in respect of a national pay award for 2014/15 (£1 per hour on each pay scale), if implemented, would cost the Council approximately £4.8M per annum. This had not been factored in to these budget proposals on the basis that it was unaffordable but it remained a risk nevertheless.

 

The BWG had reviewed and updated the cost pressures. Those that could not be mitigated or reduced are included within the Net Growth figure of £2.641M. The breakdown of this sum was shown at Appendix C attached to the report.

 

The savings had also been reviewed by the BWG and total £7.391M. It was proposed that a further £1M be taken from the General Fund Reserve, increasing the contribution from the Fund to £2.5M for 2014/15. The details of the 2014/15 savings were included at Appendix D attached to the report.

 

Services

 

Learning and Development

 

 

Educ./

Schools

Libraries

Lifelong

Learning

Youth Services

Catering

Total

 

 £’000

£’000

£’000

  £’000

£’000

£’000

Budget 2013/14

94,200

2,608

   198

  1,154

1,748            

99,908

Recharges/Transf.

  (346)

2

(6)

(55)

     (8)

    (413)

Inflation

    292

30

12

14

     33

     381

Net Growth

    215

0

0

0

0

     215

Savings

  (951)

   (50)

0

(27)

  (23)

(1,051)

Changes in Asset Rentals/IAS 19               

    (41)

(1)

0

(2)

     (7)

     (51)

Budget 2014/15

93,369

2,589

204              

   1,084

1,743

98,989

 

WG had continued to build into the settlement protection for schools via their Minimum Funding Commitment (MFC), which was equivalent to 1% above the change in the Assembly’s revenue funding allocation from the UK Government. To fulfil WG’s commitment, councils were  required to ensure that their net Individual Schools Budget (ISB) was increased by at least this percentage after adjusting for changes in pupil numbers.

 

Half of this commitment was met from increases in the Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDG), which was allocated on the basis of free school meals eligibility data. This funding equated to £913 per pupil aged 5-15 eligible for free school meals (previously £450 in 2013/14). As schools across the Vale had differing proportions of pupils eligible for free school meals they would benefit to a very varying degree from the additional funding.

 

The balance of 0.45% was applied to the net Individual Schools Budgets. The protection applied to schools in these budget proposals was in accordance with the Minimum Funding Commitment and more information on the exact calculation for the Vale’s schools was shown in Appendix A attached to the report.

 

The details of net growth were shown at Appendix C attached to the report. This included the net Minimum Funding Commitment increase of £94k (an equivalent amount having also been allocated from the increase in PDG). A further £94k related to Children’s Placements, where 50% of the cost pressure had been awarded in line with the financial strategy approved by Council in March 2013. £27k relates to the reorganisation of premises for the Pupil Referral Unit.

 

Savings for Central Education in 2014/15 totalled £951k, of which £460k related to the annual contribution to the Schools Investment Strategy. Full details of the savings were shown at Appendix D attached to the report.

 

Additional Learning Needs (ALN) had been identified by the Directorate as a specific risk area where there had been a trend of increasing overspends. This included the demand and cost of children’s placements in independent schools and other authorities and concerns over reducing levels of out of county income in the future.

 

The Chief Learning & Skills Officer intended to prepare a further medium term service and financial strategy specifically for Education.  The strategy would identify the options necessary to keep the service within its likely resources and meet savings. Work was also commencing on a total ALN strategy, which would encompass Council expenditure in and out of county as well as projected income from other authorities.

 

The Chief Learning & Skills Officer would also set out how she would provide support to schools in planning their own budgets over the medium term and achieve the savings required to meet their net cost pressures.

 

It was suggested that the Schools Budget Forum be consulted before any final decision was made on the split of the funding between Central Education and the Schools. It was recommended that delegated authority be given to the Chief Learning & Skills Officer to determine the split in the light of that consultation, subject to the minimum WG target for the ISB being met.

 

The details of the net growth were shown at Appendix C attached to the report. A sum of £119k had been included in the WG revenue settlement in relation to the First Steps additional funding for non-residential care for 2014/15 (the 2013/14 allocation was £646k).

 

In line with the financial strategy for the service, £150k had been allocated to Children and Young People as a 50% contribution towards other burgeoning costs pressures such as increasing complex needs. £132k and £149k respectively had been earmarked to meet the full demographic pressures associated with Older People & Older People’s Mental Health and future growth in Young People with Learning Disabilities (transitions reaching the age of 18). This proposal had been made by the BWG having regard to the results of the internal and external consultation process on the budget. 

 

The latest projected outturn for Social Services this financial year indicated a break even position. However, there remained continuing pressures on the service, particularly in relation to the costs of care packages. Having regard to the issue of care packages and the results of the budget consultation the BWG had proposed that £125k of the 2014/15 saving in respect of care packages be deferred until 2015/16 and a further £300k deferred from 2015/16 to 2016/17. This should allow planned collaborative initiatives with Health to take effect as a means of achieving savings and mitigating future cost pressures in this particular area.  

 

Furthermore, for 2014/15, the savings targets which were contained within the Social Services Budget Programme were not proposed to increase. The total savings presently required to meet the Social Services Budget Programme by 2016/17 were £3.970M. No further savings had been added to meet additional corporate savings targets in 2015/16 and 2016/17 with the exception of £117k for the Business Management and Innovation Service.

 

The greater the delay in achieving the savings, the higher the use of fund required to cover budget shortfalls. This had to be set against the need to allow sufficient time to ensure that the savings are achievable and sustainable. The following table should provide a practical time-frame for recovery and would necessitate the continued use of the Social Services Fund set up for this purpose as follows:

 

Financial

Year

 

Savings

Target

Use of

Fund

 

 

£’000

£’000

2014/15

 

713

2,199

2015/16

 

1,600

1,600

2016/17

 

1,657

0

Total

 

3,970

3,799

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Director of Social Services should continue to review the Social Services Budget Plan and take the necessary action to achieve the level of savings required in accordance with the above timeframe. It was also essential that tight control over expenditure was maintained and that no further overspending occured. 

 

Visible Services and Housing

 

 

Environment

And Visible

Parks and

Ground Maintenance

Building

Services

General Fund Housing

Total

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

Budget 2013/14

18,439

3,407

(7)

1,142

22,981

Recharges/Transf.

(134)

50

(15)

3

(96)

Inflation

270

93

26

17

406

Net Growth

618

0

0

0

618

Savings

(1,361)

(40)

0

(96)

(1,497)

Changes in Asset Rentals/IAS 19

80

18

(4)

0

94

Budget 2014/15

17,912

3,528

0

1,066

22,506

 

Details of net growth were outlined in Appendix C attached to the report and included £216k for Landfill Tax increases, £50k for the cost of changes to pension rules for non-contractual overtime and £200k towards mitigating the reduction in Sustainable Waste Management Grant in 2013/14. In addition, there had been a transfer into the settlement from WG of £152k in respect of the Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI) for Highways.

 

Savings for 2014/15 were shown at Appendix D attached to the report and totalled £1.497M. A significant proportion of this figure related to initiatives in waste management which reflected the reduction in the 2013/14 Waste Management Grant. It was anticipated that the figure for 2014/15 would not be known until August 2014 and consequently there was a risk of a further reduction in the Grant. Should this occur the service would need to find further savings. In the event that this proved difficult to achieve in the short term, as a temporary measure only, the Visible Services Reserve may be used to cover to the position.

 

Development

 

 

Public Protection

Private Housing

Planning &Transp.

Leisure

Economic Develop.

Total

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

Budget 2013/14

2,447

11,213

5,322

4,190

830

24,002

Recharges/Transf.

87

48

73

(223)

(5)

(20)

Adjustments

0

(25)

(30)

0

(12)

(67)

Inflation

43

21

106

43

22

235

Net Growth

0

517

0

0

0

517

Savings

(345)

(29)

(161)

(457)

0

(992)

Changes in Asset Rentals /IAS19

(1)

(1)

(4)

(38)

(3)

(47)

Budget 2014/15

2,231

11,744

5,306

3,515

832

23,628

 

Details on net growth were shown in Appendix C attached to the report and total £517k. This related solely to Private Housing and comprises of £35k for a reduction in Housing Benefit Administration Grant and £275k to counter the effects of an increase in council tax on CTRS payments. A further £30k had been allocated to extend the Council’s Over 70s Council Tax Discount Scheme to pensioners aged over 60 year olds in receipt of partial benefit reduction in order to mitigate the withdrawal of the WG national scheme.  Transfers into the settlement total £177k and relate to Private Housing for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme Administration Subsidy formerly received direct from the Department for Work and Pensions. 

 

Savings for 2014/15 were shown at Appendix D and totalled £992k of which £277k related to working with Parkwood to realise savings from the Leisure Centre Partnership. An extra £135k had arisen from the transfer of Dyffryn House and Gardens to the National Trust.  The Public Protection collaboration with Bridgend and Cardiff Councils was also targeted to achieve £315k. Should this saving not accrue in full in 2014/15 due to the implementation of the shared service being delayed, any shortfall may be found from the Public Protection Reserve.

 

The initial budget proposals for savings accruing from reduction in supported bus services had been subject to further review by the BWG. In light of the responses to the budget consultation and the changes in funding approved by Cabinet, savings originally attributed to this area have been reduced by £50k to £40k for 2014/15. The saving would be found from the generation of alternative funding and changing the method of meeting need.

 

Managing Director

 

 

Resources

 

Corporate and Customer Services

General Policy

 

Total

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

Budget 2013/14

203

307

21,438

21,948

Recharges/Transf.

538

208

(496)

250

Adjustments

0

0

(880)

(880)

Inflation

252

63

14

329

Net Growth

0

0

741

741

Savings

(750)

(421)

(1,967)

(3,138)

Changes in Asset Rentals/IAS 19

(14)

(6)

124

104

Budget 2014/15

229

151

18,974

19,354

 

The full details of the net growth were included in Appendix C and related to General Policy in the form of the additional revenue costs of financing the Capital Programme (£180k) and the impact of the expected increase in the employers’ superannuation contribution following the triennial actuarial revaluation of the Pension Fund (£561K).

 

Savings were detailed at Appendix D. Those attributable to the Resources Directorate total £750k with a further £421k for Corporate and Customer Services. General Policy savings total £1.967M. £950k of this related to a reduction in the budget available for funding capital expenditure and would restrict the ability of the Council to invest in its infrastructure in the future. £530k was for a reduction in the existing budget provision for debt charges. Should the cost of borrowing subsequently increase the remaining budget could be insufficient to cover costs. Other reductions relate to property costs (£250k) and a reduction in the Fire Authority precept (£237k).

 

Included within the Policy budget was income from WG for the Outcome Agreement Grant (£1.236M). Payment of the Grant is dependent on the achievement of targets contained within the Outcome Agreement the Council has with WG.

 

Social Services

 

 

Children & Young People

Adult

Services

  Business Mgmt. &

Innovation

YOS

Total

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

Budget 2013/14

14,255

36,044

379

717

51,395

Recharges/Transf.

312

147

(115)

(65)

279

Adjustments

20

22

0

0

42

Inflation

224

623

42

12

901

Net Growth

150

400

0

0

550

Savings

(150)

(563)

0

0

(713)

Changes in Asset Rentals/IAS 19

(50)

(45)

(5)

0

(100)

Budget 2014/15

14,761

36,628

301

664

52,354

 

The estimated level of General Reserve at 1st April 2014 was £13.643M. The proposed budget for 2014/15 assumed a use of £2.5M General Reserve to fund revenue expenditure. On this basis the general reserve was estimated to fall to £11.143M at the end of 2014/15. The strategy for 2015/16 and 2016/17 assumed the further use of £4M of the Reserve to fund the revenue budget.

 

It was projected that the aggregate nursery, primary and secondary balances would be £2.8M in surplus at 31st March 2014.  This included 2 primary schools with a projected combined deficit of £31k.  All schools with deficit balances would be required to submit a robust action plan for repayment over a period of up to 5 years.  The action plans were rigorously monitored by Central Education.

 

Attached at Appendix G to the report was a schedule showing the reserves and the anticipated balances at the 31st March 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.The Appendix set out the title of the reserve together with its purpose. A summary of the position was set out in the table below:

 

Summary of Estimated Reserves Projected to 2016/17

Est.  Bal.

31/3/2014

Net

Movement

Est. Bal.

31/3/2017

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

General Reserve

13,643

(6,500)

7,143

Specific Reserves

38,339

(18,180)

20,159

Total General Fund (excl. Schools)

51,982

(24,680)

27,302

Schools Balances

3,593

(1,801)

1,792

Total General Fund Reserves

55,575

(26,481)

29,094

 

The total budget shown at Appendix B was £214.331M. After adjusting for discretionary rate relief of £200k, it is £0.910M below the Council’s SSA of £215.041M. The 2013/14 budget was £1.466M below the SSA.

 

The Council’s SSA (IBA) was an indication of the relative resources needed to provide a standard level of service. It was based on statistical data and formulae, any of which can be flawed in assessing need. It was used primarily as a method of distributing AEF. It was not an absolute indicator of a required spending level for a particular service in a particular area. It was for local councils to best determine their own spending priorities in light of local circumstances.

If the Council decides to budget at £214.331M, deducting from this Revenue Support Grant of £118.125M, redistributed non-domestic rates of £39.516M produces a requirement of £56.690M to be met from council tax. Dividing the by the council tax base of 55,070, gave a level of council tax for this Council’s purposes (excluding police and community council precepts) for Band D properties of £1,029.42. This was an increase over the current year of £44.28 or 4.5%.

The average of the Council Tax set by councils in Wales for 2013/14 at Band D was £1,000.30, whilst the Vale’s was £985.14. The BWG’s view was that the proposed increase in Council Tax at 4.5% was a reasonable compromise between the pressure on services (particularly in light of the significant reduction in AEF and consequent level of savings required) and the financial pressures facing council taxpayers.

 

The proposed budget used £2.5M of General Reserve. The estimated balance on the General Reserve at 31st March 2015 is £11.143M. The use of reserves for funding recurrent expenditure was clearly not sustainable. Given the level of savings already identified and the lead time for their implementation, it was, however, anticipated that repayments to the General Fund Reserve would not commence until 2016/17. With the proposed strategy, it was currently estimated that by about 2017/18 no use of the General Fund Reserve would be required.

 

The budget recovery plan for Social Services required an estimated £3.799M from the Social Services Fund to cover revenue expenditure over the next 3 years to give the Service time to plan and implement remedial action, in order to bring their expenditure within their base budget.

 

In order for the Council not to be exposed to unacceptable risk it was essential that all Services maintain their expenditure within budget and that this was a major priority for Directors, Heads of Service, and all Managers.

 

There were risks in the budget and the most significant of these are set out in the report. There was particular risk in Social Services as the care packages budget was currently overspending. Further unforeseen circumstances can lead to increased demand for services which could worsen the current deficit. Similarly Learning & Skills would need to address the issues associated with ALN.

 

The amount of savings required to balance the budget was extremely challenging and a further risk was that price inflation had generally been provided at a rate of 2%. This was presently in line with the Consumer Price Index for the year to January 2014. In addition, the 2014/15 pay award submitted by the combined unions would, if implemented, increase costs by about £4.8M (excluding schools). This was unaffordable. Currently provision had been made for a 1% pay award costing approximately £0.6M.

 

In 2013/14 the Council would receive about £68M in specific grant and subsidy. The budget proposals assume that any reduction in specific grant would be matched by a reduction in expenditure. Details on all specific grants have not yet been finalised and there was a risk that should grants be cut and it not be possible to reduce expenditure correspondingly, the Council could overspend. This risk should be mitigated by the fact that Services should have in place 'exit' plans for any specific grant ceasing and are usually aware of likely developments in the level of grant. Regular revenue monitoring should provide a warning should there be problems. In the first place each Service would be expected to fund any shortfall from its revenue budget. Ultimately, there is sufficient in reserves to cover for this contingency, but only in the short term.

 

The budget proposals would have implications for the Council’s 6,000 employees (4,000 in full-time equivalents) and there will be a loss of jobs. 

 

The reduction for 2014/15, excluding schools, was estimated at up to 75 in full-time equivalents (FTE). These figures did not include the full impact of posts being potentially lost from savings areas where proposals were not yet developed sufficiently to estimate the impact. Consequently, the total reduction in posts in 2014/15 may exceed that estimated. Although the impact on individuals was likely to be mitigated as a result of natural wastage and the deletion of vacant posts, it was, nevertheless, expected that there would be a number of redundancies. 

 

The above figures did not include the staffing implications relating to budget pressures within schools as the details need to be considered by individual Governing Bodies and supported by the Chief Learning & Skills Officer. Individual schools would also be impacted by whether they had growing or falling pupil numbers. There were, however, likely to be staff reductions and redundancies depending on each schools circumstances. The Chief Learning & Skills Officer would need to establish the impact of the budget on employees in schools.

 

The Council had an Avoiding Redundancy Procedure that would be followed and included a requirement for the Council to search for suitable alternative employment. The numbers of employees referred to were those impacted in the budget. There could be further staff implications from other restructuring exercises during the year.  

 

The trades unions would continue to be consulted on the details of any potential redundancies once known, as will the Government Department for Business Innovation and Skills in accordance with the Council’s own local procedures and statutory requirements.

 

In light of the staffing implications it was essential to ensure that consultation with the trades unions was carried out in accordance with the Council’s Avoiding Redundancy Policy  and related legal requirements. A Change Forum meets regularly with the trade unions to help co-ordinate the consultation process and deal with cross- directorate issues.

The number of potential redundancies over the next few years had required strengthening of the Council’s redeployment processes, the tightening of the Council’s vacancy control processes and the pursuit of other measures as set out in the Council’s Workforce Plan. Where appropriate this could involve a targeted search for voluntary redundancies/reduced hours.

 

Statement of Section 151 Officer on Robustness of Estimates

 

The Local Government Act 2003 required that the Head of Financial Services must report on the robustness of the estimates, that were to be approved by Council. This Section constitutes that assurance.

 

In view of the uncertainties of the current and future economic climate there was increased risk facing the Council’s financial position and as a consequence services. This had been recognised and referenced within this report, where relevant, together with actions that can be taken to manage that risk.

 

Savings were regarded as extremely challenging but achievable and had been carefully examined with risk and measures to mitigate them identified. It was important to stress the importance of the mitigating actions being implemented and the need to consider equality impact assessments.

 

Estimates in the budget report were robust subject to any reservations/ qualification or other commentary contained in the budget reports. All services’ expenditures are under pressure and there was always a risk that a service may overspend, particularly in light of unforeseen circumstances.

 

A measure to guard against this would be to monitor the budget during the year and to identify problems as they arose and put in place remedial action. Key to this would be the continued delivery of savings required under the Social Services Budget Plan. Cabinet, Scrutiny and Managers continue to have a key role in reviewing and maintaining budgetary performance.

 

Reserves had been again reviewed and were considered adequate to cover contingencies and the risks stated in the report.

 

At the meeting the Leader thanked the Managing Director and her staff for their hard work in bringing the report to Cabinet.

 

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the following be recommended to Council:

 

(1)          T H A T the budget for 2014/15 at £214,331 million be fixed including a provision of £200,000 for discretionary rate relief to rural shops and post offices and charitable organisations.

 

(2)          T H A T the budgets for 2014/15 as set out in Appendix B attached to the report, and the totals as set out below be approved:

 

 

£’000

Education and Schools

93,369

Libraries

2,589

Lifelong Learning

204

Youth Service

1,084

Catering

1,743

Children & Young People

14,761

Adult Services

36,628

Business Management & Innovation

301

Youth Offending Service

664

Environment and Visible Services

17,912

Parks and Grounds Maintenance

3,528

Building Services

0

General Fund Housing

1,066

Public Protection

2,231

 

 

Private Housing

11,744

Planning and Transportation

5,306

Leisure

3,515

Economic Development

832

Resources

229

Corporate and Customer Services

151

General Policy

18,974

General Fund Reserve

(2,500)

Grand Total

214,331

 

(3)      T H A T the recommendations regarding Net Growth set out in Appendix C attached to the report be approved.

 

(4)      T H A T the Council Tax for 2014/15 be set for its own purposes (excluding police and town and community council precepts) at the following levels:

 

Band

Council Tax

          £

A

686.28

B

800.66

C

915.04

D

1,029.42

E

1,258.18

F

1,486.94

G

1,715.70

H

2,058.84

I

2,401.98

 

(5)      T H A T the proposed draft report on Education Budget and IBA at Appendix A attached to the report be endorsed and the Chief Learning and Skills Officer make arrangements for it to be forwarded to the School Budget Forum and Welsh Government.

 

That the following be approved:

 

(6)      ..........

 

(7)      ..........

 

(8)      ..........

 

(9)      ..........

 

(10)    ..........

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)

To set the 2014/15 budget in line with statutory requirements.

 

(2)

To allocate budgets to services.

 

(3)

To reduce risk to services.

 

(4)

To set Council Tax levels for 2014/15.

 

(5)

So that the report could be presented to the Schools Budget Forum and Welsh Government.

 

(6)

..........

 

(7)

..........

 

(8 & 9)

..........

 

(10)

..........

 

(11)

..........