Agenda Item No. 11(e)

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

COUNCIL MEETING: 28 FEBRUARY 2018

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET:  19 FEBRUARY 2018

 

C224              FINAL PROPOSALS FOR THE REVENUE BUDGET 2018/19 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) –

 

The purpose of the report was to set out final proposals for Cabinet to consider, before making their recommendations to Council, in respect of the final revenue budget for the financial year 2018/19.

 

The Council was required under statute to fix the level of Council Tax for 2018/19 by 11 March, 2018. The final decision on the budget could not be delegated and had to be made at the meeting of Council scheduled to be held on 28 February, 2018. 

 

The proposed budget for 2018/19 had been set in line with the current financial strategy and a summary of the overall position was attached at Appendix C 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.  

 

Budget Adjustments related to the £320k reduction in the use of the Social Services Fund in 2018/19.

 

Inflation totalled £3.594m of which £3.16m related to an allowance for pay awards.  Excluding Schools, an amount of £405k had been allocated for non pay inflation.  Not all contracts the Council entered into would have a requirement to be increased year on year by inflation.  In view of this, a review of the Council’s contracts had been undertaken and it was proposed that this sum was allocated specifically to contribute towards funding inflation where it was a contractual commitment for large contracts.  It was therefore proposed that £200k be allocated to Neighbourhood Services for commitments under Waste Management contracts and £205k was allocated to Social Services for Community Care packages.

 

The BWG had reviewed and updated the cost pressures. Those which could not be mitigated or reduced were included within the Net Growth figure of £8.717m. The breakdown of this sum was shown at Appendix D attached to the report and also included transfers into the RSG.

 

The savings had also been reviewed by the BWG. It would not be possible to implement some of the larger Reshaping Services savings in full during 2018/19 as they would require further time to be implemented and therefore the targets for the Visible Services, the Commercial Opportunities, the Establishment Review and the Digital Strategy projects had been reprofiled over a 2 to 3 year period.  The 2018/19 savings targets relating to Reshaping Tranche 3 for Commercial Opportunities, Establishment Review and the Digital Strategy were currently shown centrally pending final allocation to individual service areas/projects by 31 March, 2018. Due to the nature of the savings identified it was felt more appropriate that £350k of the Procurement saving should be transferred to the Establishment Review workstream.  An additional £100k had been added to the existing £600k Reshaping Corporate Services savings target bringing its total for 2018/19 to £700k.  For 2018/19 proposed savings total £6.298m and details were included at Appendix E attached to the report.  

 

As part of the Initial Revenue Proposals report presented to Cabinet on 20 November, 2017 it was projected that the outturn for Policy for 2017/18 would be a favourable variance of £4m. Cabinet resolved " THAT a sum of £2m be set aside in the Schools Investment Strategy reserve, funded by the projected underspend on revenue in 2017/18, with further details in the Initial Capital Programme Proposals 2018/19 report” and  “THAT a sum of £2m be set aside in the Council Fund, with its use being considered as part of the final budget proposals for 2018/19”. 

 

Options for the use of the £2m funding had been considered by the BWG. On 16 January, 2018 Mark Drakeford, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, announced an additional £30m of funding across Wales for a capital highways refurbishment scheme. The allocation to the Vale of Glamorgan Council was £1.136m. Further details were contained in the Initial Capital Proposals report elsewhere on the agenda. It was proposed that in order to continue the much needed investment in the Council’s roads, an additional £500k would be transferred into the Visible Services reserve and used to carry out additional road and pavement resurfacing works in the coming year.

 

The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal brought together ten local authorities and financial support from Welsh and UK Governments to generate significant economic growth and to improve transport and other infrastructure within the Cardiff Capital Region over the next 20 years. The contribution to be made by the Council would be substantial over the coming years and £1.25m had already been set aside in a reserve. It was anticipated that the Council would need to carry out unsupported borrowing to fund our contribution to the programme which would require revenue funding to be identified to support these loans. It was therefore proposed that the reserve be increased by £500k with further funding being identified in future years.  

 

As part of the revenue monitoring report to Cabinet on 22 January, 2018 (Minute C193 refers), it was agreed that £258k of the projected Learning and Skills overspend would be funded from the £2m set aside in the Council Fund.

 

With the continuation of austerity measures it was becoming increasingly difficult to deliver savings, to balance the budget in future years and to meet any unforeseen cost pressures following agreement of the budget. It was therefore proposed that the remaining balance from the £2m set aside, which was £742k, continued to be held in the Council Fund. 

 

Learning and Skills

 

Learning and Skills

 

Schools

Strategy, Culture, Comm   Learning & Resources

Achieve-ment for All

School Improve-ment

Directors Office

Total

 

 £000

£000

£000

  £000

£000

£000

Budget 2017/18

82,437

11,797

4,290

1,122

243

99,889

Recharges/Tfrs

370

75

(468)

(10)

(8)

(41)

Changes in Asset Rentals/IAS   19

0

(316)

(10)

0

0

(326)

Inflation

1,607

77

86

1

5

1,776

Net Growth

868

57

849

0

0

1,774

Savings

       (824)

(113)

(85)

(80)

(8)

(1,110)

Budget 2018/19

84,458

11,577

4,662

1,033

232

101,962

 

A breakdown of the net growth was shown in Appendix D attached to the report.  The Education SSA had increased by £2.458m from 2017/18.  In light of this and the comments made by the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee, additional funding of £1.774m had been allocated to this service, in addition to £1.776m for inflationary pressures.   

 

During the year it had been reported that there was pressure on the inter authority recoupment budget and the out of county placements budget with projected overspends of £403k and £200k respectively. Part of this overspend was being offset by budget underspends within the Directorate and as part of the Final Budget Proposals 2017/18, £200k was set aside in a Schools Placements reserve which would be fully utilised during 2017/18. WG had advised that the Minority Ethnic Achievement Grant (MEAG) would not be issued in 2018/19. This grant had been transferred into the RSG on an all Wales formula basis however it was unclear how much of the allocation had been received by the Vale of Glamorgan and how it compared to the £239k grant received in 2017/18. The BWG acknowledged the pressures in this area and had allocated recurring funding of £849k to central Education which was to be allocated to specific areas by the Director of Learning and Skills. It had also allocated funding for demographic growth of £868k to Schools.

 

A breakdown of the savings target was shown in Appendix E attached to the report.  Reshaping savings targets were included in 2018/19, £166k of which were to be identified from Additional Learning Needs. Due to the pressures in this area the savings target had now been reallocated to service areas across the Directorate. A savings target of £824k had been allocated to Schools.   

 

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 Director of Learning & Skills to determine the split in the light of that consultation. 

 

After the changes above, the Education budget would be substantially above the IBA.

 

Social Services

 

Social Services

 

Children & Young People

Adult

Services

  Resource    Mgmt. &

Safeguarding

YOS

Total

 

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

Budget 2017/18

15,124

41,910

267

701

58,002

Recharges/Tfr

13

(103)

37

7

(46)

Adjustments

(168)

553

(65)

0

320

Inflation

83

602

25

20

730

Net Growth

294

4,105

0

0

4,399

Savings

(41)

(342)

(35)

(1)

(419)

Changes in Asset Rentals/IAS   19

(9)

(6)

1

1

(13)

Budget 2018/19

15,296

46,719

230

728

62,973

 

The latest projected outturn for Social Services in the current financial year indicated an overspend of £1.4m. There remained continuing pressures on the service, particularly in relation to the cost of adult care packages which could outturn this year up to £1.2m over budget and the full year effect of this year’s commitments would further increase this figure. The overspend related mainly to domiciliary care packages provided for frail elderly clients. There had also been pressure this year on the Children’s Placement budget which was resulting in a projected overspend of £200k for Children’s Services. This was due to the increasing complexities of the children currently being supported, which resulted in their placement in very high cost units.

 

A breakdown of the net growth was shown in Appendix D attached to the report. Having regard to the current financial pressures and the comments made as part of the budget consultation and the concerns raised by the Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee, the BWG acknowledged that there were significant issues in this area. Not only was there an increase in the population, but clients were increasingly frail with complex needs. There was a ‘knock on’ effect from pressures within Health and work was ongoing to ensure integration between the two services. Fees paid to residential and domiciliary providers during 2017/18 was increased by above the level of inflation to allow in part for the National Living Wage. Providers had also requested an above inflation increase in 2018/19, due to the continuing impact of the National Living Wage.  The Social Services SSA for 2018/19 had increased by £864k from 2017/18. The BWG had taken all these factors into account and it was proposed that an additional £2.334m should be included in the budget for Adult Services. At this point, WG had not announced any change in the maximum weekly charge for non-residential care from the current £70 per week. 

 

The Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) grant would continue to be provided to Health by WG and the Service would work with Health to ensure that monies were spent in the most cost effective way.

 

There were a number of grants that were received from WG in 2017/18 that would be transferred into the RSG from 1 April, 2018 including Independent Living Grant, Social Care Workforce Grant and grants relating to Children’s Services. A breakdown of the savings target was shown in Appendix E attached to the report. 

 

During 2012/13, the Social Services Budget Programme was established which outlined a series of savings for future years and provided the required funding for the managed reduction of the budget, via the setting up of the Social Service Fund which had an initial value of £6.209m. The savings programme had continued since that date and during 2018/19 the final £330k from the fund would be utilised.

 

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 and where possible mitigate the effects of increasing demands on the service. 

 

Environment and Housing

 

Environment and Housing

 

Neighbourhood and Transport

Building

Regulatory

Council Fund Housing

Total

 

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

Budget 2017/18

24,755

0

2,166

1,126

28,047

Recharges/Tfr

140

(22)

70

66

254

Adjustments

 

 

 

 

 

Inflation

562

22

0

14

598

Net Growth

1,581

0

0

189

1,770

Savings

(827)

0

0

(12)

(839)

Changes in Asset Rentals/IAS   19

755

0

3

9

767

Budget 2018/19

26,966

0

2,239

1,392

30,597

 

A breakdown of the net growth was shown in Appendix D attached to the report. During 2018/19 there would be a further reduction in the funding received from WG for Waste Collection and Recycling services. With increasing costs in this sector, pressure was being placed on this service. The BWG therefore thought it appropriate to fund the projected reduction in grant from WG of £230k.   

 

A breakdown of the savings target was shown in Appendix E attached to the report. A Reshaping Services savings target of £1.375m had been included for 2018/19, which included the full year effect of the 2017/18 reorganisation saving.  It was acknowledged that this was a high target which would be made up of a number of options and would be difficult to achieve in 1 year. This saving had therefore been reprofiled over a 2 year period so that £775k was allocated to 2018/19 with the remaining £600k allocated to 2019/20.  Due to the pressures in the Waste Management service it was proposed that the Waste Collection savings of £62k for 2018/19 and £63k for 2019/20 were removed from the programme. The Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee requested that a report be produced on the Public Conveniences across the Vale and therefore the saving of £50k for 2018/19 had been removed, at this time, pending a further assessment of the service.  

 

Managing Director & Resources

 

Managing Director and Resources

 

Resources

 

Regen

Develop Mgt

Private Hsing

General Policy

 

Total

 

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

Budget 2017/18

728

2,091

968

11,003

15,692

30,482

Recharges/Tfr

464

(33)

70

(3)

(665)

(167)

Inflation

393

50

37

10

0

490

Net Growth

35

0

0

0

39

74

Savings

(1,151)

(44)

(10)

(3)

(2,722)

(3,930)

Changes in Asset Rentals/IAS   19

103

19

11

0

(561)

(428)

Budget 2018/19

572

2,083

1,076

11,007

11,783

26,521

 

A breakdown of the net growth was shown in Appendix D attached to the report. The implementation of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal was beginning to progress. A sum of £39k had been included in the 2018/19 budget to contribute towards regional working in this area. A revised funding requirement of £10k had also been included to contribute towards additional costs of the Coroners service which was run on a regional basis and hosted by Rhondda Cynon Taff.  

 

A breakdown of the savings target was shown in Appendix E attached to the report. As part of the Initial Revenue proposals a target of £150k had been included for ICT.  However, with the development of the Digital Strategy and the level of savings to be achieved from its introduction it was decided that this was not the appropriate time to reduce the ICT departmental resources as they would be key to the delivery of the Strategy. An additional savings of £100k had been allocated to the Corporate Reshaping Services target for 2018/19 which was originally £600k and had now been increased to £700k. 

 

Delivering Well Being

 

In setting the revenue budget, the Council needed to consider its corporate priorities as set out in the Corporate Plan 2016-2020 through the 4 well-being outcomes which were shown below with examples of how the Council was providing support through the 2018/19 revenue budget.  

  •  An Inclusive and Safe Vale – There had been a transfer into the RSG to support  prevention;
  • An Environmentally Responsible and Prosperous Vale - Funding had been allocated for the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal which would maximise opportunities for economic development and job creation and through the provision of additional funding for waste recycling;
  • An Aspirational and Culturally Vibrant Vale – Funding had been provided for schools; and
  • An Active and Health Vale – Funding had been provided to support Social Services and collaborative work would continue with Health as part of the ICF grant funding. 

These outcomes demonstrated the Council’s commitment to the Well-being of Future Generations Act which aimed to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales and ensured that the needs of the present were met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need. Even with reductions in funding, where practical, the Council would strive to maintain services which contributed to this agenda. 

 

Financial Strategy for 2019/20 to 2020/21

 

The 2014/15 final budget proposals were informed by a budget review exercise that included the reappraisal of the Council’s financial strategy. Consequently, separate strategies were put in place for Education & Schools, Social Services and all Other Services.

 

The BWG had continued to have regard to the continued appropriateness of these strategies given the significant level of savings that now had to be found, the relative size of the Education & Schools and Social Services budgets as a proportion of the Council’s net budget requirement and the pressures on the services.

 

The Council would strive to ensure that the Education & Schools increases should match the overall percentage change in the Council’s budget as amended for adjustments to the council tax reduction scheme (CTRS) and the council tax base and that the budget for Education would be the same proportion of the Council’s total budget as the Education SSA was to the total SSA where it was feasible to do so. However, this would be dependent on future settlements and would become increasingly difficult as austerity measures continue to be anticipated in future years.

 

The BWG considered that the principles applied above to Education & Schools also continue to apply to Social Services. It was proposed that the financial strategy for all Other Services would need to continue. This would require services to manage downwards or meet the bulk of their cost pressures through additional savings.  For the purpose of these projections, it had been assumed that the financial strategies set out in the report for Education & Schools and Social Services would continue to be applied.

WG had provided the Council with indicative settlement figures for 2019/20 which was a reduction of 1%. There was no indication of changes to the settlement past that year. The MTFP was based upon a cash reduction of 3% in both 2019/20 and 2020/21. Each 1% change in AEF affected the Council by approximately £1.5m. It was assumed that the WG indicative reduction of 1% was used for the projections in the report.

 

Pay and price inflation (excluding schools) was estimated at £3.98m over the two years based upon a 0.5% per annum uplift for non pay inflation and a similar pay award in 2019/20 as for 2018/19. This assumption would be reviewed again when the next iteration of the MTFP would be produced. 

 

In November 2014, Cabinet agreed to commence a Reshaping Services strategy and change programme. This programme was the Council’s proactive response to central government’s austerity drive that had created a period of unprecedented financial pressure in the public sector. The savings targets set as part of this programme were large and challenging, and required substantial input for their achievement. As detailed by service area above, some of the targets had been reprofiled over a number of years to ensure their successful and considered implementation.

 

Cabinet as part of the initial budget setting process for 2016/17 agreed to the commencement of Tranche 3 of its Reshaping Services programme. Appendix F attached to the report included the proposed savings for 2019/20 and 2020/21, including the Tranche 3 Reshaping Services programme.  

 

Cost pressures for future years had been considered and assessed by the BWG and totalled £8.3m for 2019/20 and 2020/21. Details were attached at Appendix G attached to the report. This included a possible level of funding for schools which was estimated at £2.6m over the 2 years and potential pressures on Social Services as a result of increased demographic growth and further increases in the National Living Wage. Any further cost pressures would need to be managed down or mitigated by Services in order to avoid further savings targets being required.

 

There were currently no plans to use the Council Fund reserve in 2018/19 and onwards to support the revenue budget. After the use of the fund as details above, the balance as at 31 March, 2019 would be £9.351m. However, there was considerable uncertainty on the effects of Britain’s exit from the Europe Union and inflation had started to increase during this year. In addition, after achieving savings over the past years it was becoming increasing difficult to achieve savings in the short term and they would need a longer lead in time to implement. That being the case, it had to be assumed that the Council Fund could be used to support the budget in the coming years, while at the same time, being mindful that the Section 151 Officer required a balance of £7m to be maintained as a minimum balance for this particular fund. 

 

Assuming a council tax increase in each of the two years of 3%, based on CPI for December 2017 and adjustments for ‘one-off’ items flowing from the 2018/19 budget, the table below showed the projected shortfall for the period. It was emphasised that these projections were based upon information available at the current time and they would be subject to change e.g. changes in AEF.  The projection was also based upon the assumed achievement of a high level of savings.  The position would be reassessed as part of the MTFP and options for achieving the shortfall in savings would be addressed further.          

 

Financial Projections

 Financial Projections to 2020/21

2019/20

2020/21

Total

 

£000

£000

£000

Assumed Decrease in AEF (1% and 1%)

1,525

1,510

3,035

Cost Pressures (inc Schools)

4,673

3,654

8,327

Pay and Price Inflation (excl.   schools)

1,989

1,991

3,980

Net Savings Targets

(2,920)

(707)

(3,627)

Assumed 3% Gross Council Tax   Increase

(2,087)

(2,150)

(4,237)

Adjustment for ‘One Off’ Items   *

330

0

330

(Surplus)/Shortfall in Savings   Required

3,510

4,298

7,808

 

Reserves

 

Reserves were a way of setting aside funds from budgets in order to provide security against future levels of expenditure and to manage the burden across financial years. Funds no longer required may be transferred to the Council Fund and then set aside for other purposes or used to reduce council tax.

 

The Council had always taken a prudent approach with regard to Specific Reserves and used them to mitigate known risks (financial and service) and contingent items, e.g. Insurance Fund.  Other Reserves had been established to fund Council priorities, e.g. Visible Services and in particular the Capital Programme, e.g. School Investment Reserve, Project Fund, Building Fund. This was important as the Council had limited capacity to realise sufficient sums from the sale of assets for capital investment. Sums had also been set aside to assist in budget management. The Housing Revenue Account Reserve was ring-fenced to Housing and the majority would be used to fund improvements to the Council’s housing stock.

 

The Council benefited from a reasonable level of reserves, however, they were not inexhaustible and have taken years of careful financial management to develop to their current position.  After several years of real term reductions in funding and with the continuation of austerity measures into the foreseeable future, there was reduced contingency in the normal operational council budgets and the management and use of reserves would become increasingly important to be able to continue to provide services and to mitigate risks, while still trying to deliver corporate priorities.

 

The level of reserves had to be considered in the context of the financial risk facing the Council over the coming years.

 

One of the main risks to the Council’s financial planning was the uncertainty as to the level of funding to be received from WG in future years. WG had indicated a reduction of 1% in 2019/20 with no indication for 2020/21. Projections had therefore been based on the assumed cash reduction in AEF of 1% in both 2019/20 and 2020/21. Each 1% change in AEF affected the Council by approximately £1.5m. 

 

Projecting forward on this basis, there was a gap in funding in the coming years that would need to be identified. Excluding Schools, savings of £16.909m needed to be achieved over the next 3 years, of which £9.101m had been identified. This figure was extremely challenging and there was significant pressure on services to deliver these existing savings in full and on time. There was a risk of non-achievement of these savings and the ability to identify and implement further savings given the already high level of savings previously delivered by services. Reserves had been set up where possible to facilitate this process e.g. Early Retirement Fund, Reshaping Services Fund.

 

There were risks in the budget and the most significant of these were set out in the report. The Social Services care packages budget was currently overspending. Even though additional funding had been proposed for 2018/19, further action would need to be undertaken by the Director of Social Services to achieve a balanced budget. 

 

Pay and price inflation was a further risk. From 2019/20 onwards, provision had been made in the budget at a similar rate to 2018/19 for pay, with a targeted approach to allocating non pay inflation. The Consumer Price Index had been gradually increasing and for the 12 months to December 2017 rose by 3%. Services would need to manage spending as costs rises.

 

Details of all specific grants had not yet been finalised and there was a risk that should grants be cut and it was not possible to reduce expenditure correspondingly, the Council could overspend. This risk had to be mitigated by the fact that Services should have in place “exit” plans for any specific grant ceasing and were usually aware of likely developments in the level of grant. In the first place each Service would be expected to fund any shortfall from its revenue budget. There were however some reserves held to cover future grant reductions but these could only be seen as a contingency in the short term e.g. Adult Community Learning and Youth Offending reserves. The payment of redundancy costs, when a grant ceases, was not normally allowed as eligible expenditure to be set against the grant and therefore it was for the Council to set aside funds to cover this eventuality. A Grant Exit Strategy reserve was being held under the Social Services heading to fund such costs if they arise and in the main related to the Flying Start grant.

 

Legislative changes provide a major risk to the Council. The increase in the National Living Wage would put further pressure on staffing budgets. There was uncertainty for future recycling costs as a result of Article 11 of the Revised Framework Directive which were yet to be confirmed. In addition, the impact of changes to welfare reforms were at present not clear and a reserve was held for this purpose. 

 

There were risks associated with climate change, in particular energy costs and the Council holds an Energy Fund to implement energy saving initiatives. The effect of adverse weather conditions increased the cost of running and maintaining the Council’s infrastructure and provision needed to continue to be set aside to fund works over and above that held in the normal operational revenue budget, as covered for instance by the Bad Weather reserve.

 

Whilst covered by a separate report on the agenda, it was important to point out that a large proportion of the reserves were held for capital expenditure as well as for revenue purposes. There was a large commitment required for the future development of local schools and for the risks in maintaining aging premises. Also, the Council relied heavily on its IT infrastructure and the Wales Audit Office had recommended that a corporate technology development fund should be held.

 

The Council also held funds to enable it to fulfil its priorities set out in the Corporate Plan through the 4 well-being outcomes. The Council had to demonstrate its commitment to the Well-being of Future Generations Act and ensure that the needs of the present were met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need, thus ensuring that funding was available in the long term through sound financial planning.

 

As part of the usual Budget process, an examination of the level of reserves was undertaken to ascertain their adequacy and strategy for use. The reserves were examined with a view to their level (i.e. whether the amount held in the fund was sufficient to requirements) and purpose (i.e. whether the need to hold the fund was still relevant). The requirement for each specific reserve had also been considered in light of the Council's priorities

 

There was only 1 proposed transfer between reserves. The Employment Training reserve was set up to assist with costs associated with the ending of the Employment and Training Services contract (Work Programme). This service would come to an end on 31 March, 2018.  Part of the reserve would be used this year, however, it was proposed that any remaining balance be transferred into the Regeneration Fund.

 

The estimated level of the Council Fund Reserve at 1 April, 2018 was £9.351m with no future use proposed for 2018/19 and onwards.

 

The Section 151 Officer’s view was that the minimum level for the Council Fund Reserve was £7m. This was considered sufficient to cover unforeseen expenditure whilst, in the short term, maintaining a working balance. Unforeseen expenditure could be substantial and several instances could occur in a year. Whilst there was no set requirement for the minimum level for the Council Fund Reserve, some commentators used 5% of the net budget as a guide. For the Vale of Glamorgan this was currently about £11.1m. However, in view of the prudent approach the Council took with regard to Specific Reserves, £7m was considered a reasonable minimum.

 

The Schools Balances were unspent budgets delegated to individual schools. It was projected that the aggregate nursery, primary and secondary balances would be around £1.7m in surplus at 31 March, 2018. 

 

Attached at Appendix H to the report was a schedule showing the reserves and the anticipated balances at 31 March, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. The Appendix set out the title of the reserve together with its purpose. A summary of the position was set out below and excluded Schools balances and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA):

                     

Estimated Reserves

Summary of Estimated Reserves Projected to 2020/21

Est.  Bal.

31/3/2018

Net

Movement

Est. Bal.

31/3/2021

 

£000

£000

£000

General Reserves

9,351

0

9,351

Specific Reserves :

 

 

 

-         Insurance Fund

2,545

0

2,545

-         Capital Reserves

28,281

(17,778)

10,503

-         Other Specific Reserves

24,170

(11,145)

13,025

Total Council Fund Reserves(excl. Schools and HRA)

64,347

(28,923)

35,424

 

It was projected that there would be a large fall (45%) in the level of reserves over the 3 year period as substantial calls on funds are made. However, these were still deemed to be adequate as known risks were largely covered and the Council Fund Reserve was at a reasonable level, not expected to fall below £7m.

 

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

That Cabinet recommends to Council the following:

 

(1)       T H A T the budget be fixed for 2018/19 at £222.053 million including a provision of £200k for discretionary rate relief to rural shops and post offices and charitable organisations.

 

(2)       T H A T the budgets for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix C attached to the report, and the totals as set out below be approved:

 

Proposed Budget

 

£000

Schools

84,458

Strategy,   Culture, Community Learning & Resources

11,577

Achievement   for All

4,662

School   Improvement

1,033

Directors   Office

232

Children &   Young People

15,296

Adult Services

46,719

Resource Mgt   & Safeguarding

230

Youth   Offending Service

728

Neighbourhood   & Transport Services

26,966

Building   Services

0

Regulatory   Services

2,239

Council Fund   Housing

1,392

Resources

572

Regeneration

2,083

Development   Management

1,076

Private   Housing

11,007

General Policy

11,783

Grand Total

222,053

 

(3)       T H A T the recommendations regarding Net Growth for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix D attached to the report and Savings for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix E attached to the report, be approved.

 

(4)       T H A T the Council Tax for 2018/19 be set for its own purposes (excluding Police and town and community council precepts) at the following levels:

 

Council Tax Bands

Band

Council Tax

          £

A

791.28

B

923.16

C

1,055.04

D

1,186.92

E

1,450.68

F

1,714.44

G

1,978.20

H

2,373.84

I

2,769.48

 

(5)       T H A T the proposed draft report on Education Budget and Indicator Based Assessment (IBA) attached at Appendix A to the report be endorsed and the Director of Learning and Skills make arrangements for it to be forwarded to the School Budget Forum.

 

That the following be approved by Cabinet:

 

(6)       ................

 

(7)       ................

 

(8)       ................

 

(9)       ................

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To set the 2018/19 budget in line with statutory requirements.

 

(2)       To allocate budgets to services.

 

(3)       To reduce risk to services and balance the budget.

                                                 

(4)       To set Council Tax levels for 2018/19.

 

(5)       In order that the report can be presented to the Schools Budget Forum.

 

(6)       ................

 

(7)       ................

 

(8)       ................

 

(9)       ................

 

[View Cabinet Report]