Agenda item

Draft Ten Year Capital Programme, Revenue Budget 2022-23 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2022-25


1.    The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services, Mr Oakford, introduced the report published on 5 January 2022 and said the 2022-23 and medium-term budget proposals had been developed against the background of considerable uncertainty and volatility.  The capital programme had been enhanced to show a 10-year horizon covering 2022-32 which would ensure a more realistic capital programme with less slippage.  Mr Oakford said it was vital that additional borrowing was minimised to avoid unaffordable pressure on the revenue budget. Mr Oakford said the Council was required to set a balanced revenue budget for the forthcoming year (2022-23) which meant the net spending should equal the available funding raised from council tax precept, retained business rates growth and grant settlement from central government.  Mr Oakford said the Council was facing exceptional spending demands for the forthcoming year from a combination of the longer term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic which had significantly changed demands and costs for key services leading to additional spending associated with latent demand, increasing complexity, and changes in social and working lives, as well as economic impact from rising inflation.


2.    Mrs Bell said in terms of revenue, the Adult Social Care Budget would receive an additional £15.3million in Social Care Support Grant and a £1.5million increase from the Improved Better Care Fund.  The 1% Social Care Levy equated to roughly £8million, and the new £4.2million grant for social care was ring fenced for charging reforms.  The Adult Social Care and Health base budget for the current year was set at just over £402million and would rise to £434 million. In terms of growth the main pressures included increased cost on activity across all services, price increases for care packages, increased client numbers and additional complexity of new and existing clients. Mrs Bell said savings had been identified from the Making a Difference Everyday strategy, the strategic review of inhouse services and the proposed review of existing contracts for commissioned services. The total savings identified for 2022-2023 was £19.5million. Mrs Bell said it had been necessary to look at areas of non-statutory historical spend to make additional savings and reluctantly the draft budget proposed not renewing two contracts for housing related support with a value of £5million.


3.    Mr Oakford, Mrs Bell and Mr Smith responded to comments and questions from the committee including the following:


(a)  Members acknowledged the difficulty of decisions and commented that a cut in the budget would fall on those most vulnerable in society and greater demand would result in services being spread more thinly.


(b)  Mrs Bell said within the re-design of social care alternative ways of delivering services was being investigated for example, working better with the NHS and the voluntary sector, other types of providers i.e. micro-providers, and the use of technology.


(c)  Mr Oakford said council tax was being raised by 2% and the social care precept by 1% which was the maximum possible rise in taxes without the need for a referendum.


(d)  Asked about the allocation and planning of money for subsequent years, Mr Oakford said, although the government had provided a three-year settlement, the methodology for allocating money across local authorities after 2022/2023 had not been determined.


4.    It was RESOLVED that the draft capital and revenue budgets, including responses to consultation, be noted, with thanks, and the draft be presented to Cabinet on 27 January 2022 and full County Council on 10 February 2022.


Ms K Grehan, Mr S Campkin, Mr R Streatfield and Ms J Meade asked for their abstentions to be noted in the minutes.

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