(Report of the Leader of the Council)
The Leader of the Council proposed the Vision Statement, Priority Themes, Corporate Priorities and Plans and their inclusion in the Corporate Plan.
The recommended package of budget proposals to enable the Council to agree the:
General Fund (GF) Revenue Budget and Council Tax for 2021/22;
Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget for 2021/22;
5 Year General Fund Capital Programme (2021/26);
5 Year HRA Capital Programme (2021/26);
3 Year General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) (2021/24); and
5 Year HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) (2021/26).
To comply with the requirement of the Council’s Treasury Management Policy in reporting to Council the proposed strategy for the forthcoming year and the Local Government Act 2003 with the reporting of the Prudential Indicators and the requirement to prepare an annual Corporate Capital Strategy.
The Leader reported that the Council received Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) income based on its policy for developments within the borough, 15% of the income is set aside in reserve to fund neighbourhood projects and the balance now stands at over £35,000. The Leader proposed an additional recommendation as set out at 28 below.
That Cabinet endorsed the following recommendations to proceed to Council for approval:
1. the Vision Statement, Priority Themes, Corporate Priorities and Outcomes for 2021/22 (Appendix A);
2. the proposed revisions to Service Revenue Budgets (Policy Changes) (Appendix C);
3. the sum of £60,376 be applied from Council Tax Collection Fund surpluses in reducing the Council Tax demand in 2021/22 (Appendix E);
4. the sum of £7,137,191 be applied to Business Rates Collection Fund deficits in 2021/22, in part offset by a transfer from the Business Rates reserve of £6,876,350 (Appendix E);
5. that on 3rd December 2020, the Cabinet calculated the Council Tax Base 2020/21 for the whole Council area as 22,366 [Item T in the formula in Section 31B(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the "Act")];
6. that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2021/22 is £4,179,982 (Appendix E);
7. the following amounts as calculated for the year 2021/22 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:
a. £54,121,642 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act (Outgoings excluding internal GF Recharges);
b. £49,941,660 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act (Income excluding internal GF Recharges);
c. £4,179,982 being the amount by which the aggregate at 7(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 7(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year (Item R in the formula in Section 31A(4) of the Act);
d. £186.89 being the amount at 7(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (at 5 above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year;
8. the Council Tax level for the Borough Council for 2020/21 of £186.89 (an increase of £5 (2.75%) on the 2020/21 level of £181.89) at Band D;
9. an aggregate Council Tax (comprising the respective demands of the Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority) of £1,864.86 at Band D for 2021/22 be noted (£1,780.17 in 2020/21) (Appendix H);
10. the Council Tax levels at each band for 2021/22 (Appendix H);
11. the sum of £206,157 be transferred from General Fund Revenue Balances in 2021/22 (Appendix E);
12. the Summary General Fund Revenue Budget for 2021/22 (Appendix E);
13. the Provisional General Fund Budgets for 2022/23 to 2023/24, summarised at Appendix G, as the basis for future planning;
14. minimum level for balances of £500k to be held for each of the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, General Capital Fund and Housing Capital Fund;
15. Cabinet be authorised to release funding from the General Contingency budget and that the release of funding for Specific Contingency items be delegated to the Corporate Management Team in consultation with the Leader of the Council;
16. proposed HRA Expenditure level of £14,745,710 for 2021/22 (Appendix D);
17. rents for Council House Tenants in General Accommodation for 2021/22 be set at an average of £89.25 (2020/21 £87.93), over a 48 week rent year (including a 1.5% increase);
18. rents for Council House Tenants due for 52 weeks in 2021/22 be collected over 48 weeks;
19. the HRA deficit of £342,610 be financed through a transfer from Housing Revenue Account Balances in 2021/22 (Appendix D);
20. the proposed 5 year General Fund Capital Programme of £30.732m, as detailed in Appendix I to the report;
21. the proposed 5 year Housing Capital Programme of £33.742m, as detailed in Appendix J to the report;
22. to delegate authority to Cabinet to approve/add new capital schemes to the capital programme where grant funding is received or there is no net additional cost to the Council;
23. the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, the Treasury Management Policy Statement, Minimum Revenue Provision Strategy and Annual Investment Statement 2021/22 (as detailed at Appendix N);
24. the Prudential and Treasury Indicators and Limits for 2021/22 to 2023/24 contained within Appendix N;
25. adoption of the Treasury Management Practices contained within ANNEX 8;
26. the detailed criteria of the Investment Strategy 2021/22 contained in the Treasury Management Strategy within ANNEX 4; and
27. the Corporate Capital Strategy and associated Action Plan (as detailed at Appendix O).
28. the current funding of £35,000 held in the CIL neighbourhood reserve be released to create a budget in 2021/22 for Cabinet to allocate on a neighbourhood project basis.
(Moved by Councillor D Cook and seconded by Councillor R Pritchard)