16th December 2008
Draft Revenue and Capital Budgets 2009/10 and further update on financial position 2010/11 and 2011/12 (Agenda Item 13(1))
Councillors Ashton and Lake and the Director of Finance and Resources presented a report.
Councillor Ashton referred to the very difficult national financial circumstances that faced residents and the Council in the foreseeable future. It was thus important to ensure that all possible efficiency savings were implemented and the Council Tax kept down to an affordable level. The current financial climate imposed pressures on some services which had to be met.
The Council continued to be under funded by the Government. Councillor Ashton and the Chief Executive Officer would meet Ben Bradshaw, the Minister for the South West, on 26th January 2009 and this would, again, be pursued.
Councillor Ashton requested that Members’ appreciation be communicated to Directors and all staff for their work in achieving a proposed budget that would lead to a Council Tax increase below the rate of inflation for a second year. He particularly mentioned the work done by the accountants.
Recommended to the Council: that the draft Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2009/10, contained in the report, be considered for comment.
It was further
(1) that it be noted that the Budget for 2009/10 currently projects a shortfall of £2.0m which will need to be met from further savings, additional income or an increase in Council Tax, but that it continues to commit to ensuring any Council Tax increase is below the rate of general inflation;
(2) that the draft Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2009/10 be referred to the Policy/Overview and Scrutiny Panels in January 2008, and that they be invited –
(a) (Finance and Performance Policy and Scrutiny Panel) to review budget assumptions, test budget robustness and compliance with financial strategy,
(b) (all Panels) to ensure that they have a good understanding of the detailed 2009/10 budget savings proposals and to raise any concerns with the Executive about implementation and effects on service users or communities and, if they wish to delete any proposal, then to consider and suggest alternatives, and
(c) further, all Panels be requested to ensure that they have a good understanding of pressures on the Council's Budget for 2010-2012 and to begin to consider how to mitigate those pressures and where the Council might withdraw from services, make efficiency improvements or raise income in order to offset the impact; and
(3) that the medium-term financial position for 2010/11 and 2011/12 be noted and that the Executive commits to establishing and delivering a financial action plan in order that the funding gap can be mitigated at the earliest opportunity.