The Cabinet accepted the report as urgent to ensure that the initial budget proposals could be referred to Overview and Scrutiny in accordance with the process for developing the budget, as set out in the Budget and Policy Framework Rules in the Constitution.
This report presented the Council’s draft capital and revenue budgets for 2023/24. It noted that the draft budget was based on the principles contained in the Financial Outlook 2023/24, which had been reported to the Cabinet on 18 October 2022. Draft budget requirements for the directorates in 2023/24 were set out in Appendices 1 – 4 to the report.
The report explained that initial projections for the costs of services in 2022/23 amounted to an increased budget requirement in the range of £48.361million -£72.244million and projections of income to mitigate, represented a growth of £16.001million. Assumptions made in the report reduced the gap to £28.683million and officers would continue to work with Portfolio Holders to formulate savings proposals to address the projected revenue budget deficit. Officers would discuss options with the Leader and Cabinet Members through the normal budget setting process.
The report noted that in accordance with the Constitution, this report was the first stage of the budget consultation process leading to further consideration by Cabinet on 7 February 2023 and formal budget and council tax setting by Council on 23 February 2023. Budget proposals would now be submitted to the Council’s overview and scrutiny committees.
The Cabinet instructed officers to continue to work with Portfolio Holders in formulating robust proposals to balance the budget for 2023/24.
The Cabinet agreed to refer the draft capital and revenue budgets to overview and scrutiny committees as a work in progress, inviting them to offer comments on the proposals outlined.
The Cabinet recommended to Full Council that in February 2023 when setting the Council Tax, that the following changes be applied to Council premia in line with the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018, as set out in paragraph 5.6.4 of the report:
· the 100% premium for long-term empty properties may be brought forward so that it can commence after being empty for one year rather than two; and
· a 100% premium may be charged for properties that are unoccupied but furnished (referred to as second homes)
It is the
responsibility of Cabinet to develop draft budget proposals for
consideration by overview and scrutiny committees. These draft
proposals are the first stage of the budget consultation process
leading to further consideration by Cabinet on 7 February 2023 and
formal council tax setting by Council on 23 February
The timetable for
consideration by overview and scrutiny is as follows:
Business Support 24 November 2022
Children & Young People 29 November 2022
Health & Adult Social Care 1 December 2022
Regeneration, Culture & Environment 8 December 2022
Business Support 25 January 2023
Cabinet 7 February 2023
Council 23 February 2023