This report sets out the Council’s draft capital and revenue budgets for 2023/24. In accordance with the Constitution, Cabinet is required to develop ‘initial budget proposals’ approximately three months before finalising the budget and setting council tax levels at the end of February 2023.
The draft budget is based on the principles set out in the Financial Outlook 2023/24 considered by the Cabinet on 18 October 2022.
The Committee considered a report setting out the Council’s draft capital and revenue budget for 2023/24. The Chief Finance Officer advised that it had been prepared prior to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement so did not reflect the impact of the announcements made.
The following issues were discussed:
· Council Tax rate – Asked about anticipated Council Tax increases in other unitary authorities, the Chief Finance Officer said that there had been conversations with other authorities and all were facing significant budget challenge. While the decision to raise Council Tax was a difficult one, given affordability, if councils did not take advantage of the flexibility to raise Council Tax, in future years they were left behind as Government funding allocations reduced as a result.
1. The Committee noted that Cabinet had instructed officers to continue to work with Portfolio Holders in formulating robust proposals to balance the budget for 2023/24.
2. The Committee commented on the proposals outlined in the draft capital and revenue budgets and forwarded proposals to the individual overview and scrutiny committees.
3. The Committee noted 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