Agenda item

Capital and Revenue Budgets - 2014/2015




This report and supporting addendum reports presented proposals for the capital and revenue budgets for 2014/2015.


It was noted that the Cabinet had considered initial budget proposals on 26 November 2013, which had been developed in accordance with the principles set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan 2014/2017. It was noted that considerable effort had been made to achieve a balanced budget without seriously impacting on direct services to the public and that the proposed revenue budget of £331.418 million was based on a Council Tax increase of 1.995%.


It was noted following the publication of the Cabinet agenda that the Final Local Government Finance Settlement had been announced on 5 February 2014 and details of this was set out in the addendum report (included within Supplementary Agenda No.3). It was reported that the settlement presented a marginally favourable position for the Council to that set out in the main report, with a £12,577 increase in the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) to be received in 2014/2015. RSG for 2015/2016 was unchanged from the Provisional Settlement. The Baseline Funding for business rates for both 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 was as announced in the Provisional Settlement and again consistent with the figures quoted in the main report.


Members were advised that the revised budget gap to be closed before Council on 20 February 2014 was now £81,000.


The Cabinet report noted that the budget build assumed a nil increase in pay for staff and a continued freeze on increments. Proposals to amend the present pay structure, in tandem with a review of grades and assimilation to the new structure, had been reported to the Employment Matters Committee on 6 February 2014, together with the results of negotiations with Trade Unions. The addendum report set out details of the discussion at the Committee, as well as the Committee’s recommendations to Council.


The proposed capital programme for 2014/2015, incorporating existing schemes and anticipated grant allocations, was £53.977 million. An overall summary and a summary by directorate of the proposed capital programme were attached at Appendix 2 to the report.


It was noted that budget proposals had been referred to all the Overview and Scrutiny Committees for consideration. The Overview and Scrutiny Committees’ views were detailed in the report, with the recommendations of the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee set out for Cabinet consideration within an addendum report.


The summarised Housing Revenue Account was set out in Appendix 4 to the report with the capital component in Appendix 2 to the report. A report setting out details of proposed rents for 2014/2015 was considered as a separate item on the agenda. Details of a budget consultation meeting with tenants on 31 January 2014 were included within the addendum report.


The schedule of fees and charges (Appendix 5 to the report) had been circulated within Supplementary Agenda No. 1 and revised pages, which included an additional charge relating to Dog Control Orders and replacement fees for the Children and Adults Directorate, were tabled at the meeting.


Appendix 6 to the report set out details of business rates discretionary rate relief, which it was proposed to be implemented using powers under the Localism Act 2011.


The report set out the requirements under equality legislation and a Diversity Impact Assessment, that aggregated the impact of reductions in funding to services, was included within the addendum report. The overarching form identified five services where there may be a potential adverse impact on some protected characteristic groups and these Diversity Impact Assessments were included within the addendum report.


Decision number:



The Cabinet noted the recommendations from overview and scrutiny committees as summarised in Section 8 and detailed in Appendix 1 of the report.


The Cabinet noted the views of Business Support Committee in relation to the Draft Budget approved on 26 November 2013, as set out in the addendum report.


The Cabinet noted the recommendations of the Employment Matters Committee to Council in relation to the Pay and Grade Review proposals discussed on 6 February 2014, as set out in the addendum report.


The Cabinet noted the views expressed at the Tenant consultation event on 31 January 2014 in respect to the proposals for the Housing Revenue Account for 2014/2015, as set out in the addendum report.


The Cabinet recommended to Council the capital budget proposals, as set out in Appendix 2 of the report.


The Cabinet noted the minor improvement in the Revenue Support Grant for 2014/2015 and the consequent reduction in the budget gap yet to be closed, together with the confirmation that the referendum ‘excess’ limit was to be set at 2% and is consistent with the 1.995% increase in Council Tax proposed.


The Cabinet recommended to Council that the net revenue budget summarised at Table 10, amounting to £331.418 million, should be adopted and that this be funded by a 1.995% increase in Council Tax for 2014/2015 with the equivalent Band D figure at £1,164.24. The resolution of the £81,000 gap would be reported to Council.


The Cabinet recommended to Council the fees and charges set out at Appendix 5 to the report, subject to the inclusion of the fixed penalty charge for failing to comply with a Dog Control Order and the replacement of the Children and Adults Directorate fees and charges (as tabled at the meeting).


The Cabinet adopted the schemes for the relief of business rates as set out in Appendix 6 of the report and delegated to the Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, the detailed application of these schemes.


The Cabinet requested that the Chief Finance Officer calculate the formal requirements under Sections 30 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for resolution by Special Council on 20 February 2014.


The Constitution requires that Cabinet’s budget proposals must be forwarded to Council for consideration and approval.


The Council is required by statute to set a budget and council tax levels by 11 March each year.

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