Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/1) on the provisional local government settlement and preparation of the budget for 2019/2020, attached.
(Councillors Connett, Hannaford, Biederman, Atkinson, Dewhirst and Shaw attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/1) on the provisional local Government Settlement for 2019/2020 circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.
The Cabinet noted that the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement (announced on 13th December 2018) and level of funding was broadly as expected. 2019/20 was the final year of the four-year settlement and the core funding Provisional settlement of £101.5 millions. The grants the authority would receive were outlined in paragraph 2.5 of the Report, but some were still awaited and Members would be updated as part of the budget report in February.
Due to the Provisional Settlement being as anticipated, the 2019/20 Budget Targets set at the December Cabinet could remain unchanged.
The Settlement also confirmed the Winter Pressures Grant of £3.6 millions, the Adult Social Care Grant of £6.1 millions and the Improved Better Care Fund Grant of £24.7 millions; again all as expected.
The Department for Education had, since the Settlement, announced an additional £350 millions for Special Educational Need; of which £100 millions was Capital. The detail of this was awaited but early indications were that Devon’s share of the revenue element could mean an additional £1.5 millions in both 2018/19 and 2019/20.
Members noted that in relation to the 2019/20 75% Business Rate Retention Pilots, the Devon authorities submitted a bid to join the new pilot, but unfortunately Devon had not been selected as one of the pilot areas.
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability, carbon impact, risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the County Treasurer’s Report and/or referred to above having been considered:
It was MOVED by Councillor Barker, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and
(a) that the Provisional Settlement of £101.5 millions be noted;
(b) that the Council Tax increase that will trigger the need for a Referendum be noted as 3% for 2019/20; and
(c) that Members note that the Devon application to be a 75% Business Rates Pilot in 2019/20 had not been successful.
Report of the County Treasurer on the Target Budget, an update on the Local Government Settlement for forthcoming year and preparation of the budget and service expenditure targets, attached.
(Councillors Connett and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/18/102) on the Target Budget, the current status of the provisional Local Government Settlement for the forthcoming year, preparation of the budget for 2019/2020 and affirmation of service expenditure targets, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.
The Report outlined that the setting of Budget Targets was the first step in the formal, Council wide, budget process. The Targets were set out in paragraph 5 of the Report and represented an overall increase of £14.4 millions or 3.0%.
The Cabinet also noted that the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement was due to be announced on the 6th December 2018 but had now been delayed to an unspecified date. It was hoped that the Provisional Settlement would be received in sufficient time to report to the next meeting of Cabinet on 9th January 2019.
The Report also updated the Cabinet on the Autumn Budget and that it contained additional funding for Local Government in both 2018/19 and 2019/20. The additional funding for the current year (2018/19) was of a Capital nature and was set out in the Report.
For 2019/20 the Chancellor had announced an additional £650 millions of Revenue funding for Adult and Children’s Social Care: £410 millions was for a Social Care Support Grant that had been given in response to concerns nationally of pressures in Social Care, including Children’s Social Care. The remaining £240 millions was a Winter Pressures Grant and would need to be pooled into the Better Care Fund but was specifically for Councils to spend on Adult Social Care.
In relation to the 75% Business Rate Pilots, whilst the Government (in the summer) had invited Local Authorities to apply, it had been hoped that the 2018/19 100% Pilots would be continued into 2019/20 but this was not the case. The Devon authorities had submitted a bid to join the new pilot scheme in 2019/20. The outcome had been expected as part of the Provisional Settlement, but this was also now delayed.
The proposed targets set out in the report (2019/20 Base Budget, £000’s) were;
Adult Care & Health £232,599 (2.0%)
Children’s Services £135,153 (9.4%)
Community Health, Environment & Prosperity £38,577 (0.7%)
Corporate Services £32,974 (-6.6%)
Highways, Infrastructure Development & Waste £54,547 (0.7%)
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability (including carbon impact), risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the County Treasurer’s Report and/or referred to above having been considered:
it was MOVED by Councillor Barker, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and
(a) that the additional funding, as outlined in the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget, be noted;
(b) that the delay in the announcement of the Provisional Settlement also be noted;
(c) that the revenue spending targets for 2019/20, as ... view the full minutes text for item 266
Target Budget 2017/18
Report of the County Treasurer (CT/16/81) on the preparation of the Council’s Budget for 2017/18, the Provisional Local Government Settlement for forthcoming year and on proposed service expenditure targets, attached.
(Councillors Connett, Hannan, Julian and Westlake attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/16/81) on the preparation of the Council’s Budget for 2017/18 noting that the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government had - at the time this Report had been prepared - yet to announce details of the provisional Local Government Settlement for 2017/18.
Members acknowledged that Government had previously offered some certainty of funding for the period 2016/17 to 2019/20 where Local Authorities had submitted an Efficiency Statement. The County Council had taken up that option and its efficiency statement had been accepted, meeting the criteria for the four year settlement. Nonetheless, the provisional settlement was still important to provide assurance that the settlement figures for 2017/18 did not differ significantly from those previously provided or had not been amended because of other factors or recent events.
The Cabinet noted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement, made on 23 November 2016, had been silent on Adult Social Care funding or funding for local government services and there had as yet been no specific announcement relating either to Council Tax precept or continuation of the Adult Social Care precept allowed in 2016/17.
The Provisional Finance Settlement would, as usual, be subject to a period of consultation and the final settlement was not expected until late January or early February. While the timing of the Final Settlement was not known it was nonetheless anticipated, based on precedent, that it would be received in sufficient time for consideration at the scheduled budget meetings in February 2017. The level of Council Tax increase that would trigger a referendum was expected to remain at 2% but this was also subject to confirmation.
Notwithstanding the lack of clarity referred to above, and the inherent uncertainty around the provisional settlement, the Cabinet was recommended to adopt service targets based on it being broadly in-line with the indicative settlement received in February 2016. Members were advised that the County Treasurer would report further to the next Cabinet meeting should it be necessary so to do; there being at this stage no need to change the subsequent timetable for consideration and determination of the budget. The setting of service targets as now recommended was acknowledged as the beginning of a process of determining the County Council’s budget which, following a period of consultation within the Council and externally, would culminate in the Cabinet, on 10 February 2017, formulating a budget for consideration by the County Council on 16 February 2017.
Cabinet Members referred to continuing representations made to Government direct and via Devon Members of Parliament about the Council's budgetary position and on funding for specific service areas such as education and health and social care and, in the case of the latter, also on the need for transitional funding and the desirability of early allocation of Better Care Funding.
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives ... view the full minutes text for item 115