Report of the County Treasurer (CT/20/107) relating to the Target Budget, an update on the Local Government Settlement for forthcoming year and preparation of the budget and service expenditure targets. The Report will follow to allow incorporation of the spending round outcome that was recently announced.
Also, Cabinet, in considering this item are asked to note the view of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee in relation to budget setting. In considering the In-year Service Briefings at its meeting on 19th November 2020 (minute *202 refers), the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee RESOLVED that in setting this year’s budget the Cabinet recognise the need to support residents of Devon with prevention and early intervention across services before reaching crisis point. That this is not only financially prudent but also responsible in the support of giving everyone the best opportunities in life.
(Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Hall, Hannaford and Whitton attended remotely in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/20/107) relating to the Target Budget, an update on the Local Government Settlement for the forthcoming year and preparation of the budget and service expenditure targets.
The Report also updated on the recent Spending Review (SR2020) and presented Budget Targets for 2021/22, which were set out in paragraph 3 and represented an overall increase of £28.4 millions or 5.2%.
The Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement had not been announced but was expected the week commencing 14th December 2020. An update on the Provisional Settlement would be provided at the January Cabinet meeting. In addition, the size of some grant funding streams might not be known until the new calendar year.
In terms of the Spending Review 2020, this confirmed a one-year spending review, not the three years hoped for, but with the economic and financial impact of the Pandemic this had been reduced to one year.
The Report outlined the key messages from SR2020 that would impact next year’s budget. Some of these included:
· Core Spending Power to increase by 4.5%;
· A new Social Care grant of £300 millions (nationally);
· The Council Tax increase that would trigger the need for a referendum was 2%;
· The option to set an Adult Social Care Precept of up to 3%;
· current Social Care grants would continue next year;
· A public sector pay freeze, except for those earning less than £24,000;
· The National Living Wage would increase by 2.2% to £8.91 per hour;
· A grant of £670 million nationally to offset some of the impact of the Pandemic on the Council Tax Base;
· A Council Tax Income Guarantee Scheme to compensate authorities for 75% of irrecoverable losses in the current year;
· The current New Homes Bonus scheme would continue;
· The Fairer Funding Review, 75% Business Rate Retention and Business Rates Reset had been delayed; and
· Covid funding of £1.55 billions nationally; along with the continuation of the 75% Covid Sales Fees and Charges compensation scheme into the first quarter of 2021/22.
A number of grants (likely ringfenced) had also been announced including Cyber Security modernisation, Test and Trace, Personal Protective Equipment, Rough Sleepers, Domestic Abuse, Troubled Families, School Transport Capacity, Secure Children’s Homes, Social Housing Decarbonisation, Roads Maintenance & upgrades, Cycling, High Street Regeneration and Levelling up for local infrastructure.
The proposed targets were set out below.
The Capital Programme for 2021/22 to 2025/26 would be presented to Cabinet at the February Budget meeting.
Also, Cabinet, in considering this item was asked to note the view of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee in relation to budget setting. In considering the In-year Service Briefings at its meeting on 19th November 2020 (minute *202 refers), the Corporate Infrastructure and ... view the full minutes text for item 592