Issue - meetings

Meeting: 11/01/2023 - Cabinet (Item 266)

266 Budget Targets for 2023/2024 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value (DF/23/02) on the Budget Targets for 2023/2024. This Report will follow.

Additional documents:



(a) that he provisional local government finance settlement set out in

paragraph 2.3 of the Report be noted;


(b) that the revenue budget targets for 2023/24 as set out in paragraph 3.8 of the Report be approved; and


(c) that the Capital Programme be determined by Cabinet on 10th February 2023.


(Councillors Biederman, Brazil and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).


The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value (DF/23/02) on the Target Budgets for 2023/2024, 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.


In previous years, Cabinet had agreed target budgets for services in December, based on financial planning forecasts constructed in advance of the provisional settlement. However, this year, there had been much more uncertainty in terms of central government funding for local government, combined with the most challenging budget round that the Authority has faced in recent decades.


It was therefore prudent to defer setting service budget targets until January, after the announcement of the provisional settlement.


On 19th December 2022, the Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, released a written Ministerial statement to Parliament setting out the provisional local government finance settlement for the 2023/24 financial year. The settlement was in line with the Spending Review 2021 and updated for the announcements made in the Autumn Statement of 17th November 2022.


Budget targets for the 2023/24 financial year were set out in the table at paragraph 3.8 of the Report, reflecting a net increase in service budgets of £66.2 million, which was a 10.5% increase.


The provisional local government finance settlement for 2023/24 was a single year settlement and the key matters in that settlement were outlined in paragraph 2.2, including an increase of 9.6% in core spending power, the flexibility in setting Council Tax by setting the referendum limit at 2.99% (and that social care authorities could increase the adult social care precept by an additional 2%), Business Rates to increase in line with the September CPI, Social care grant, the new Adult Social Care Market Sustainability and Improvement Fund (to support hospital discharge), the Adult Social Care Discharge Fund (split equally between councils and the NHS, to support hospital discharge and had to be pooled into the Better Care Fund), Service grant (reduced due to the cancellation of the National Insurance increase and to transfer funding to Supporting Families programme) and that the ‘Fair Funding Review’)and a reset of Business Rates growth would not be implemented in the next two years.


The tables at paragraph 2.3 outlined the Authority’s Core Funding of £107.2 million and showed the other government grants that had been announced so far. Other existing grants were expected to be published soon and would be reported as part of the overall budget papers in February, if known by then.


In terms of Service Targets, the cost of living and geopolitical situation had created huge financial pressures nationally and the Authority had faced unprecedented price and demand pressures in the current year. Although significant savings had been found, many had been one-off measures.


To enable the Authority to set a balanced budget, savings, alternative funding and additional income  ...  view the full minutes text for item 266