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 set out in paragraph 5, be approved; and
(d) that the Capital Programme be determined by the Cabinet on 15th February 2019.