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Decision details

General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

To agree the budget strategy and timetable for 2022/23, the net savings requirements by year for the next 5 years, and the revised General Fund revenue, funding and reserves projections.

Decision:

Matter for Decision

This report presented and recommended the budget strategy for the 2022/23 budget cycle and specific implications, as outlined in the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) October 2021 document, which was attached and to be agreed.

 

This report also recommended the approval of new capital items and funding proposals for the Council’s Capital Plan, the results of which were shown in the MTFS.

 

At this stage in the 2022/23 budget process showed the range of assumptions on which the Budget-Setting Report (BSR) published in February 2021 was based need to be reviewed, in light of the latest information available, to determine whether any aspects of the strategy need to be revised. This then provides the basis for updating budgets for 2022/23 to provide indicative budgets to 2031/32. All references in the recommendations to Appendices, pages and sections relate to the MTFS.

 

The recommended budget strategy was based on the outcome of the review undertaken together with financial modelling and projections of the Council’s expenditure and resources, in the light of local policies and priorities, national policy and economic context. Service managers had identified financial and budget issues and pressures and this information had been used to inform the MTFS.

 

It was noted that the budgetary implications of the Depot Relocation reported elsewhere on the agenda and agreed by the Executive Councillor  would be incorporated into an updated version of the MTFS reported to Full Council.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources to recommend to Council

 

 

i)  To agree the budget strategy and timetable as outlined in Section 1 [pages 5 to 7 refer] of the MTFS document.

 

ii)  To agree the incorporation of changed assumptions and specific, identifiable pressures, as presented in Sections 3 and 4 respectively [pages 19 to 30 refer]. This provides an indication of the net savings requirement, by year for the next five years, and revised projections for General Fund (GF) revenue and funding as shown in Section 6 [page 36 refers]  and reserves [Section 7 pages 37 to 41 refer] of the MTFS document.

 

iii)To agree the revenue budget proposals as set out in Section 4 [pages 19 and 20 refer].

 

Description

2021/22

£000

2022/23

£000

2023/24

£000

2024/25

£000

2025/26

£000

Additional communications posts and digital consultation platform (license fee) - recurring

45

125

125

125

125

Additional costs of redevelopment of commercial units at Colville Road Phase 3

 

120

120

 

 

Set up costs of a new housing company and Registered Provider

73

 

 

 

 

Feasibility study to expand Cambridge City Housing Company

70

 

 

 

 

Total

188

245

125

125

125

 

 

Capital

 

iv)  To note the changes to the capital plan and funding as set out in Section 5 [pages 31 to 35 refer] and Appendix A [pages 49 to 52] of the MTFS document.

 

v)  To agree changes to the budget for the Meadows Community Hub and Buchan Street retail outlet scheme as set out below.

 

 

 

Ref.

Description / £’000s

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

Total

 

Proposals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SC694

Meadows Community Hub and Buchan Street retail outlet

(1,224)

2,551

158

-

-

-

1,485

 

Total proposals

(1,224)

2,551

158

0

0

1,485

 

vi)  To agree the replacement of third-party contributions of £210k for the community extension to Cherry Hinton library with council funding.

 

Reserves

 

vii)To agree the transfer of £3.1m and £0.8m of GF reserves into earmarked reserves to support the delivery of the Our Cambridge transformation and recovery programme and to provide a contingency fund for the programme [page 41 refers]. Furthermore, to agree authorisation to draw down funding from these reserves to be as described.

 

viii)To agree changes to GF reserve levels, the prudent minimum balance being set at £6.64m and the target level at £7.98m as detailed in Section 7 [page 39 refers] and Appendix B [pages 53 and 54 refer].

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Head of Finance.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i)  Requested clarification on the additional communication posts.

  ii)  Will the Transformation Programme be analysed project by project by Scrutiny/Executive Councillor?

In reply to Members’ questions:

  i)  Officers would provide a note analysing the capacity and function of the corporate communications team and setting out the case foradditional communication posts.

  ii)  paper recommending additional communication posts.

  iii)  Transformation Programme projects would be taken to the relevant Scrutiny Committee, along with the necessary consultation with residents, staff and partners.

 

 

The Committee by 4 votes to 0 resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Publication date: 16/11/2021

Date of decision: 11/10/2021