Agenda item

Revised 2018 / 19 Estimates, Original 2019 / 20 Budget Estimates and Council Tax 2019 / 20

To consider the report of the Director of Resources, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Resources presenting:

·                    for noting, the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement announced by the Government on 13 December 2018;

·                    the revised 2018 / 19 and original 2019 / 20 General Fund Revenue Budget estimate;

·                    the proposed council tax increase for 2019 / 20

·                    the policy for the use of Reserves.

 

The report and associated appendices to the report outlined the following:

·                    the latest information on the provisional Local Government finance settlement 2019 / 20;

·                    revised General Fund revenue budget estimates 2018 / 19;

·                    General Fund revenue budget estimates 2019 / 20;

·                    budget growth, savings and income generation in 2019 / 20;

·                    Essex Region business rates pool to which no changes to the Pool membership had been notified;

·                    an update on interest on investments;

·                    the Council Tax requirement for 2019 / 20;

·                    General Fund balance and revenue reserves;

·                    risks to the Council’s financial position.

 

Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2019 / 20

The Director of Resources reported that she had received written communication which confirmed that the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2019 / 20 had been finalised and settlement funding was £1.508.

 

It was noted that this was the last year of the current spending review settlement and therefore 2020 would see a new way of funding.  There were currently consultations out regarding this and the Director of Resources would be arranging a Member briefing and workshop around this.

 

Council Tax

The Director of Resources highlighted the significant precept rises from Essex Police and Essex County Council.  At the request of Members Officers had modelled the budget to try and stay within the line of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which up to the end of December 2018 was 2.4%.  The budget presented included a proposed Council Tax increase of 2.3%.

 

Councillor A S Fluker thanked the Section 151 Officer and her team for the enormous amount of work that had gone into the budget and engaging with him with regards to the Council Tax.  He referred to the need to protect tax.

 

Councillor Fluker proposed that the recommendations as set out in the report, including an increase council tax by £4.43 (2.3%).  This proposal was duly seconded.  It was noted that recommendation (ii)d should read “to retain…”.

 

In response to a question regarding paying off the pension gap, the Director of Resources advised that this had to be paid every four years and monies were being put aside this year for this.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)                 That the main details of the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2019 / 20 as set out below and in section 3.4 of the report:

 

2015 / 16
Adjusted

2016 / 17

2017 / 18

2018 / 19

2019 / 20

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

Settlement Funding Assessment – Maldon

2.447

1.964

1.601

1.474

1.508

Annual % Change

 

-19.7%

-18.5%

-7.9%

-2.3%

Cumulative % Change

 

-19.79%

-34.6%

-39.8%

-38.4%

 

RECOMMENDED

 

(ii)               that the following be approved:

 

(a)                the Summary Revised 2018 / 19 and Original 2019 / 20 General Fund Revenue Budget Estimates (APPENDICES 5, 6 and 7 to these Minutes)

 

(b)               an average Band D council tax of £197.40 (excluding parish precepts) (2.3% increase) for 2019 / 20 (APPENDIX 5 to these Minutes);

 

(c)                policies on the designated use of financial reserves (APPENDIX 8 to these Minutes);

 

(d)               to retain the minimum general fund working balance at £2,600,000 for 2019 / 20.

 

(iii)             that the Council gives due regard to the Director of Resources statement on the robustness of budgets and adequacy of reserves in APPENDIX 7.

 

Supporting documents: