To consider the report attached.
The Executive Member for Corporate Resources presented the report on the initial financial plan proposals 2021/22 to 2023/24 to be published for comments over the next six weeks. The Executive had considered the council tax base as set out in appendix 2 to the report on 5 January 2021 and had referred to Council on 14 January 2021 for approval. He thanked officers for their work to produce a balanced budget.
The Chief Finance Officer outlined the current budget position and the savings
that would need to be found in future years, to deal with budget gaps of £1.1m and £2.6m expected for 2022/23 and 2023/24. He confirmed that the New Homes Bonus would continue for another year but there was no details of what could replace it going forward.
The proposals included draft revenue and capital budgets for the three years 2021/22 to 2023/24, as detailed in the circulated Executive report for the Executive meeting on 5 January 2021. The main issues taken into account were:
· The level of council tax and the proposal to increase it by £5 or 2.85%.
· Reducing central funding and the need to make ongoing efficiencies using invest to save where possible.
· The ongoing impact of Covid 19 on income streams and potential Government funding.
· Reacting to the climate change emergency by maintaining ongoing budgets for a climate change officer and associated spending in revenue and increased provision in the capital programme as set out in paragraph 5.5 of the Executive report.
· Increased support for housing including the Teignbridge 100 as set out in paragraph 5.3 of the Executive report, whilst backing business and bringing people and organisations together for local neighbourhood planning.
· Infrastructure delivery plan investment funded by community infrastructure levy (CIL) and external sources where available; continuation of grant-funded South West Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme as per paragraph 5.6 of the Executive report.
· Town centre investment in infrastructure and employment.
· Continued Enhanced Planning Enforcement funding
· The level of reserves necessary for the council.
· Estimated revenue budget gaps of £1.1 million in 2022/23 and £2.6 million in 2023/24 and action required to address this including further government funding/savings/investment/income generation.
In response to questions from Councillors, the CFO informed the committee that the government funding would have a large impact on the future budget and that the business rates reset scheme had been delayed one year allowing the funding reserve to be brought forwards by a year. He also noted that the use of earmarked reserves may reduce if economic conditions improve. He also informed the committee that the new homes bonus would be impacted by housebuilders and central government funding, and that the council tax base for next year was necessary a necessary reset, it was also hoped that vaccinations would aid the recovery.
It was proposed by Councillor Bullivant and seconded by Councillor Swain that the budget proposals be recommended to Council.
A vote was taken.
Councillors Austen, Bullivant, D Cox, Evans, Hayes, G Hook, Morgan, Nuttall, Parker-Khan, Petherick, Swain, and Tume.
That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommends that Council resolves to approve the council tax base of 48,410 for 2021/22 as set out in
appendix 2 attached