Councillor Keeling, the Executive Member for Corporate Resources referred to the agenda report and the Executive recommendation to Council on 13 January 2021 to approve the council tax base of 49,633 for 2022/23 as set out in appendix 2 to the agenda report. He thanked the Chief Finance Officer and staff for producing a balanced budget amongst the financial pressures and challenges of the covid pandemic.
The Chief Finance Officer presented the Council’s budget proposals and the way forward for the Council as far as could be predicted given uncertainties regarding the pandemic and future government funding.
The impact of covid had been significant but the financial situation was better than at March 2020. Only one year government financial settlement had been granted and future funding streams were difficult to predict. The impact of Brexit was difficult to calculate and understand because this had been masked by covid. The predicted budget gap for 2024/25 was £2.7 million.
As the Council’s Section 151 Officer he had a statutory responsibility to present a balanced budget.
The budget proposals included:
· An increase in the Band D council tax of £5 to £185.17 for 22/23(2.78%)
· £5 increase in Band D was below the Devon average for Districts
· Fees and charges/rents income continue to be lower than pre covid levels
· Continued funding for a climate change officer and enhanced planning enforcement, more temporary resources
· Maintaining revenue reserves at just above £2 million (circa 13.0% of net revenue budget)
· Increasing climate change projects within the capital programme
· Increased support for Housing including the Teignbridge 100
· Provision for employment sites
· Tidy Teignbridge fund.
· Rural aid fund of £26,000
Key issues to resolve included:
• Heavy use of earmarked reserves to balance the books
• Significant savings in 21/22 and continuing into future years
• Revenue contributions to support capital programme remain at zero
• Staff savings where possible and vacancy management
• Communications with Government to clarify our predicament
• Inflationary increases in fees and charges in line with last years MTFP
• Service reviews to deliver savings options
• Continuing with income generating projects where viable
• Significant service delivery was statutory
In response to questions the Chief Finance Officer advised that: there was no limit imposed on Parish and Town Council precepts; and a report regarding funding for community groups was due to be presented to the Executive in the near future.
It was proposed, seconded and unanimously
That Council resolves to approve the council tax base of 49,633 for 2022/23 as set out in appendix 2 of the agenda report for the Executive meeting on 4 January 2022.
The full presentation can be found at: https://democracy.teignbridge.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=391&MId=2977&Ver=4