The chair referred to the agenda report on theinitial financial plan proposals 2023/24 to 2025/26 considered by the Executive on 3 January 2023.
The Executive Member for corporate resources presented the proposals including draft revenue and capital budgets for the three years 2023/24 to 2025/26. The budget was balanced using earmarked reserves. The main issues taken into account were:
· The level of council tax and the proposal to increase it by £5.54 or 2.99%.
· Providing a one-off cost of living payment of £5.54 to households liable to pay council tax on their main home on 1 April 2023 in 2023/24
· Reducing central funding and the need to make ongoing efficiencies using invest to save where possible.
· Maintaining 100% council tax support.
· The ongoing impact of post pandemic activity and economic conditions on income streams and changing Government funding.
· Continuing to react to the climate change emergency by maintaining ongoing budgets for a climate change officer and associated spending, temporary staffing resources in revenue and provision in the capital programme, including ongoing provisions for corporate decarbonisation schemes as set out at paragraph 5.5. of the appended Executive report.
· A £2 million provision for employment sites funded by borrowing.
· Provision for an Emergency Planning officer.
· Temporary funds for a Scrutiny Officer to assist Members with the Scrutiny function and working groups; appointment of a Digital transformation manager and other temporary resources for facilitating the Modern 25 work.
· Support for housing including the Teignbridge 100 (as set out at paragraph 5.3 of the appended 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 appended Executive report
· Town centre investment in infrastructure and employment as per paragraph 5.7 of the appended Executive report
· Re-establishing revenue contributions to capital initially at £300,000 per annum
· Continuation of enhanced Planning funding
· Councillors community fund set at £1,000 each
· Provision of £20,000 for year 2 of the ‘Tidy Teignbridge’ initiatives to improve cleanliness for town and parish councils
· Paying £500,000 off our pension deficit liability to reduce on going contributions.
· The level of reserves necessary for the council as per paragraph 4.22 of the appended Executive report.
· Estimated revenue budget gap of £3.6 million in 2025/26 and ongoing gaps (before use of remaining earmarked reserves) and action required to address this including establishing working groups to inform Overview & Scrutiny on work to reduce the gap, as per paragraph 4.26 of the appended Executive report.
In response to questions the Committee noted:
· The reserves would be increased from £2.1m to £2.3m
· Council car parks would continue to be free after 6pm and Sunday at £1 for the day
· The new post of an emergency planning officer would provide a dedicated person to deal with emergency situations such as a power outage for several days as a result of a snowstorm and would address the risk of not having a dedicated officer in place.
· Appendix 7 of the Executive report was the budget and financial plan for the next 5 years. OS 1 and 2 Committees should form task and finish groups to refer to this document and scrutinise services to suggest action to reduce the expected budget gap of £3.6m in 2025/26. This work could commence prior to the May elections and would need to feed into future budget proposals each year up to and including 2025/26.
· The one-off cost of living payment of £5.54 to households liable to pay council tax would protect the Council tax base rate for future years.
· Inflation is in double figures so an increase in Council Tax of 2.99% is well below inflation.
· Town and parish councils are approaching the council to take on services.
It was proposed by Councillor H Cox, seconded by Councillor Parker and unanimously
That Council resolves to approve the council tax base of 50,215 for 2023/24 as set out in Appendix 2 of the attached Executive 3 January 2023 report.