Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Cabinet noted:
1. That the Financial Strategy of the Authority had been further developed and consisted of four linked papers. The papers and figures were subject to final review because of Government announcements and final due diligence.
2. That to allow for this level of final change before presentation of the Financial Strategy to the Full Council in February adjustments with a cumulative net impact of £500,000 can be made on the direction of the Leader in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and the Section 151 Officer and reported back to the Cabinet.
3. That adjustments to the papers with a value more than £500,000 were brought back to the Cabinet.
Paper A, Medium Term Financial Strategy:
1. The Cabinet approved the approach set out in the Medium Term Financial Strategy, particularly in respect of inflation of cost, charges and fees and the aim to maintain the financial strength of the Authority as evidenced by reserve balances.
2. The Cabinet agreed to support the increase in the importance of the income from Qualis in respect of the medium term financial strategy and the budget.
Paper B, Budget 2020/21:
1. Cabinet approved the 2020/21 budget in outline and confirmed the approach to cost and income inflation at 3.0%, noting that rents would rise per the national formula at 2.7% and car parking income would not rise at all pending the outcome of the review.
2. The Cabinet approved the 2020/21 budget in outline and confirmed the list of developments for which funding would be released on implementation.
3. The Cabinet approved the general and HRA capital spend of £26,171,528 in total.
4. The Cabinet approved the loans to Qualis which totalled up to £160m in 2020/21 as set out in the report.
5. The Cabinet approved the 2020/21 budget in outline and confirmed that the overall funding adjustments for District Development Fund and savings and contingency were as set out, i.e. a net draw from DDF of £1,774,906 (£2m forecast last year), £500,000 of savings, the formation of a contingency fund assumed spent of £1,095,540.
Paper C, Prudential Indicators:
1. The Cabinet noted the intent of keeping the financial strength of the Authority at current levels.
2. The Cabinet noted the impact of taking loans and onward granting loans to Qualis with a margin of profit for the Authority.
3. The Cabinet noted the general risk price approach to the loans granted to Qualis.
4. The Cabinet noted that the full set of prudential indicators along with the treasury strategy would be taken to the Full Council in February.
Paper D, Council Tax Increase:
1. The Cabinet approved the council tax increase of 1.5% (half the predicted inflation rate) for 2020/21.
2. The Cabinet noted that in 2021/22 the options to increase or reduce council tax rates exists (though the Government expectation on what should be raised from council tax should be noted).
Report author: Nick Dawe
Publication date: 07/01/2020
Date of decision: 06/01/2020
Decided at meeting: 06/01/2020 - Cabinet