Issue - items at meetings - Medium Term Financial Plan 2023/24 to 2025/26 - Update

Issue - meetings

Medium Term Financial Plan 2023/24 to 2025/26 - Update

Meeting: 23/11/2022 - Cabinet (Item 52)

52 Medium Term Financial Plan 2023/24 to 2025/26 - Update pdf icon PDF 494 KB

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The Interim Section 151 Officer presented an update on the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2023/24 to 2025/26.


The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) had announced that the local government settlement would not be confirmed until the week commencing 19th December 2022.  This would be the latest in the year that the settlement had been confirmed and in recognition of this, DLUHC had advised that some information would be made available to Councils in the next few weeks.


In the Chancellor’s autumn statement, it had been confirmed that district Councils would be able to increase Council Tax by 3 per cent, rather than the 2 per cent that had previously been anticipated.  Should Bromsgrove District Council choose to increase Council Tax at this level, the increase would result in an additional £92,000 income for the authority.  The Chancellor had also announced that Councils would no longer have to pay increases to National Insurance contributions, which would potentially result in £139,000 savings, although the Government had also indicated that funding would subsequently be removed from grants to Councils as a consequence of this, so the level of savings could reduce.  It had also been announced that there would be an extension to the Household Support Grant and the Government was consulting with local authorities on the appropriate approach to implementing this scheme.


Officers had been working hard to secure savings in order to achieve a balanced budget in 2023/24.  To date, £1.5 million savings had been achieved. In addition, as part of the monitoring report, the unallocated savings that had been included in the MTFP that had been agreed in February 2022 had now been allocated.  These savings were detailed in the list of proposed savings in tranche 1 of the budget setting process.  A pay award for staff of £1,925 per pay point for 2022/23 had been agreed and, as this was a higher figure than anticipated, this would add to pressures in the budget. The budget gap remained large, primarily due to the anticipated increase in costs arising due to the impact of inflation and increases in utilities costs. Therefore, further savings would need to be agreed in tranche 2 of the budget setting process.


Following the presentation of the report, Members discussed the proposals and noted that Officers were requesting funding for an additional Climate Change Officer post.  Questions were raised about the extent to which this post was needed, given the Council already employed a Climate Change Officer, another officer who supported the Climate Change Officer and two lead Heads of Service for climate change.  Officers explained that all new proposed posts were reviewed by the Corporate Management Team (CMT) to ensure that they were needed.  Heads of Service had responsibility for overseeing the delivery of a wide range of services and were not specialists in respect of climate change.  The Officer who had been supporting the Climate Change Officer was shortly due to return to working primarily in her substantive post on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52