Venue: Parkside Suite - Parkside
Contact: Jess Bayley-Hill
To receive apologies for absence
An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Shirley Webb.
Declarations of Interest
To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.
There were no declarations of interest.
The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday 16th February 2022 were submitted.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 16th February 2022 be approved as a true and correct record.
Consideration of any Recommendations arising from the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 15th February 2022 (to follow)
Cabinet was informed that no recommendations had been made at the latest meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 15th February 2022.
The Head of Business Transformation, Organisational Development and Digital Strategy presented the Pay Policy Statement 2022/23. Cabinet was informed that the Council was required to agree a Pay Policy Statement by 31st March every year. The Pay Policy Statement detailed the remuneration for the lowest paid staff, the remuneration for the highest paid staff and the differences between the two. Information was also provided in the report about how the Council calculated the salaries that should be paid to staff employed at different levels in the organisation.
During consideration of this item, questions were raised about the content of the report and whether there had been any changes to pay levels over the preceding 12-month period. Officers confirmed that no changes had been made.
RECOMMENDED that the Pay Policy be approved.
The Executive Director of Resources presented the 2022/23 Budget and the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2022/23 to 2024/25 for Cabinet’s consideration. The report detailed the proposed content for the Council’s budget in the 2022/23 financial year together with the authority’s plans for the full three-year period of the MTFP. The format of the report had been updated to improve clarity. The Finance and Budget Working Group and the Overview and Scrutiny Board had both pre-scrutinised the draft budget proposals but had not made any recommendations on the content of the budget or MTFP.
The 2022/23 budget was robust and balanced. However, the balance had only been achieved using funding from the Council’s balances. Officers were anticipating that, without action, the Council’s balances would fall below the minimum level considered acceptable by the Council’s Section 151 Officer by 2024/25. Therefore, action would need to be taken to ensure that the Council’s budget remained sustainable moving forward.
The 2022/23 budget and the MTFP 2022/23 to 2024/25 had been developed in a challenging financial context for local government. There was also unprecedented uncertainty about the future funding arrangements for Councils.
There were various factors impacting on the budget position. This included:
· Inflation, which was higher than in previous years.
· Pay inflation, which was anticipated to be approximately 2 per cent per annum over the period of the plan.
· Budget bids, which placed pressure on the budget.
· Pressures arising from an anticipated reduction in income from car parking fees due to a decline in footfall during the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision not to increase fees for car parking charges would also impact on income from this source.
· The transfer of £382,000 from earmarked reserves to help balance the budget.
· A proposed increase of £5 in Council Tax per year.
Following the presentation of the report, Members thanked Officers for their hard work in preparing the budget. It was acknowledged that this had occurred at a time when there were significant challenges faced by the Financial Services team.
RECOMMENDED that Council approve
1) the overall net general fund revenue budgets of:
2) the unavoidable costs:
3) the Revenue Bids:
4) the Identified Savings:
5) an increase of the Council Tax per Band D equivalent of £5 for 2022/23;
6) the transfer from General Fund Balances of £0.411m for 2022/23;
7) the planned reallocation of £0.382m from Earmarked reserves to General Fund Balances;
8) the General Fund capital programme:
and that Council NOTE:
1) the 2020/21 Capital Outturn; and
2) the Chief Financial Officer’s (CFO) Opinion on Estimates and Reserve Levels.
The Executive Director of Resources presented the Council Tax Resolutions 2022/23 for Members’ consideration. The content of the report was fairly technical. Officers had incorporated information that had been received from precepting organisations, alongside the contribution required for Bromsgrove District Council, when calculating the overall figures.
During consideration of this item, Officers explained that initially the Council Tax Resolutions report 2021/22 had been released in error for consideration at the meeting. This error had been noticed at an early stage and the correct Council Tax Resolutions for 2022/23 had subsequently been issued.
RESOLVED to note that at a Cabinet meeting held on 19th January 2022 Members approved the calculated Council Tax Base 2022/23 as:
(a) for the whole Council area as 37,511.05 [Item T in the formula in Section 31B of the Local Government Act 1992, as amended (the “Act”)]; and
(b) for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a Parish precept relates the amounts as shown in Column 4 of the attached Schedule 1.
RECOMMENDED that Council approve
1) the calculation for the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2022/23 (excluding Parish precepts) as £8,937,309.38;
2) the following amounts be calculated for the year 2022/23 in accordance with sections 31 to 36 of the Act:
(a) £43,846,702 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (2) of the Act (taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils) (i.e., Gross expenditure);
(b) £33,847,101 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (3) of the Act. (i.e., Gross income);
(c) £9,999,601 being the amount by which the aggregate of 1.2.2(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 1.2.2(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A (4) of the Act, as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act);
(d) £266.58 being the amount at 1.2.2 (c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (1.1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts);
(e) £1,071,812 being the aggregate amount of all special items (Parish precepts) referred to in Section 34 (1) of the Act (as per the attached Schedule 3);
(f) £238.00 being the amount at 1.2.2 (d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 1.2.2 (e) above by Item T (1.1 (a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34 (2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no Parish precept relates;
(g) The amounts shown in Column 3 of Schedule 1. These are the basic amounts of the council tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of the Council’s area shown in Column ... view the full minutes text for item 63/21