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Agenda item

Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2019/20

To consider the following reports, which are to be considered by the Cabinet on 13th February, 2019:-

 

(a)  Report of the Executive Director of Resources, on the Capital Programme Budget Approval 2019/20; and

 

(b)  Report of the Executive Director of Resources, on the Revenue Budget Approval 2019/20

Minutes:

7.1

 

 

 

7.2

 

 

 

7.3

 

 

 

7.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.6

The Committee received a report of the Executive Director, Resources, attaching the 2019/20 Revenue Budget and the 2019/20 Capital Budget which were to be considered at Cabinet on 13th February 2019.

 

In attendance for this item were Councillor Olivia Blake (Cabinet Member for Finance), Eugene Walker (Executive Director, Resources) and Dave Phillips (Head of Strategic Finance).

 

Dave Phillips presented the report which detailed the activity and explained that the meeting had been held a week earlier than in previous years to allow feedback from the Committee to be included in the report to Cabinet, if necessary.

 

The key messages in the presentation included:

 

·         The Council was not setting a balanced budget for 2019/20 and would be using £11m of reserves to fund social care.

 

·         The intent was to bring the budget back into balance over a four year period.

 

·         The Council could not continue to increase social care budgets at this rate, so further savings needed to be made.

 

·         A maximum 2.99% Council Tax increase was proposed.

 

·         Given the importance of delivering savings plans and containing pressures, the 2019/20 budgets would be monitored earlier and more rigorously.

 

·         An extensive review was to be undertaken on how to address future key priorities.

 

Members of the Committee raised questions and the following responses were provided:-

 

·         The Council borrowed to fund capital projects.  The Council was currently cash positive and had to balance the cost of borrowing with potential interest rate rises.  Interest rates may rise following the UK’s exit from the EU and there may be investment opportunities prior to any interest rate rise.

 

·         There was huge uncertainty around future Government funding and the outcome of the Fair Funding review was not yet known.  It was hoped that the Government continued to take deprivation into account.

 

·         Individual Electoral Registration had meant a large increase in costs to the Elections Service.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:-

 

(a)            notes the contents of the reports of the Executive Director, Resources, on the Capital Programme 2019/20 and the Budget Report 2019/20, together with the comments made and the responses provided to the questions raised;

 

(b)            recommends that the reports of the Executive Director, Resources on the Capital Programme 2019/20 and the Budget Report for  2019/20, be submitted to Cabinet without amendment;

 

(c)            notes with concern that due to continued cuts to local government budgets and rising demand for social care services, this year the budget can only be balanced by the planned use of reserves;

 

(d)            thanks all officers involved for all their hard work in preparing the budget amidst widespread uncertainty about the future of local government funding;

 

(e)            thanks officers and Cabinet Members for bringing the budget timetable forward to enable the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee to consider the budget reports in advance of Cabinet;

 

(f)             thanks the Council’s front line staff who continue to go above and beyond in delivering services to the people of Sheffield in difficult circumstances; and

 

(g)            agrees to include regular monitoring reports on the implementation of the budget savings in its work programme for 2019/20.

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents: