116 Matters Referred to the Cabinet by a Committee - Reference from the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee - A.1 - Scrutiny of the Updated Financial Forecast/Budget Proposals 2022/23 and Housing Revenue Account Budget Proposals 2022/2023 PDF 147 KB
To enable the Cabinet to consider the recommendations made by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee following that Committee’s scrutiny of the Updated Financial Forecast/Budget Proposals 2022/23 and Housing Revenue Account Budget Proposals 2022/2023.
RESOLVED that the recommendations made by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee be noted and that the responses of the Corporate Finance & Governance Portfolio Holder thereto be endorsed.
Cabinet was aware that, at its meeting held on 12 January 2022 (Minute 50 referred), the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee (“the Committee”), in accordance with the requirements of the Budget & Policy Framework Procedure Rules, had undertaken an enquiry into:-
(1) the updated financial forecast and proposed budget position for 2022/23; and
(2) the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget for 2022/23 including the movement in HRA Balances, the level of fees and charges for 2021/22 and the HRA Capital Programme.
This enquiry had considered the above in the light of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy and its Treasury Strategy.
The Committee’s enquiry had been assisted by the Leader of the Council and by individual Cabinet Members who had also outlined the Cabinet’s initial highlight priority actions for 2022/23 and the synergy of those with the proposed Budget for 2022/23. A number of officers had also supported the enquiry.
The enquiry had been conducted through a private evidence gathering stage on 5 January 2022 followed by a public meeting during the day of 12 January 2022.
After a detailed discussion the Committee had RECOMMENDED to Cabinet:-
“In respect of the financial forecast and proposed General Fund budget position for 2022/23
1. That the issue of the level of carry forward amounts each year, as highlighted several times by the external auditors in their annual audit letters to the Council in recent years, be addressed urgently by the Cabinet.
2. That the intentions for developing a Corporate Investment Plan in order to establish a process for considering proposals for investment against the Corporate Plan Priorities and developing a prioritisation framework for investment over the coming year and into the medium term be welcomed and:
a. That the schemes set out in the current reserves, provisions and one-off sums be reassessed as part of that Corporate Investment Plan process in order to avoid sums of money being allocated for schemes that are no longer to be pursued and thereby hampering investment in schemes that can deliver real benefit to the District;
b. That, further to (a) above, the approvals to establish a reserve for a Residents Free Parking Scheme (£221K in reserves) and to allocate funds for a Clacton Town Centre Fountain (£159K as a one-off sum) be reversed immediately (as they are not required/being pursued) and the sums reallocated to fund the posts of 6 Community Ambassadors, 4 Street Rangers and 1 Technical/Administration (at a total cost of £352K) for 2022/23 with the remaining £28K from the released funds being ring-fenced to support training, equipment and supplies costs associated with those posts in 2022/23.
c. That the Plan should identify a range of seafront enhancements, developed in conjunction with seaside communities (including where relevant Town/Parish Councils) on the basis that these are funded by an expansion of beach huts in those communities.
d. That the Plan should deliver on the intentions of the Public Conveniences Strategy by improvements in those continuing facilities (particularly in view of the saving of £72,200 ... view the full minutes text for item 116