Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

41.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Skeels Jnr. (with Councillor Amos substituting) and Stephenson (with Councillor Bush substituting).

42.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee, held on Monday 4 December 2017.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee, held on 4 December 2017, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

43.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or other interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were none at this time.

44.

Updated Financial Forecast/Budget 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 271 KB

To provide the Committee with the opportunity to comment on the Cabinet’s updated Financial Forecast/Budget 2018/19.

 

The relevant budget report considered by the Cabinet at its meeting held on 15 December 2017 is attached to this Agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee’s comments were sought on the updated Financial Forecast/Budget 2018/19, which had been approved at the meeting of the Cabinet held on 15 December 2017 (minute 122 referred). The Committee was aware that an updated financial forecast for 2018/19 had been prepared which reflected changes since Members had considered the initial forecast in September 2017.

 

The Finance and Corporate Services Portfolio Holder (Councillor G V Guglielmi) attended the meeting and reminded the Committee that the approach this year to the forecast / setting of the budget was significantly different to previous years with estimates now being undertaken across a 10 year financial sustainability plan period in order to enable the Council to be more flexible. He informed Members that, at this stage of the budget process, there was a net surplus of £0.042m forecast in 2018/19, an overall change of£0.578m compared with the £0.536m deficit included in the initial forecast in September 2017. He also reported that any necessary changes emerging from the detailed Local Government Finance Settlement would be included in the figures that would be presented to Cabinet in January 2018 when it considered the final budget proposals.

 

The Head of Finance, Revenues & Benefits Services (Richard Barrett), informed the Committee that this new approach brought the opportunity to review how the budget was developed, including input from this Committee. The forecast had therefore focused on the 2018/19 budget and the changes required compared to the initial forecast along with the broad principles behind figures such as special expenses and fees and charges. He stated that confidence needed to be built in the early years of the 10 year period through delivering against the forecast.

 

Mr Barrett’s drew to the Committee’s attention that the increased collection fund balance for 2018/19 accounted for £0.552mof the £0.578m change mentioned above. Although this was an on-going item in the budget it was reviewed each year based on in-year collection performance and could therefore only be deemed a one-off ‘saving’ in 2018/19. Although the amount was available to support the 2018/19 budget, if this was excluded from the forecast, there would be a budget deficit of £0.510m for 2018/19, which was broadly in-line with the initial forecast amount of£0.536m.     

 

Members were reminded that, as set out in the initial forecast, £1.434m has been set aside from the outturn position for 2016/17 to underwrite the risks associated with the 10 year approach to the forecast.  It was proposed to set this aside in a specific reserve named the Forecast Risk Fund. Although subject to potential changes to the forecast over the remaining budget setting period, the current forecasted surplus of £0.042m would be paid into the Forecast Risk Fund. In addition, once the final position for 2018/19 was determined, the remaining years of the 10 year forecast would be revised, set against the revised 2018/19 position and would be reported to Members later in the budget setting process.

 

The Committee was informed that, given the on-going favourable position against  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.