To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet meeting held on 4 February (to follow), the report for which is attached.
The report by the Director of Finance and Section 151 is also forwarded to Council for approval. The report sets the Council's overall Budget for the forthcoming year 2020/21 and the associated level of Council Tax necessary to fund that Budget.
The report makes recommendations on the level of Council spending for 2020/21 and the level of Council Tax in the context of the Council's Medium Term Financial Strategy with its stated aim as follows:
In year" expenditure matches "in year" income over the medium term whilst continuing the drive towards regeneration of the City, being innovative, creative and protecting the most important and valued services
The recommended Budget for 2020/21 has been prepared on the basis of the following:
•The Council resolution of 12 February 2019 that set an overall savings requirement of £2.5m
•An increase in the level of Council Tax for 2020/21 for general purposes of 1.99%
•The flexibility to increase the level of Council Tax for an "Adult Social Care Precept", within the limits set by Central Government at 2.0%, and the direct passporting of that additional funding to Adult Social Care to provide for otherwise unfunded cost pressures
This report also provides a comprehensive revision of the Council's rolling 3 year future financial forecast for the new period 2021/22 to 2023/24 (i.e. compared to the previous forecast covering 2020/21 to 2022/23, this forecast now replaces the forecast for the previous 3 year period).
The new forecast considers the future outlook for both spending and funding, and in that context, wider recommendations are made regarding the levels of reserves to be maintained and additional contributions to the Capital Programme in order to meet the Council's aspirations for the City as well as maintaining the Council's overall financial resilience.
In particular, this report sets out the following:
(a) The challenging and uncertain financial climate facing the City Council in 2020/21 and beyond, and the consequential budget deficits that result
(b) A brief summary of the Medium Term Financial Strategy for achieving the necessary savings
(c) The Revised Revenue Budget and Cash Limits for the current year
(d) The Local Government Finance Settlement for 2020/21
(e) The Business Rate income for 2020/21 and future years and the ceasing of the Solent 75% Business Rate Retention Pilot (in a pooled arrangement with the Isle of Wight Council and Southampton City Council)
(f) The Council Tax base and recommended Council Tax for 2020/21
(g) The forecast Collection Fund balance as at 31 March 2020 for both Council Tax and Business Rates
(h) The detailed indicative savings (Appendix C) that could be made by each Portfolio / Committee in meeting its overall savings amount in order to provide the Council with the assurance necessary to approve the recommended savings amount for each Portfolio / Committee
(i) The proposed Revenue Budget and Cash Limits for 2020/21
(j) The forecast Revenue Budgets and revised Savings Requirements for 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24
(k) Estimated General Reserves over the period 2019/20 to 2023/24
(l) The Medium Term Resource Strategy (MTRS) Reserve, its financial position and proposed use to achieve cashable efficiencies
(m) The statement of the S. 151 Officer on the robustness of the budget in compliance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2003.
The detailed recommendations are set out at Section 3 of the report.
RECOMMENDED to Council that the detailed recommendations as set out 3.1 (1)-(16) and 3.2 (1)-(15), and 3.3 to 3.9 be approved.
(these were unamended from the Council papers)