Agenda item

Draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2023-2028 and Draft Budget & Council Tax 2023/24

1.   That the Committee refers the Draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2023-2028, and the proposed Draft Budget & Council Tax for 2023/24, including the financial management priorities and key assumptions for the short term and medium-term planning horizon, to Members for consideration at the committee meetings in January 2023 and feed back to the Policy and Resources Committee on 7 February 2023;

 

2.   That the Committee approves, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations 1992, the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003 and the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 2012, that the Council Tax Base calculation for the year 2023/24 will be 32,954.0 for Worcester City Council, including 3,976.6 for Warndon Parish Council and 2,179.3 for St Peter’s Parish Council (as detailed in Appendix 3);

 

3.   That the Committee notes that the proposals will be updated for any agreed changes following budget consultation with Members, and for any significant changes following the publication of the Local Government Finance Settlement. Formal adoption of the MTFP and the Budget & Council Tax 2023/24, will be recommended to Full Council for approval on 21 February 2023; and

 

4.   That the Committee invites all political groups and/or individual Members to notify the Corporate Director of Finance and Resources no later than 31 December 2022 of any other budget proposals that they wish officers to explore and request the Corporate Director to include such proposals in the reports for consideration by Members at the January meetings of the relevant policy committees.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the proposed Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2023-2028, draft Capital Programme and Capital Financing 2023-2028, summary Draft Budget 2023/24 and proposed Council Tax Base. The Corporate Director – Finance and Resources presented the report and highlighted the main points.

 

In summary, the MTFP, as presented, will provide a balanced budget for 2023/24, but only through the repurposing of existing reserves and if all assumptions regarding increased income and reduced costs are achieved. For subsequent years, the Council will face a potential budget deficit which will need to be addressed through further, as yet unidentified, income and efficiency improvements.

 

The Corporate Director advised that, since the publication of the report, the Government had issued its provisional local government finance settlement, which indicated that all councils will see at least a 3% increase in core spending power for 2023/24.

 

There was a correction to Appendix 4 (Review of Earmarked Reserves): it was clarified that the total amount of earmarked reserves available from the City Development Fund is £128,000.

 

The MTFP and the Draft Budget & Council Tax will be updated following the budget consultation and update process in January and February, prior to Full Council consideration and approval in February 2023.

 

All political groups and/or individual Members were invited to submit any budget proposals that they wish Officers to explore as quickly as possible. The Corporate Director advised that there are no additional reserves available to free up and the funding source for any proposals must be clearly set out.

 

The Corporate Director responded to questions and comments from Committee Members on detailed aspects of the report. Members thanked Officers for the work which has been undertaken to date to provide a balanced budget for 2023/24.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.   agree to refer the Draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2023-2028, and the proposed Draft Budget & Council Tax for 2023/24, including the financial management priorities and key assumptions for the short term and medium-term planning horizon, to Members for consideration at the committee meetings in January 2023 and feed back to the Policy and Resources Committee on 7 February 2023;

 

2.   approve, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations 1992, the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003 and the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 2012, that the Council Tax Base calculation for the year 2023/24 will be 32,954.0 for Worcester City Council, including 3,976.6 for Warndon Parish Council and 2,179.3 for St Peter’s Parish Council (as detailed in Appendix 3);

 

3.   note that the proposals will be updated for any agreed changes following budget consultation with Members, and for any significant changes following the publication of the Local Government Finance Settlement. Formal adoption of the MTFP and the Budget & Council Tax 2023/24, will be recommended to Full Council for approval on 21 February 2023; and

 

4.   agree to invite all political groups and/or individual Members to notify the Corporate Director of Finance and Resources no later than 31 December 2022 of any other budget proposals that they wish officers to explore and request the Corporate Director to include such proposals in the reports for consideration by Members at the January meetings of the relevant policy committees.

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