19 Policy and Resources Strategy 2019-20
To note issues associated with the policy and resources strategy and agree recommendations.
1. That the provisional local government finance settlement announced on 13 December 2018, key headlines being set out in this report (paragraphs 29 – 42 of the report) be noted.
2. That as reported to cabinet in September 2018 and recognising the continued uncertainty for local government funding, it be noted that the intention remains for the council to prepare a balanced one-year 2019-20 budget for approval by cabinet in advance of council assembly in February 2019 (paragraph 21 of the report).
3. That the current budget options proposed to help achieve a balanced budget 2019-20 (Appendices C to F of the report) be noted.
4. That the proposed increase to the Southwark element of the council tax in line with the government threshold by 2.99% in recognition of the spending pressures in services, particularly those that protect and support vulnerable people (paragraph 51 – 59 of the report) be noted.
5. That it be noted that the budget proposals for 2019-20 contained within the report include:
· Estimated general grant resources likely to be available arising from the provisional settlement (Appendix A), a reduction of £8.565m from 2018-19
· Improved Better Care Fund resources totalling £15.752m, an increase of £3.168m from 2018-19
· Additional one-off social care grants of circa £4.254m announced in the Autumn 2018 budget
· Retained business rates growth of £25.0m (paragraph 62 to 65), an increase of £3.250m over 2018-19 arising from proceeds generated by continued regeneration in the borough; plus an estimated surplus brought forward of £1.158m
· Estimated council tax revenue of £110.532m, including £2.476m additional income arising from growth in the tax base; £0.4m from increased premium on long-term empty properties; £3.209m additional income generated from increasing council tax by 2.99%; an estimated collection fund surplus of £3.860m
· No change to the council tax reduction scheme for 2019-20 for our pension age and vulnerable and least well off households
· Planned contingency to be maintained at £4m to mitigate underlying budget risks. (paragraph 99 of the report).
6. That it be noted that the following savings, commitments and pay and price pressures have been proposed to help ensure the delivery of a balanced budget in 2019-20 (Appendices C – F of the report):
· Efficiency savings of £13.905m
· Income generation of £4.810m
· Savings impacting on services of £0.900m
· Commitments and growth of £16.206m
· Pay Award and contractual inflation of £8.450m
· Debt financing costs of £3.809m.
7. That it be noted that in order to ensure that the base budget is on a secure financial footing a number of commitments are proposed for 2019-20 totalling £16.206m, including:
· £8.072m for children’s and adult’s services funded principally from the growth in the Improved Better Care Fund (£3.168m) and additional social care funding (4.254m)
· A net increase of £3.2m to further support spending pressures on temporary accommodation and £0.7m no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
8. That it be noted that the current budget proposed for 2019-20 is balanced, after the incorporation of updated proposals and 2.99% council tax increase.
9. That ... view the full minutes text for item 19