Agenda item

Policy and Resources Strategy 2022-23 to 2024-25

To note issues associated with the policy and resources strategy and agree recommendations.


It was not possible to circulate the report five clear days in advance of the meeting. The chair agreed to consider this item urgently as cabinet were required to prepare a budget proposal for submission to council assembly.  This was the last cabinet meeting before council assembly on 23 February 2022 and the council tax setting committee.  The council is required to set a lawful budget by 11 March 2022. 


Councillor Ian Wingfield, chair of the overview and scrutiny presented a summary of the committee’s recommendations to cabinet.




1.  That it be noted that the final local government finance settlement had not been published at the time of writing the report, no changes from the provisional settlement published on the 16 December 2021 are anticipated.


2.  That it be noted that this report presents the final balanced general fund budget proposals for 2022-23 including:


·  Un-ringfenced settlement funding assessment grant of £153.6m, a modest increase of £1.1m on 2021-22

·  Other grant income of £93m, an increase of £14.8m on 2021-22 but including £8m of one-off services grant funding and an increasing amount of ring-fencing

·  Estimated retained business rates income of £17m, a decrease of £1.9m from 2021-22

·  Estimated council tax revenues of £128.608m, including a council tax increase of 2.99% (1% adult social care precept and 1.99% general increase)

·  A forecast deficit on the collection fund in 2022-23 of £6m after allowing for spreading adjustments

·  Pay provision and contractual inflation of £7.3m. 


3.  That the updated Fairer Futures Medium Term Financial Strategy (including Budget Principles) at Appendix G of the report be approved.


4.  That it be noted that the Greater London Authority (GLA) is expected to increase its council tax precept by 8.8% following publication of the Mayor’s draft budget in late December 2021.


5.  That it be noted that the GLA council tax precept is due to be set on the 24 February 2022, one day after council assembly sets the budget for Southwark, therefore a council tax setting committee will need to be convened.


6.  That the current budget options proposed to help achieve a balanced 2022-23 budget (Appendices B to E of the report) be noted including:


·  Efficiency savings of £6.962m

·  Net income increase of £5.181m

·  Savings impacting on services of £3.610m

·  Commitments and growth of £17.564m.


7.  That it be noted, in order to ensure that the base budget is on a secure financial footing a contingency is proposed for 2022-23 of £4m for temporary accommodation.


8.  That the departmental narratives and the ongoing equality analyses of the budget proposals (Appendix A of the report) be noted.


9.  That it be noted that the 18 January 2022 cabinet report was considered by overview and scrutiny committee on 24 and 25 January 2022.


NOTE: In accordance with overview and scrutiny procedure rule 16.2 (a) (budget and policy framework) these decisions are not subject to call-in.

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