Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommmend Forward to Council
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
The Cabinet will be asked to consider the proposals for the 2024 to 2025 budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2024 to 2028 for West Suffolk Council, prior to its approval by Council. This report includes the Minimum Revenues Provision (MRP) Policy and Prudential Indicators, and also the outcomes of the Council’s review of its fees and charges.
The fees and charges have been reviewed in accordance with the Council’s Fees and Charges Policy, which has resulted in proposed increases to some. Where the proposed increase is greater than five percent, this constitutes a Key Decision. The Cabinet will consider the proposals as part of its consideration of this report.
26 January 2024
Issue of Special Urgency Notice (Inclusion of Exempt Appendices)
The Cabinet will be asked to consider the proposals for the 2024 to 2025 budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2024 to 2028 for West Suffolk Council, prior to its approval by Council.
The inclusion of exempt Appendices are the business cases for new projects under the Capital Programme and are required to be included
to enable the Council to have access to all relevant information. It has not been possible to provide 28 days’ notice for the reporting of these Appendices being considered in private session, as it was not known that exempt Appendices would be attached to the consideration of this report.
Under the Access to Information Procedure Rules of the Council’s Constitution, paragraphs 16.1 and 17.2, which requires that where the normal procedure cannot be followed in respect of the consideration of matters in private, agreement is to be sought from the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee as to why the matter cannot be reasonably deferred. This has been undertaken accordingly.
(Note: This item constituted a Key Decision in part where proposed increases in fees and charges contained in the report were greater than five percent (Attachment D, Appendix 6a). Other decisions emanating from the report would require final approval by Council on 20 February 2024. This was reflected in the Decisions Notice accordingly).
Recommended to Council (as part of the budget setting process)
(20 February 2024):
1. The revenue and capital budget for 2024 to 2028, plus 2023 to 2024 capital projects that subsequently require to be carried forward at the year end, attached at Attachment A and as detailed in Attachment D (Appendices 1-6), Attachment E, and Attachment F to Report number CAB/WS/24/010, be approved.
2. Having taken into account the conclusions of the Director’s (Resources and Property) report on the adequacy of reserves and the robustness of budget estimates (Attachment C) and the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) (Attachment D), particularly the Scenario Planning and Sensitivity Analysis (Attachment D, Appendix 5) and all other information contained in Report number CAB/WS/24/010, the Cabinet recommends the level of council tax for 2024 to 2025 be established at £197.82 for an average band D property (the level of council tax beyond April 2025 will be set in accordance with the annual budget process for the relevant financial year).
3. The Director (Resources and Property), in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Resources, be authorised to vire funds between existing Earmarked Reserves (as set out at Attachment D, Appendix 3) as deemed appropriate throughout the medium term financial planning period.
4. The Director (Resources and Property) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Resources, be given delegated authority to formulate and implement in full, Government grant, discount or relief schemes (examples include but not limited to those set out in paragraphs 3.14-3.16 and 4.7-4.10 of Report number CAB/WS/24/010), so long as they are as a minimum, revenue cost neutral to the Council.
5. The change to the Second Home Premium, set out in paragraphs 4.7 to 4.10 of Report number CAB/WS/24/010, be approved.
6. The fees and charges price increases (as set out in Attachment D, Appendix 6a of Report number CAB/WS/24/010) be approved.
Recommended to Council (as part of the budget setting process) (20 February 2024):
7. The Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy (as set out in Attachment F of Report number CAB/WS/24/010), be approved.
Report author: Rachael Mann
Publication date: 08/02/2024
Date of decision: 06/02/2024
Decided at meeting: 06/02/2024 - Cabinet