To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Capital Assets.
The Finance, Commercial & Capital Strategy Portfolio Holder presented the Budget strategy and medium-term financial plan (MTFP). A copy of his speech is attached as an appendix to these minutes.
The Chairman invited the Group Leaders to present their replies to the budget proposals.
Cllrs Ireland, Sutton and Fry presented their budget speeches which are attached as appendices to these minutes.
Members sought re-assurance that borrowing debt would be controlled and discussed the proposed Council Tax increase. Generally, the feeling amongst members was that although they did not want to raise Council Tax, the priority was to maintain services to the communities they represented and safeguard residents.
The Finance, Commercial & Capital Strategy Portfolio Holder was confident that the budget was balanced but still encouraged prudence when committing reserves.
Members were appreciative of the officer work that had gone into producing the budget and the opportunity of attending budget cafes, cross party working and input from the Scrutiny Committees.
Cllr Flower presented his speech as seconder of the budget proposal. Attached as an appendix to the minutes
Proposed by Cllr Suttle, seconded by Cllr Flower.
In accordance with procedure rule 19.6 a recorded vote was taken. Those who voted in favour of the recommendations:-
Cllrs: Adkins, Alford, Andrews, Barrow, Bartlett, Batstone, Beer, Biggs, Brenton, Brooks, Brown, Bryan, Carr-Jones, Christopher, Clayton, R. Cook, Coombs, Dunseith, Ferrari, Flower, Fry, Gibson, Goringe, Gray, Hall, Harrison, Haynes, Heatley, Holloway, Hughes, Jespersen, S Jones, C Jones, Kerby, Kimber, Lacey-Clarke, H Legg, Lugg, Miller, Morgan, O’Leary, Orrell, Parker, Parkes, Parry, Penfold, Pipe, Pothecary, Quale, Rennie, Roberts, Shortell, Somper, Starr, Suttle, Sutton, Tooke, Trite, Wharf, Wheller and Williams.
Those who voted against the recommendations:-
Cllrs: Canning, Ezzard, Hope, Ireland, Legg, Roe and Taylor.
Those who abstained:-
Following a recorded vote, 61 for, 7 against and 1 abstention the recommendations were approved.
(a) That the revenue budget summarised in appendix 1, was agreed
(b) That the increase in general council tax of 1.998% and 0.996% in the
social care precept, providing a band D council tax figure for Dorset
Council of £1,832.67, an overall increase of 2.994%, was agreed.
(c) That no change to the current scheme of Local Council Tax Support as set
out in the report, was agreed.
(d) That the capital strategy set out in Appendix 3 and the capital programme
set out in Appendix 4, was agreed.
(e) That the treasury management strategy as set out in Appendix 5, was
(f) That the assumptions used to develop the budget strategy and medium term financial plan (MTFP) as set out throughout the report and
summarised in Appendix 6, was agreed
(g) That the recommended balances on earmarked reserves and on general
funds, including the minimum level of the general fund, was agreed
(h) That the addition of £4.4m from the settlement into the contingency
budget, until there is clarity around further costs of implementing national
reforms and as a hedge against emerging cost pressures, was agreed
(i) That the responses to the recommendations and comments made as part
of the budget scrutiny process, was agreed
(j) That the concern around the cumulative overspend on the High Needs
Block (HNB) and more importantly, the impact that an unmitigated transfer
of this deficit to the council will have on its financial position when the
statutory instrument falls away, as currently scheduled, on 1 April 2023, was
Reason for Decision:
The Council was required to set a balanced revenue budget, and to approve a level of council tax as an integral part of this. A balanced budget was essentially one where all expenditure was funded by income without unsustainable use of one-off, or short-term sources of finance.
The Council was also required to approve management strategy.