Issue - decisions

Budget Strategy Report

22/01/2021 - Budget Strategy Report

In presenting the Budget Strategy for 2021-2022, the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Capital advised that significant progress had been made in delivering Dorset Council’s priorities despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the huge challenges that had presented.


Members were asked to support a rise in general council tax of 1.997% and to levy 2.995% (3%) as the social care precept.


The following observations were made:

Cabinet acknowledged the value and importance of scrutiny committee(s) to help inform the budget process and monitor the approved budget.

It was noted that the importance Cross-party working would be required to successfully deliver the budget.

The slight increase in the Children Services budget was welcomed by the Portfolio Holder but there was also acknowledgement that efficiencies needed to be delivered in both Children and Adult Services in the forth coming year.


Recommendation to Full Council


To approve:


(a)       the revenue budget summarised in Appendix 1 of the report;

(b)       the increase in general council tax of 1.997% and to levy 2.995% (3%) as the social care precept, providing a band D council tax figure for Dorset Council of £1,779.39;

(c)        the capital strategy set out in Appendix 3 and the capital programme set out in Appendix 4of the report;

(d)       the treasury management strategy set out in Appendix 5 of the report;

(f)        the assumptions used to develop the budget strategy and Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) as set out throughout this report and summarised in Appendix 6 of the report;

(g)       the recommended balances on earmarked reserves and on general funds, including the minimum level of the general fund;

(h)       in making these recommendations Council is requested to consider and agree the responses to the recommendations and comments made as part of the budget scrutiny process (Appendix 7 of the report).


Reason for Recommendation:


The Council is required to set a balanced revenue budget, and to approve a level of council tax as an integral part of this.  A balanced budget is essentially one where expenditure is funded by income without unsustainable use of one-off, or short-term sources of finance. 

The Council is also required to approve a capital strategy, a capital programme and budget, and a treasury management strategy, each of which are included with this report.