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To consider the report of the Strategic Director (Section 151 Officer).
The Chairman welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting and invited the Strategic Director (Section 151 Officer) to present her report.
Impact of the Settlement December 2020
· Confirmation of settlement figures for 2021/22 which were expected to be, to some extent, based on the 2020/21 figures ‘rolled forward’.
· Whether there were any changes to how the New Homes Bonus was to be distributed.
· Council Tax increase thresholds
· Information relating to additional funding streams related to the Covid-19 situation.
Total Budget requirement for the Authority 2021/22 is £13.8m
The comparable Net Budget Requirement for 2020/21 that was approved in February 2020 was £12.9m.
Funding the Budget
The impact of the pandemic has been substantial in 2020/21 with reduced income levels and additional expenditure alongside financial support from government through the award of Covid related grants, income loss support and rate relief flowing through the Business Rates.
· Redistributed NNDR has decreased by £217k compared to 2020/21 budget. In the MTFS presented to Council in February 2020, the Redistributed NNDR was forecast to be £5.71M in 2021/22. The revised forecast is £4.2M, a variance of £1.5M which is the major contributing factor to the budget gap detailed in this report.
· The fact that the Council no longer receives Revenue Support grant.
· New Homes Bonus (NHB) Grant has reduced by £1.09M. It was expected that NHB would be significantly reduced in 2021/22.
· Other non ring-fenced grants relate to S31 grants which compensate the Council for providing Business Rate Reliefs such as Small Business Rate Relief and the one-off Expanded Retail Relief.
· Council Tax precept has increased by £15k. This is before any increase is applied, but reflects the increase in the tax base (increase in properties) in the district. It should be noted that the increase in the taxbase is lower due to reduced build rates in 2020/21 and the award of additional Council Tax Support discount.
· Council Tax and NNDR Deficits to be spread over a three year period as required.
The budget gap arising for the 2021/22 Financial Year is £1.071M.
Options open to the Council to meet the future funding gap
Council Tax Increase
For 2021/22 the threshold for Council Tax increases for “core” Band D Council Tax has remained unchanged with local authorities able to increase their Council Tax by up to 2% (1.99%). An additional amount of £114k would be generated with a 1.99% increase which equates to an increase of £3.37 per annum, £171.68 for a Band D equivalent property.
District Councils may however raise Council Tax by £5 without triggering a referendum. This is an option that Blaby may consider given it is larger (2.97%) than the 1.99% increase. This option would generate an additional £170k, £163.32 for a Band D equivalent property.
For Shire County Councils increases for ‘core’ Band D Council Tax has also been retained with an increase of up to 2% being allowed.
It is important to also note that within the Settlement those ... view the full minutes text for item 1.
a) To consider the proposed 2021-22 budget and spending plans for each Portfolio area.
b) Prepare lines of questioning for a written response from Portfolio Holders in advance of the next Scrutiny Budget meeting on Wednesday 20 January 2021.
The Chairman thanked the Portfolio Holders for attending.
The Chairman opened discussion to develop lines of questioning for each Portfolio area relating to the 2021/22 draft Budget Proposals attached with the agenda as well as from information presented by the Strategic Director (Section 151 Officer).
Preliminary lines of questioning were identified for submission to Portfolio Holders prior to the next Scrutiny Budget meeting on Wednesday 20 January 2021 for their response.
The Chairman explained that any supplemental questions could still be submitted by Members before or at the next meeting.
Date of Next Meeting
20 January 2021
· 20 January 2021