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Declarations of Interest
To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, other registerable interests, and non-registerable interests in any item on the agenda.
Councillors P Redstone and F Wilson declared interests as members of the Handforth Garden Village Member Advisory Group.
Public Speaking/Open Session
In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the Sub-Committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes to speak; the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days in advance of the meeting.
There were no public speakers.
To consider and provide feedback on the proposals within the budget consultation relating to the Sub-Committee’s responsibilities.
The Sub-Committee considered a report on proposals within the budget consultation relating to its responsibilities.
Feedback from all service committees would be collated and provided as evidence to the Corporate Policy Committee on 13th February 2024. Final approval of the 2024/25 budget would take place at full Council on 27th February 2024 following recommendation from the Corporate Policy Committee.
The full list of budget consultation proposals for 2024/25 for the Finance Sub-Committee was set out at Appendix A to the report.
During the budget consultation held between 9th and 28th January 2024, the Council received confirmation of additional funding from the Government which would be included in the final MTFS figures for full Council.
The Provisional Local Government finance settlement was received on 18th December 2024. There was no material impact on the target funding envelope for the service Committees. Appendix B to the report: ‘Provisional Local Government Settlement 2024/25 and Net Budget Envelope 2024/25’ set out the Core Spending Power funding announcements and comparison to the forecast net budget for 2024/25. There was an overall reduction in unringfenced grant funding of £1.4m when compared to the funding estimates included in the 2024/25 target setting exercise. The shortfall was proposed to be made up from using additional business rates compensation grants which would otherwise have been credited to the Collection Fund Earmarked Reserve. This maintained the net revenue budget for 2024/25 at the level of £372.7m.
The Director of Finance and Customer Services responded as follows in relation to members’ comments and questions on the report:
§ In order to protect businesses against the recent high levels of inflation, the Government had given local authorities business rates compensation grant funding instead of increasing business rates in line with inflation.
§ The two figures for core spending per dwelling and net revenue per dwelling in Appendix B were based on the different calculations used by the Government and the Council.
§ The use of grant funding for highways maintenance and improvement was restricted to the specific purpose for which the grant was made. £4m of the funding within the budget was discretionary and could be used for such things as repairs to potholes. This was a matter for the Highways and Transport Committee when considering its capital programme.
§ The additional monies provisionally allocated to the Council in the Government’s announcement last week, which were estimated to be around £3m, would be used to reduce the budget shortfall.
§ With regard to bad debt provision, a written response would be provided regarding the percentage of income collected, and whether this had changed in the last twelve months.
§ Risk assessments were undertaken on the likely achievement of the budget.
Councillor J Clowes put forward a set of additional proposals by the Conservative Group for inclusion in the budget. The proposals had been submitted to officers for comments in December. The proposals, including the officer comments in response, had been circulated to members of the Sub-Committee before ... view the full minutes text for item 49.