To seek comments on the budget proposals identified for 2021/22 to 2023/24 within the Climate Change, Planning and Housing and Growth and Infrastructure Delivery cabinet portfolios, to go forward to the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board and the Full Cabinet in February 2021.
The report was presented to the Scrutiny Board by the Finance Manager.
The purpose of the report was to seek comments on the budget proposals identified for 2021/22 to 2023/24 within the Climate Change, Planning and Housing and Growth and Infrastructure Delivery Cabinet Portfolios, to go forward to the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board meeting scheduled for 8 February 2021 and to Full Cabinet on 11th February 2021.
Members were advised that the focus of the budget strategy had been on reset and recovery in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Budget Strategy Group had agreed to recommend the realignment of budgets within the Children’s and Skills and Economy and Infrastructure portfolios at a cost of £4.050M per annum from 2023/24. The Council was drawing down on some of its Reserves during this period and continued to address both Covid related and none-Covid related pressures.
Members attention was drawn to Appendix B of the report, which detailed the Councils proposed Fees and Charges for 2021/22, all of which had been set in light of the fiscal pressures the Council was facing and taking account of the current and forecast inflation.
Having received the presentation, Members raised the following questions, which in summary included the following matters:
Councillor Howell referenced the detail within the report which highlighted additional investment earmarked for the climate change and economic development agendas respectively and questioned whether the proposed restructure in these service areas provided an opportunity for greater co-ordination of work across both services with the additional investment provided. It was confirmed that this was the intention arising from the restructure.
Councillor McLoughlin made reference to Appendix A of the report, specifically to the pressures on Waste Services and changes to co-mingled waste recycling and property growth and queried whether property growth in the borough would not off-set this pressure. Officers confirmed that council tax and business rates through property growth would off-set the pressure.
In reference to pressures detailed in Appendix A, Councillor Williams queried why in terms of waste disposal for the Bubbenhall site why there was such a variance in forecasting between 2020/21 and 2021/22. Members were advised that cost pressures arose from transferring waste across different sites for processing, which was subject to additional operational charges.
Councillor Parker questioned the impact on the Council’s budget planning from the loss of dividends and related business rates from Birmingham Airport. Members were advised that the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) had been fully updated to reflect these pressures.
Having considered the report, the Economic Development and Managed Growth Scrutiny Board:
(i) To note the budget pressures and mitigating actions detailed in Appendix A to the report;
(ii) To note the budget proposals detailed within the report; and,
(iii) To note the Schedule of Fees and Charges proposed for 2021/22 as detailed in Appendix B to the report.