The purpose of this report is to provide an
update on the budget position for 2023/24 and subsequent years and
to seek feedback on the budget proposals for Full Cabinet. The
report also includes an updated Medium Term Financial Strategy and
Capital Strategy, which members are asked to consider and recommend
to Full Cabinet for approval.
The report provided the Scrutiny Board with an update on the budget position for 2023/24 and subsequent years and requested feedback on the budget proposals for Full Cabinet. The report also included an updated Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Strategy, which Members of the Scrutiny Board were asked to consider.
Having received an introduction to the report from the Acting Chief Executive, Members of the Scrutiny Board were invited to raise any questions pertinent to the report.
Councillor Moses highlighted the proposed fees and charges scheduled for 2023/24, noting that some fees and charges were proposed to increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 6% and questioned whether the Council would exercise its discretion in raising the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) in line with the CPI.
The Director, Adult Care & Support, informed the Scrutiny Board that the MIG was established by the Department of Health and Social Care and historically the Council followed the national policy. If this were to change, there would be costs associated with this. The Adult Social Care Finance Manager further advised that the Council budget assumed the MIG would rise with the rate of inflation, but the MIG for 2023/24 had yet to be confirmed.
Councillor Moses questioned whether the Council had any contingency plans in place should the need arise to review the MIG in order to avoid any potential real term cuts. The Adult Social Care Finance Manager advised Members that any such review could have a financial impact requiring revisions to the Council budget and further options identified to present a balanced Council budget.
Councillor Parker sought clarification as to whether any rental increases were proposed for SCH tenants. The Assistant Director of Finance & Property Services informed the Scrutiny Board that a Housing Rents report was scheduled for consideration at Cabinet and was currently proposing a 5% increase, where a maximum raise of 7% was permissible.
Having considered the report, the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board:
(i) To review and note the budget position as outlined in the report, the pressures and mitigations detailed at Appendix A and the savings proposals detailed in Appendix B;
(ii) To note the budget comments arising from the Scrutiny Boards detailed in Appendix C;
(iii) To note the structural and strategic options as detailed in Appendix D;
(iv) To consider and note the draft updated Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and Capital Strategy, as detailed in Appendices E and F;
(v) To note the fees and charges proposed within each portfolio and detailed in Appendix H (available on-line);
(vi) To note the recommendation to roll forward the management agreement with Solihull Community Housing (SCH) as outlined in paragraph 3.34 of the report;
(vii) To note the recommendations to Full Council in respect of the Council’s
carbon budget, as outlined at paragraph 3.35 to the report and detailed in the report to the Members’ Budget Seminar attached at Appendix I;
(viii) To consider and note the Strategic Fair Treatment Assessment detailed
in Appendix J; and,
(ix) To agree to the Scrutiny Board’s feedback detailed above to be presented to Full Cabinet on 9th February 2023.