Issue - meetings

Medium Term Financial Strategy - Forecast 2019/20

Meeting: 24/04/2018 - Cabinet (Item 164)

164 Medium Term Financial Strategy - Forecast 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 96 KB


As detailed in the recommendation.


Councillor Shotton introduced the Medium Term Financial Strategy – Forecast 2019/20 report which provided the first detailed overview of the financial forecast for 2019/20.


            The Chief Executive explained that the report had been submitted to Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee the previous week where an early forecast of the budget for 2019/20 was welcomed and appreciated.  A comment had been made on how proposals could affect groups of people when budget solutions for services were looked at.  Given the budget process was starting early, this would enable any implications to be considered.  He added that resources from Aggregate External Finance (AEF) and Council Tax were shown at the same level as 2018/19 at this stage for comparative planning purposes.


A report was being submitted to the Constitution and Democratic Services Committee later that week on the budget process and the potential options for reporting.


The Corporate Finance Manager highlighted the impacts on the budget forecast, which were detailed in full in the report. The areas were: use of reserves ‘dropping out’; workforce costs; social care demands; school costs; and corporate/inflation.  This resulted in a projected budget gap of £10.6m. 


Councillor Attridge emphasised the importance of urgent meetings with Assembly Members (AMs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) to highlight the pressures that the Council faced.  He felt they needed to lead for the Council on the lobbying that would be required.  Members supported the comments of Councillor Attridge, adding that whilst capital funding grants were welcomed, it would be easier for Councils to plan budgets if such money was available at the earliest opportunity.  A comment was also made on additional burdens being placed on Councils that were unfunded, such as the Additional Needs Measure, which should be funded nationally.


The Chief Executive commented on the impact of the teacher pay award which was not included in the forecast as the sector view was it should be a nationally-funded cost pressure.  He added that if Welsh Government (WG) supported a modest increase in AEF and the market led social care pressures and other selected cost pressures, the Council could be two thirds to closing the budget gap.  On workforce, he said there was now limited resilience in many service areas.  However, he was pleased to report that the Council had one of the lowest rates of sickness levels in Wales which was due in large part to staff dedication.


Councillor Shotton concluded that Members could take strength from the fact the budget process was starting earlier which provided the opportunity and time to work with all Members of the Council.




That the updated forecast be adopted as the basis for initial planning.