Issue - meetings

Council Fund Budget 2019/20 – Updated Forecast and Process for Stage 3 of Budget Setting

Meeting: 11/12/2018 - Flintshire County Council (Item 75)

Council Fund Budget 2019/20 – Updated Forecast and Process for Stage 3 of Budget Setting

Additional documents:


(a)       That the verbal update on the updated budget forecast for 2019/20 be noted; and


(b)       That Members of Parliament and local and regional Assembly Members be invited to a meeting with all County Councillors, as soon as possible and preferably before 19th December 2018.



The Chief Executive introduced the verbal report on the Council Fund Budget 2019/20 – Updated Forecast and Process for Stage 3 of Budget Setting. 


A presentation was delivered by the Chief Executive and the Corporate Finance Manager which focussed on the following areas:


·         #BacktheAsk – Campaigning Position;

·         #BacktheAsk – Council Tax;

·         #BacktheAsk – Public Debate;

·         Update on Recent National Funding Announcements;

·         Provisional Settlement Announcements;

·         First Minister Announcements;

·         Updated Budget Forecast for 2019/20;

·         Council Tax – Current Estimates;

·         School Budgets – Teachers Pay;

·         Additional Information ;

·         #BacktheAsk – Refresh;

·         Letter to Cabinet Secretary; and

·         Next Steps and Timelines.


The Chief Executive commented on the circular letter of the outgoing First Minister to all local authorities in Wales received later on the afternoon of the County Council meeting on 20th November.  Following a number of specific Flintshire ‘asks’ that had been covered in that letter and granted, an updated letter from himself and the Leader of the Council to the Cabinet Secretaries for Finance and for Local Government and Public Services (on 28th November) as the Council’s formal response to the consultation on the Provisional Settlement.  The letter represented the debate at Council on 20th November.  Copies of both letters had been provided to all Members. 


The letter to the Cabinet Secretaries said that the Council believed that Welsh Government (WG) had enough financial flexibility to further improve the Settlement and called for an improved Final Settlement which was to be announced on 19th December.  The letter also explained that if no further improvements were made to the Settlement, Flintshire may have to adopt a Council Tax rise of 9% upwards to balance the budget for 2019/20.  A formal request was made to improve the Settlement whereby Flintshire would benefit from a further minimum £2m of revenue funding.


On the Provisional Settlement announcements and additional grants, the Corporate Finance Manager explained the benefit of each to the Council.  He also provided details on how the First Minister’s announcements would benefit Flintshire in 2018/19, and 2019/20.


The Chief Executive reiterated that without any further announcements the remaining budget gap of £3.148m, following the updated forecast for 2019/20, would still require an overall Council Tax rise of in the region of 9.3%.  The final increase in the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority Levy was still to be confirmed and would have to be added to this Council requirement.  Based on a provisional Levy increase of £0.420m, this would require a further increase of around 0.5% on Council Tax.


He explained the situation on teachers’ pay and said the recent announcement allowed the Council to meet the minimum position of providing an uplift to meet the pay award.  Additional funding through a specific grant was expected for 2018/19 which would be passported to schools to contribute to the additional costs incurred in-year.


A further report would be made to Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 13th December and to Cabinet on 18th December.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75