Agenda item

Council Fund Revenue Budget 2023/24 - Final Closing Stage


As detailed in the recommendations.


Councillor Roberts thanked Members and officers for all of their work on the budget which was a significant piece of work.  He paid particular thanks to new Members of the Council who had been involved in Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings, including special meetings where proposals had been considered.  He looked forward to setting a balanced budget later in the day.


Councillor Johnson introduced the report and explained that the Council had received full reports on previous stages of the budget setting process for 2023/24.


Cabinet received an update on the key headlines and financial impacts of the Welsh Local Government Provisional Settlement at its meeting on 17th January, together with an update on the increased additional budget requirement of £32.978m.


The report provided (1) feedback from the series of specific Overview and Scrutiny Committees held in December 2022 (2) an update on the ongoing risks to the additional budget requirement and (3) an update on the work being undertaken on the range of budget solutions available to the Council to set a legal and balanced budget.  That work had now been concluded and the outcome was set out in the report, with the report setting out recommendations for the Council to be able to reach a legal and balanced budget position for the 2023/24 financial year.


Also set out in the report was the Council Tax recommendation for setting local taxation levels for 2023/24.  A formal resolution was being proposed to Council later that day as notification of the precepts of the Police and Crime Commissioner and all Town and Community Councils within Flintshire had been received.  A full presentation would be made at County Council.


He added that the impact of pay awards that year showed the importance of retaining reserves.


The Chief Executive said that as soon as the budget for this year was closed, work would commence on the budget for the following year.  Some of the initial figures were challenging and based on the economic climate there would be a need to adopt a prudent position for setting the budget today.  It had been an extremely challenging year in terms of budget setting, based on things such as energy costs and pay awards.


The Corporate Finance Manager said a detailed presentation would be give at County Council later in the day on how the proposed budget has been made up.  An update was available, which was that an amount of £127k could now be released to the Contingency Reserve from the Local Development Plan (LDP) Earmarked Reserve.  That was following approval of the LDP and allowing for remaining commitments from the Reserve.


The following was also set out within the report:


·         Table 1: Revised Additional Budget Requirement 2023/24

·         Table 2: Proposed Budget Solutions 2023/24

·         Table 3: Proposed Budget 2023/24

·         Table 4: School Budget Adjustments

·         Table 5: Social Care Budget Adjustments

·         Table 6: Medium Term Forecast 2024/25 – 2025/26




(a)       That the revised additional budget requirement for 2023/24 be noted and approved;


(b)       That the final proposals for the cost reductions that will contribute to the budget be approved;


(c)        That Cabinet recommends to Council a legal and balanced budget based on the calculations as set out within the report;


(d)       That the open risks which remain to be managed in the 2023/24 financial year be noted;


(e)       That an annual increase in Council Tax for 2023/24 of 3.99% for Council Services and 0.96% for contributions to North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Regional Coroners Service and the Regional Education Consortium (GwE) – an overall uplift of 4.95% be recommended;


(f)        That Cabinet invites the Council to pass the formal Council Tax resolution now that notification of the precepts of the Police and Crime Commissioner and all Town and Community Councils within Flintshire had been received; and


(g)       That the medium-term forecast be noted as a basis for the next revision of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).

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