To seek approval to recommendations from the Executive contained in the attached report of the Chief Finance Officer (Introduced by the Executive Member for Resources) and within the appendices listed below.
a) Approve the budget and proposals set out in this report, including the level of Council Tax as set out in the Formal Council Tax Resolution, including Special Expenses & Parish Precepts 2022/23, at Appendix A;
b) Note the advice of the Chief Finance Officer in relation to the robustness of the estimates within the overall budget, including the risks contained within it and the adequacy of the proposed level of financial reserves, as set out in the Statutory Report at Appendices B1 – B3;
c) Approve the council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) at Appendix C;
d) Note the council’s forecast Cumulative Budget Deficit and Budget Strategy 2021-22to 2024-25 at Appendix D;
e) Note the analysis of the movement in the 2022/23 Budget from the position
approved by Council in February 2021 at Appendix E;
f) Approve the capital programme for 2021/22 to 2024/25 (Appendices F1, F2 & F3);
g) Approve the Capital Strategy at Appendix G;
h) Approve the Treasury Management Strategy at Appendix H and note the advice of the treasury management consultants at Appendix H1;
i) Approve the council’s Pay Policy at Appendix I for publication on the council’s
website from April 2022;
j) Note the budget consultation 2022/23 Report at Appendix J;
k) Note the Assessing the Impact of Budget Proposals 2022/23 Report at Appendix K.
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley, presented the Executive's Revenue Budget 2022/23, Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Programme 2022-2025.
Councillor Bradley thanked the officers, the Executive Member Resources,
Councillor Peter Wilson and Labour Group for their hard work and input into the proposed budget. He thanked all the staff working for the council for their contributions in delivering services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2022/23 budget and the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for the next 3 years have been updated to take account the continued pressures on council budgets, alongside reduced levels of funding from government to meet these increasing costs. The figures include a proposed 1.99% increase in council tax in 2022/23 and a proposed 1.99% increase in council tax in 2023/24. From 2024/25 proposals be revisited each year as part of the budget setting process and would be dependent upon the outcome of the government’s reviews of both the future funding framework and the future distribution of funding between councils as a consequence of the Fair Funding Review, the review of the business rates system and the development of the ‘Levelling-Up’ agenda.
Continued investment was reflected in ongoing revenue budgets to ensure delivery of corporate strategy priorities, and additional investment of almost £1.0m had been identified for 2022/23 to support this. Capital investments of over £56.0m were included in respect of corporate priority projects over the period of the MTFS.
Councillor Bradley referred to the achievements of the council in recent years, and the plans within the Corporate Strategy, which would be delivered by the proposed budget, including
Involving residents in improving their local area and equality of access for all continue to work with our residents to address climate change and achieve our commitment of being a carbon neutral council by 2030.
A strong local economy providing support and grants for businesses and developing our approach to apprenticeships, graduate and training posts in areas of high market demand and supporting people into high quality employment
Clean, safe and healthy communities investing in local play and community facilities, supporting the delivery of affordable homes and improving our leisure centres
An ambitious council that does more to meet the needs of residents and the local area making improvements across the borough, supporting our young people, health and wellbeing and local areas.
The council continues to invest in the borough and this budget includes £56.0m of capital investment from 2022/23 to 2024/25. This includes investment in a new GP surgery in Whittle-le-Woods, another extra care facility, with a GP surgery at Tatton ensuring that public services continue to become more accessible, continuing to improve the town centre and markets offer as well as investing in play and open spaces and in improved affordable housing. The council will continue its success of investing in assets that benefit residents and
businesses whilst also generating a net income to the council.
The Executive Member (Customer and Streetscene Services) Councillor Adrian Lowe supported the proposed budget and noted the challenges faced by the council and how the funding gap was proposed to be bridged.
Before moving to the vote, the Mayor asked the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Martin Boardman, to present their amendment.