Issue - meetings

General Fund Revenue and Capital- Interim Budget Proposals 2017/18 for consultation

Meeting: 13/12/2016 - Cabinet (Item 8)

8 General Fund Revenue and Capital- Interim Budget Proposals 2017/18 for consultation pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Additional documents:




1.    the interim budget proposals be approved for consultation including a proposed council tax for the services provided by Cheltenham Borough Council of £197.12 for the year 2017/18 (an increase of 2.60% or £5.00 a year for a Band D property).

2.    the growth proposals be approved, including one off initiatives at Appendix 3, for consultation.

3.    the proposed capital programme at Appendix 6 be approved, as outlined in Section 6.

4.    authority be delegated to the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, to determine and approve any additional material that may be needed to support the presentation of the interim budget proposals for consultation.

5.    consultation responses be sought by 13th January 2017.



The Cabinet Member Finance introduced the report and reminded Members that in the current exceptionally difficult national funding situation, the overriding financial strategy had been, and remained, to drive down the Council’s costs.


The key aims in developing this approach to the budget were to:


·         Do everything possible to protect frontline services with a modest increase in council tax


·         Identify savings that could be achieved through reorganisation of service delivery or raising additional income rather than through service cuts.


The Cabinet Member informed the meeting that the council had taken up the offer of a four year settlement from central government and the decision to grant this was received on 16 November. It should be noted that in applying for a multi-year settlement the Council was guaranteeing a minimum settlement allocation, not a fixed allocation.  She referred Members to the table at 2.7 which illustrated the proposed levels of government funding for the council.

Between 2009 and the present there had been an unprecedented squeeze on finances. Government core funding for the council had been reduced from £8.8 million to £3.1 million a year.  The proposed settlement for 17/18 was indicating a further reduction of 17.5 % or £0.677 million in cash terms. To address these reductions without cutting services, radical changes had already been embraced in the way services were organised.

With regard to retained business rates In April 2017, a new rating list would come into effect which would impact each business rate property in the borough and, would impact upon the value of business rates collected. Under the Scheme, this volatility was expected to be smoothed by an adjustment to the "tariff” set by central government.


The Cabinet Member highlighted that a significant level of risk remained due to the volume of outstanding business rates appeals which were being processed by the Valuation Office. She reported that the Council had made provision for its share of the cost of outstanding appeals in its financial statements. The level of provision would be reviewed as part of the preparation of the business rates estimates for 2017/18 in January 2017.


The amount of New Homes Bonus (NHB) used to fund the base budget was capped at £1.75 million in 2016/17, with the excess bonus (c. £0.400 million) contributing to the Council’s New Initiatives Fund, deferred REST savings, the Community Pride scheme and other one-off supported growth schemes. The interim budget proposals for 2017/18 maintained the capped amount of £1.75 million.


The Cabinet Member explained that for 2018/19 onwards, it was assumed that NHB of c. £1.9 million could be payable. This value reflected the following: the scale of housing development expected in the Borough; that NHB would be awarded for 4 years rather than the current 6 years; and provided for the introduction of some further changes to the scheme which were yet to be determined by government, once this was received further modelling would be carried out and confirmed in the budget proposals for the February Council meeting.


She  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8