Agenda item

The County Council's Budget Position

Please note that following publication of the agenda on 16 November, 2015  Appendices 'D' and 'E' in so far as they relate to BOP 052 - Cultural Services  - Heritage and Arts have been amended and republished.  The documents now include the proposed use of the Council's reserves element that was omitted by officers from the original documents. 


The reference to the 'Estimated reserve requirement' on page 287 of agenda item 4e - Money Matters – The Financial Strategy for 2016/17 to 2020/21 has also been amended to correct the above-mentioned error.


A further revision to BOP 52 was made on 23 November.  The above-mentioned documents have been updated to reflect the further change.


The Deputy Leader of the County Council, County Councillor Borrow, and Neil Kissock, Acting Director of Financial Resources, presented the "Money Matters" financial report, covering the current financial position, the financial outlook and medium term financial strategy (MTFS), as well as proposals to address the council's funding gap.  The report also included Equality Analysis documents relating to the budget proposals.


It was noted that the forecast overspend for 2015/16 had reduced since the last report to £19.666m. It was also noted that the anticipated budget shortfall had increased to around £262m, largely due to the implementation of the National Living Wage and that the effects of the Government's forthcoming Autumn Statement on the council's budget position would have to be considered.


The principles and recommendations of the Budget Scrutiny Working Group on the budget proposals were presented and supported by the Committee.  The Committee felt that recommendation (vii), as set out in the Cabinet report, should be amended to confirm that consultations on the budget proposals would be undertaken where appropriate. 


The Committee noted that proposals relating to Bus Services, and Heritage and Arts Funding had been amended since the agenda had been published.  The revised proposals were made available to members.


It was recognised that the decisions now facing the council were extremely difficult, but that they would be made on the basis of need in line with the Corporate Strategy and having regard to the likely impact on people with protected characteristics. Workable alternative proposals were welcomed from other political groups and external organisations.




(i)  That the recommendations as set out in the report to Cabinet be noted, and that Cabinet be requested to amend recommendation (vii) to read as follows:


"Approve the attached budget proposals set out in Appendices 'D' and 'E', authorise officers to proceed with their implementation subject to consultation where appropriate, and agree that the 2016/17 budget be prepared based upon these revenue decisions with the outcome of any consultations being reported to Full Council.


(ii)  That, apart from the above-mentioned observations, no additional comments or alternative recommendations be made.

Supporting documents: