To consider a report by the Director (NE) (reference 17/19) attached.
The Council considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 17/19) which outlined the Council’s draft revenue and capital budget 2017/18 for public consultation. Introducing the report, the Director, Mr Edwards reminded Members that last September the Cabinet had accepted the Government’s offer of a four year funding settlement, which although it gave some certainty to aid financial planning, entailed a continuing reduction in Government grant to 2019/20. Members were further advised that on 15 December, the finance settlement for 17/18 had been confirmed, equating to a cut in grant funding of 13.5% (£819k), in addition to a £176k reduction in New Homes Bonus allocations. The late notice of the final settlement and the significant reduction in NHB allocation meant that savings of £203k still needed to be identified to set a balanced budget for 17/18. Mr Edwards would later be bringing some additional proposals to balance the budget to the Executive Board, which if agreed to, would form part of the public consultation on the draft budget. Members were referred to Table 3 in the report which illustrated the scale of reductions in Local Government Finance Settlement Funding over the two Spending Review Periods from 2010/11 to 2019/20 amounting to a total percentage reduction of 65.82. A combination of funding cuts and unavoidable cost pressures meant that a total of £2.492m in savings and additional income was required to set a balanced budget in 17/18. The current draft budget proposed a draw of £500k from reserves and the savings of £1.789m identified in Appendix A3 of the report. Further, a 2.31% rise in the Borough Council’s share of Council Tax (£5 on a Band D property) was proposed. Despite these fiscal challenges, the budget sought to safeguard the delivery of high quality services in accordance with the Council’s Efficiency Plan and to continue the investment in the Borough to promote economic regeneration through the Investment Management Plan – economic regeneration which would assume even more importance as the Council came to depend more on business rates income for its finances. In the ensuing discussion, it was noted that the Borough Council as the collecting authority on behalf of a range of other organisations retained only a fraction of the Council Tax paid. In reply to a Member’s comment, Mr Edwards welcomed Fylingdales Parish Council’s financial support for the coastal protection scheme in Robin Hood’s Bay.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet:
(i) approve the Council Tax Base for 2017/18 as 37,623.69 Band D equivalent properties;
(ii) approve that a surplus of £1.960 million be declared on the Council Tax Collection Fund. This surplus will be distributed in proportion to the share of Council Tax attributable to each precepting authority and the Borough Council's share of the surplus will equate to a one-off sum of £258,031;
(iii) agree that authority to approve the NNDR1 Return be delegated to the Director (Nick Edwards);
(iv) endorse the draft budget proposals set out in the appendices to this report prior to them being re-presented to Cabinet and Full Council for approval in February; with particular attention being given to the proposed £5 Council Tax increase for a Band D property and the savings proposals listed at Appendix A3. If the Council Tax increase or any savings proposals listed are deemed by Members to be unacceptable alternative savings of an equivalent value must be identified;
(v) note the outcome and details of the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2017/18 and the indicative figures for the following two years to 2019/20; along with the resulting funding gaps of £2.492m in 17/18, £2.180million in 18/19, £1.295million in 19/20;
(vi) note that the savings identified to date for 2017/18 total £1.789 million and a £0.5m draw from reserves is proposed, therefore savings of £203k still need to be identified in order to set a balanced budget;
(vii) subject to the approval of recommendation (iv) agree that officers enter into a period of consultation on the proposals contained within this report; and
(viii) recommend that Council approve the 2017/18 Council Tax discount and premiums set out in Section 3.3 of this report, which remain unchanged from those approved for 2016/17.
All preceptors use the Council Tax Base figure as the denominator for calculating their Council Tax. It is a statutory requirement for the Council to notify the major
Precepting Authorities of the approved Tax Base and any surplus or deficit on the Collection Fund by the 31 January of each year.
It is a statutory requirement to submit the NNDR1 form to the Department for Communities and Local Government and notify North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service of their respective shares by the 31 January of each year.
Full Council must approve the 2017/18 budget, and associated Council Tax level at its meeting on 3 March 2017. It is important that the Council consults with the public on its budget prior to it being approved, and that the areas identified in the consultation process are taken into consideration in the budget setting process.