Agenda item


To consider Report No. FIN2106 (copy attached), which makes recommendations on the budget, Council Tax Requirement and proposals for budget savings for 2021/22, for submission to the Council on 25th February, 2021.



Tables 3, 4 and 5 in Report No. FIN2106 have been updated due to an incorrect brought forward balance being stated on:


·                     Stability and Resilience reserve

·                     Other earmarked reserves/Prior year grants


The updated opening balance does not impact on the proposed revenue budget or MTFS projections and it does not change the year in which the Stability and Resilience reserve is forecast to be depleted.

Presented By:Cllr Paul Taylor, Corporate Services Portfolio Holder


The Cabinet considered Report No. FIN2106, which made recommendations on the budget, Council Tax requirement and proposals for budget savings for 2021/22. Members noted that the Report had been republished prior to the meeting to provide corrected brought forward balances in respect of the Stability and Resilience Reserve and other earmarked reserves/prior year grants.


The Cabinet was reminded that the budget framework had been approved at its meeting on 13th October, 2020. The prospects for the Medium Term Financial Strategy, in the context of ongoing pressures caused by the impact of Covid-19, had been considered at the Cabinet meeting on 8th December, 2020. Members were advised that the Report had been prepared on the basis that there would be no change to the provisional local government finance settlement figure, which had been confirmed on 4th February, 2021 but had been subject to a Parliamentary debate on 10th February, 2021. The Medium Term Financial Strategy continued to provide a risk-based General Fund balance of £2 million being the minimum expected level for total working balances. The Cabinet was advised that, despite the uncertainties around levels of Government funding and the risks around Brexit and the general economic position, the Council had been able to prepare a sound budget that maintained services to residents. It was confirmed that the budget would also provide a platform for the Council to address future challenges.


The Capital Programme of £38.510 million in 2021/22 was set out in Appendix 3 of the Report. It was explained that the Capital Programme was focussed on delivering against the Council’s key priority of town centre regeneration, with further schemes aimed at enhancing the delivery of core services through improvement and enhancement of assets. The main areas where the Council would be facing increased levels of risk and uncertainty over the medium term were set out in Section 8 of the Report. Members were informed that the most significant risks were the uncertainty around the level of local government funding provided by central government, especially in light of the implementation of the Fair Funding Review and ongoing pressures caused by Covid-19. In discussing the details of the Report, it was confirmed to Members that the business case for the provision of a visitor centre at the Southwood Country Park would be submitted to the Cabinet for approval over the following months.


The Cabinet


(i)           RECOMMENDED TO THE COUNCIL that approval be given to:


(a)          the Medium Term Financial Strategy, as set out in Appendix 1 of Report No. FIN2106;


(b)          the additional items for inclusion in the budget, as set out in Appendix 2 of the Report;


(c)          the Council Tax requirement of £6,927,715 for this Council;


(d)          the Council Tax level for Rushmoor Borough Council's purposes of £214.42 for a Band D property in 2021/22;


(e)          the Capital Programme, as set out in Appendix 3 of the Report;


(f)           the Strategy for the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts, as set out in Appendix 4 of the Report;


(g)          the balances and reserves position, including proposed reserve transfers for 2021/22, as set out in Section 5 of the Report; and


(ii)       RESOLVED that authority be delegated to the Council’s Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Corporate Services Portfolio Holder, to make any necessary changes to the General Fund Summary arising from the final confirmation of the Local Government Finance Settlement and the Business Rates Retention Scheme estimates.

Supporting documents: