Agenda item

Draft Revenue and Capital Budget Proposals 2023/24


HC 64/22         

The Committee considered a report that set out the draft Revenue and Capital Budget Proposals for 2023-24.


In discussion, the following points were raised:


a)     The Section 151 Officer informed that Central Government had just published a Policy Statement on the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2023/24 to 2024/25.  In summarising its contents, the officer committed to providing a detailed breakdown to all Members outside of this meeting;


b)     A Member sought clarity on the Council’s involvement in the administration of Devon County Council’s Better Care Fund.  In reply, it was confirmed that these Funds were passported to the Council and administered in the form of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs).  The primary purpose of DFGs was to make adaptations to properties so as to enable residents to remain living independently within their own homes;


c)      A Member queried the use of New Homes Bonus Funding by the Council and why this was not being directed towards the delivery of Affordable Housing Projects.  In reply, it was noted that Section 106 Monies and other funding streams (such as Housing Reserves) were available to support Affordable Housing development and that the New Homes Bonus funds were currently used to support other Capital Bids and the Revenue budget.  In recognition of the recently declared Housing Crisis, the Leader stated that this current budgeting practice would be kept under review;


d)     Members wished to put on record their thanks to the Section 151 Officer and her Finance Team for the monumental effort in producing these budget papers.


It was then RESOLVED that:


i)     the forecast budget gap for 2023/24 of £137,296 (1.6% of the Projected Net Budget of 23/24 of £8.69million) and the position for future years be noted;


ii)    the timescales for closing the budget gap in 23/24and future years, to achieve long term financial sustainability be noted;


iii)    the current level of Unearmarked and Earmarked Reserves set out in Appendix C of the presented agenda report be noted, as well as the net contributions to Earmarked Reserves modelled for 2023/24 (set out in Appendix A of the presented agenda report);


iv)   the outline initial proposals for the Capital Programme for 2023/24 of £905,000 as set out in Appendix D of the presented agenda report be noted (with Full Business Cases to be presented to Members as part of the January 2023 budget cycle of meetings);


v)    the views of the Hub Committee on the draft Revenue Budget Proposals and the outline capital bids for 2023/24 be noted;


vi)   the views of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the draft Revenue Budget Proposals and the draft Capital Budget Proposals for 2023/24, be requested at its meeting taking place on 17 January 2023;


vii)  Council be RECOMMENDED that West Devon Borough Council continue to be part of the Devon Business Rates Pool for 2023/24, subject to there being no announcements within the Finance Settlement (expected to be announced in mid-December), which in the opinion of the S151 Officer (in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Hub Committee Member for Resources), would change this recommendation.


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