Decision details

Budget 2017/2018

Decision Maker: City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019), Council

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

A new Budget for the period 2017/2018.

· The pre-consultation draft report will be submitted to CEB in December 2016.

The post-consultation draft report will be submitted to CEB in February 2017

· The Budget will be submitted to Council for adoption in February 2017.

Decisions:

Cllr Turner, Board member for Finance, Asset Management and Public Health presented the report.

 

He made the following comments:

  1. The Council has agreed with the government a multi-year financial settlement which deletes all of our grant by 2020
  2. There are significant pressures post Brexit on business rate growth and uncertainty in the wider economic climate.
  3. Reduced benefit cap have increased Council’s financial obligations
  4. The County Council has effectively stopped funding social services in the city and the City Council has been asked for more money to provide these services.
  5. The City is safeguarding every penny we spend on homelessness.
  6. Trading  has helped pay for these additional costs but we have to make sure it is sustainable
  7. The City continues to invest in housing and infrastructure eg £4m in community centres.

 

The City is not going to implement the government’s Pay to Stay housing policy, which charges council tenants’ more rent if they earn over a certain threshold.  Implementing the policy would cost a lot in bureaucracy.

 

The budget includes a substantial capital programme with no significant service reduction but there is still uncertainty in the HRA, as the government has not yet made a decision on whether to extend the right to buy scheme.

 

The budget will be out for public consultation until January 2017. Any changes to fees and charges are subject to consultation.

 

The Council received its grant settlement from the government today. The grant settlement is down and there has been a change to the way the government administers the new homes bonus.  More work needs to be done to confirm how the changes will affect the Council but it could mean a reduction of £1m off the new homes bonus.

 

The Chief Executive made the following comments:

·         The budget proposes £12.3m in efficiency savings over the next 4 years and is transforming itself into an enterprising council. 

·         Councils are feeling the effects of the government’s austerity programme, especially the County Council which has made huge cuts to the most vulnerable social services.

·         Social effects are being felt in the city from the reduction in funding for preventative care.

·         Economic development was jointly funded by the County and City councils. However the County withdrew its funding and the posts are now fully funded by the City.

·         the Grant budget continues to increase.

·         The budget provides resources of £60m for use by the Housing Company over the next 4 years and the building of around 500 new homes.

·         The capital programme contains £123m of projects this has been leveraged from direct services trading.

 

The Board noted that recommendation 5 related to the 16/17 budget.  There is an error in paragraph 50, it should say March 2017 not March 2018 as written in the report.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

That the City Executive Board resolves to:

 

1.      Approve the 2017-18 General Fund and Housing Revenue Account budgets for consultation and the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Plan as set out in Appendices 1-9, noting :

 

a.     the Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £21.256 million for 2017/18 and an increase in the Band D Council Tax of 1.99% or £5.67 per annum representing a Band D Council Tax of £290.19 per annum

 

b.    the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2017/18 of £44.285 million and a reduction of 1% (£1.06/wk) in social dwelling rents from April 2017 giving a revised weekly average social rent of £105.65 as set out in Appendix 4

 

c.    the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme as shown in Appendix 6.

 

2.    Agree not to implement the voluntary ‘Pay to Stay’ policy for Council house tenants (para 9)

 

3.    Agree the fees and charges shown in Appendix 7

 

4.    Delegate authority to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Board Member for Finance and Assets the decision to determine whether it is financially advantageous for the Council to enter into a Business Rates Distribution Agreement as referred to in paragraphs 20-21 below.

 

5.    Recommend to Council an additional loan of up to £50,000 for working capital to Oxwed as highlighted in paragraph 50

 

Recommend to Council provision of a loan facility to Oxford City Housing Ltd of up to £60.850 million (para 48) subject to the provision of; and agreement to a business case by the Company. This replaces all previous recommendations agreed by City Executive Board.

Report author: Nigel Kennedy

Publication date: 19/12/2016

Date of decision: 15/12/2016

Decided at meeting: 15/12/2016 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019)

Effective from: 22/12/2016

Accompanying Documents: