Decision details

Decision details

Budget 2015/16

Decision Maker: City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019), Council, Section 151 Officer

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To recommend to Council the adoption of the Budget and medium term Financial Plan for 2015/16 following public consultation.


On 17 December CEB delegated to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Board Member for Finance and Assets to determine whether it is financially advantageous for the Council to enter into a Business Rates Pool.


The Head of Finance submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which proposes a Medium Term Financial Strategy and a 2015/16 Budget for consultation.


Cllr Turner, Board Member for Finance, Asset Management and Public Health presented the report. Nationally the Council is expecting more local government cuts, however the Council has been able to safe guard support services. The assumption is that by 2018/19 we will no longer receive a revenue support grant.


The Council’s new homes bonus was better than expected and has yielded an extra £154k per annum.


The budget will:

Continue with efficiencies savings

Continue to pay Oxford Wage

Safeguard grants and apprenticeships funding

£101M will be spent over 4 years to build new homes, and renovate the estates with an additional £96 million over the next 10 years on new build, energy related works and estate regeneration.

Invest in regeneration projects in Blackbird Leys

Improve Barton community facilities,

Undertake an energy efficiencies audits of the housing stock

Increase Council housing rents by an average of 3.49% in 2015/16


No Government announcement has been made on the level of the government grant for the 2015/16 year and the referendum threshold has not been made, but it could be less than 1%.


Thank you to Nigel Kennedy and the Finance team for all their hard work. 


The Head of Finance explained recommendation 2. He outlined the implications of being in and outside a Business Rate pool in terms of the amount of levy given to the Government for additional busy rates income over and above a baseline position. The levy percentage is generally less for those authorities in a pool than for those outside. However, there are financial benefits for the County as a whole to exclude authorities from the pool and Chief Financial Officers are looking to reimburse those authorities that are excluded, under a Business Rates Distribution Group Agreement.


Cllr Seamons stated that a lot of the HRA budget was being spent on the energy efficiency programme to improve the insulation of the council housing stock.


The City Executive Board resolved to:


1. Approve the 2015-16 budget for consultation, including the General Fund and    Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Plan as per the attached Appendices 1-10 noting the following key assumptions:


a) the Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £23.133 million for 2015/16 and an increase in the Band D Council Tax of 1.50% or £4.10 per annum representing a Band D Council Tax of £277.63 per annum


b) the continuance of the Councils Council Tax Support scheme (formerly Council Tax Benefit) as referred to in para 31


c) the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2015/16 to 2024/25 as set out in Appendix 6 and an increase in average dwelling rent of 3.49% for April 2015  representing £3.59 per week an annual average rent of £105.77 as set out in Appendix 7


2. Delegate to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Board Member for Finance and Assets to determine whether it is financially advantageous for the Council to enter into a Business Rates Pool referred to in paragraphs 21-23 or a Business Rates Distribution Agreement as referred to in paragraphs 24-26

Report author: Nigel Kennedy

Publication date: 19/12/2014

Date of decision: 17/12/2014

Decided at meeting: 17/12/2014 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019)

Effective from: 24/12/2014

Accompanying Documents: