Decision details

Decision details

Budget and Medium term Financial Plan

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 detailed the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2015/16 to 2018-19 and the 2015-16 Budget for recommendation to Council.


Cllr Turner, Board member for Finance, Asset Management and Public Health presented the report.  He stated that the Council had lost 47% of its Government grant since 2010.


He highlighted the following elements in the budget:

·         The purchase of St Aldate’s Chambers will save the Council considerable money in rent

·         Council tax is set to increase by 1.99, which equates to approx £5.00 per household.

·         Funding available to improve and maintain the Town Hall

·         Extra capital for energy efficiency project, skate parks and drainage of football pitches

·         The Council will start removing graffiti on private property for free.

·         City centre ambassadors project to continue

·         Thames Water catchment group

·         £250K[1] available for  youth ambition work

·         The Oxford Living wage has been increase

·         Planning enforcement work in the private sector


The public consultation was strongly supported and was broadly positive.

Officers have been relentless in efficiency savings, Council has a  great partnership with trade unions


Cllr Simms and Kennedy commended the continual delivery of the Youth Ambition programme, especially at a time when many councils have reduced their youth services.


Cllr Rowley welcomed the £4.7M in regeneration funding allocated to Barton over the next 5 years, and the money available for the Leys Housing projects.


Cllr Seamons mention the 200 new homes being built in Blackbird leys and the £250,000 allocated for energy efficiency measures for council tenants


Cllr Sinclair welcomed the continual funding for the city centre ambassadors project and the additional funding for CCTV cameras in St Clements which was welcomed by the business community.


The Chief Executive outlined the managerial issues in the budget. This was the first time the council was considering a 0% rate support grant by 2018/19. This budget has been made possible through council trading, efficiency savings and a strong relationship with trade unions.


 The Council had

1. secured £6M through the LEP and the Growth fund,

2. retained Council housing stock

3. retained services in-house, which had allowed greater efficiency savings.

4. Continued to have no compulsory redundancies for frontline staff.


He thanked Nigel Kennedy, Head of Finance for all his hard work at putting the budget together.


The City Executive Board resolved to:

1.  APPROVE the amendments to the Consultation Budget following the public consultation process



a) APPROVES the Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £23.304 million for 2015/16 and an increase in the Band D Council Tax of 1.99% or £5.44 per annum as set out in Table 8 and Appendices 1-4, representing a Band D Council Tax of £278.97 per annum.


b) APPROVES the continuance of the Council’s Council Tax Support Scheme (formerly Council Tax Benefit)


c) APPROVES the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2015/16 to 2024/25 as set out in Appendix 5 and 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


d) APPROVES the Capital Programme for 2015/16 -2018-19 as set out in Appendix 8 and 9;


e) APPROVES the Fees & Charges schedule as set out in Appendix 10


f) ADOPTS the criteria for adopting the Business Rates Retail Relief scheme as set out in paragraph 21 and transitional relief as set out in paragraphs 22 – 24


g) APPROVES an increase in the 2014-15 capital budget of £550,000 in relation to the property purchase referred to in paragraph 43 and referred to elsewhere on the CEB agenda.

[1] Amended after signing to correct typographical error.

Report author: Nigel Kennedy

Publication date: 17/02/2015

Date of decision: 12/02/2015

Decided at meeting: 12/02/2015 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019)

Effective from: 20/02/2015

Accompanying Documents: