Issue - meetings

Issue - meetings

Draft Consultation Budget 2019/20

Meeting: 18/12/2018 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019) (Item 112)

112 Draft Consultation Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 303 KB

The Head of Financial Services has submitted a report to propose a Medium Term Financial Strategy and the 2019/20 Budget for consultation.


Recommendations:That the City Executive Board resolves to:


1. Approve the 2019-20 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 £24.175 million for   2019/20 and an increase in the Band D Council Tax of 2.99% or £8.94 per annum representing a Band D Council Tax of £307.80 per annum (subject to the assumption in paragraph 22)


 b) the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2019/20 of £43.162 million and a reduction of 1% (£1.03/wk) in social dwelling rents from April 2019 giving a revised weekly average social rent of £102.26 as set out in Appendix 4


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


2.  Agree the fees and charges shown in Appendix 7


3.  Delegate 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 29-30 below; and


4. Ratify their decision to implement the Premium Council Tax of 100% for properties that have been empty for more than 2 years and approve the escalated rate of premium council tax when permitted to do so, as referred to in paragraphs 13- 16 below.





Additional documents:


The Head of Financial Services had submitted a report to propose a Medium Term Financial Strategy and the 2019/20 Budget for consultation.


The Board Member for Finance and Asset Management introduced the report briefly in anticipation of a fuller debate, in due course, in Council.


The proposals were being framed in challenging times.  Government grant is reducing to zero in April 2019, interest rates remain low (and therefore affect the returns on council investments), and the Council is exposed to wider economic risks which might affect the local economy, investment income and commercial property.


However, once again a fully balanced four-year budget is proposed, which retains front-line services in full, continues to support the most vulnerable, including extra spending towards the Council’s  aim of ending homelessness and support for the Oxford Living Wage, and includes £192 million of capital investment over the four-year period.


The Council will review how best to use the government’s welcome decision to lift the restriction on borrowing in the Housing Revenue Account, and how both this, and Oxford City Housing Ltd, can help address the city’s housing shortage. There would be no increase in park and ride charges.


He drew attention to the early success of Oxford Direct Services as a wholly owned local authority trading company, its increasing efficiency and increasing return to the Council which vindicated the “insourcing” model which had been adopted.


The Board Member for Customer Focused Services congratulated all those involved for having assembled a set of thoughtful and balanced budget proposals, its inclusive approach was commendable.


The Head of Financial Services gave an update on the Provisional Finance Settlement announced by the Government on 13 December 2018 and the impact on the Authority’s Consultation Budget in the following areas :


  • Council tax Referendum level  - confirmed as previously proposed at 3% for local authorities
  • New Homes Bonus - the 2019/20 allocations show limited change from indicative figures previously announced. No changes to the deadweight threshold (at 0.4%) or the eligibility of properties to qualify for the funding
  • Business Rates Pilots – the Council was unsuccessful in its bid to be a Business rates pilot in 2019-20. No change to MTFP as no increased income assumed.
  • Revenue Support Grant – for this authority this will be zero from 01 April 2019 and the Government have withdrawn plans to apply negative support grant. This position had been assumed in the MTFP
  • Retained Business Rates – Little change to that forecast for the baseline funding level or tariffs for 2019-20
  • Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Rentention The Government has published consultation papers on these areas which the authority will be responding to within by the deadline of 21 February 2019.


The Chair concluded by drawing attention to the Council’s continued commitment to supporting the most disadvantaged members of the community, reducing inequalities, as evidenced by the proposals for supporting people in poverty.


The City Executive Board resolved to:


1. Approve the 2019-20 General Fund and Housing Revenue Account budgets for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112