- Meeting of BMKFA Executive Committee, Wednesday 7th February 2018 10.00 am (Item 8.)
To consider Item 8
The Lead Member for Finance, IT and Procurement advised the Committee that this report was setting the precept for the following year.
The Deputy Director of Finance and Assets advised Members that the Revised Appendix 1 had been updated following confirmation from the billing authorities of amounts receivable from Council Tax and Business Rates, the statutory deadline for which was 31 January, which was after this report had been produced. There was no change to the Council Tax figures, but the good news was that the Business Rates had increased slightly from £5.308m to £5.421m, an increase of £113k. Growth for 2018/19 had been increased by £113k. This was to provide additional operational posts to further enhance the resilience of the Authority’s response model, support the recruitment programme and drive the change programme.
The Deputy Director of Finance and Assets advised Members that the final settlement was presented to Parliament yesterday and there was no change to the provisional settlement in terms of the Council Tax referendum limit, which was to go up by no more than 3%, the recommendation was a 2.99% increase. There were some significant risks around the budget, the biggest one was the pay award. The Authority had budgeted for 1% which was in line with its efficiency plan and it would maintain that position, any pay increase over and above that would need to be funded by central government.
The Deputy Director of Finance and Assets advised Members that Appendix 2 showed the proposed Capital Programme. This showed that the Authority’s programme was affordable and it showed that there was funding available. The Authority was aware that as building work was about to commence on the Blue Light Hub in Milton Keynes, there was also a need to do some building work in the south of the county around the Wycombe/Beaconsfield area and any surplus funding that was available would be very quickly used up.
The Deputy Director of Finance and Assets advised Members that Appendix 3 showed the amount payable for a typical band D property, assuming Members approve a 2.99% increase in Council Tax. A band D would go up to £62.70 per year, which was an increase of about £1.82, compared to last year, or around 3.5p per week.
A Member asked if the USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) funding was guaranteed and was advised that the position on USAR was that the Government had been talking about a review of the USAR provision for a number of years and the funding goes from year to year. This year the Government was going to fund USAR for another 12 months, in previous years the Authority had only been funded for 6 months at a time. If the Authority loses the USAR grant it was a very significant loss, which would push the Authority into some very difficult decisions at that point.
That the Authority be recommended to:
- Note and have due regard to the report and Statement of the Chief Finance Officer (see section 8 of Annex A);
- Approve a Council Tax precept of £62.70 for a band D equivalent property (a 2.99% increase from 2017/18 – equal to 3.5p per week) and the revenue budget as set out in Appendix 1;
- Approve the capital programme as set out in Appendix 2.