Issue - decisions
Cabinet received a report on the 2021/22 revenue budget and capital programme. Given the levels of uncertainty around government funding levels beyond 2021/22 and the difficulties with accurately forecasting the longer-term implications arising as a result of the pandemic the revenue budget proposed within the report is for 2021/22 only. This would ensure that the Council did not make decisions based on assumptions which were impossible to estimate at this stage given the international, national and local fiscal impact of the pandemic.
It was noted that in response to the Budget Scrutiny 2021 report (Recommendation no. 11) it had been agreed to increase capital investment in highways drainage assets by £2m (from £1.5m to £3.5m). This would allow structural repairs to be undertaken following identification of issues through cleansing in order to allow gullies to remain clear and operational.
It was further proposed that a further £2m be added to the revenue budget (from £2.2m to £4.2m) to allow all gullies to be properly cleansed once in 2021/22 with a second cleanse of critical gullies also in 2021/22, together with ensuring that any problems identified can be programmed in and rectified. This would be funded from the one-off use of General Fund (unallocated) reserves. The level of reserves were now forecast to be £45m which was still circa 10% of the net operational budget.
Overall, this meant that the total budget for drainage (revenue and capital) since the draft budget had been considered by Cabinet would increase from £3.7m to £7.7m.
1) That a further £2m be incorporated into the revenue budget for gully clearing (increasing the budget from £2.2m to £4.2m) funded from General Fund Reserves, as discussed and agreed at the meeting, and that
Full Council be recommended to:
2) approve the revenue budget and capital programme (Appendices 1-3).
3) approve the ‘Special Expenses’ budgets, precepts and associated services for Aylesbury Town, High Wycombe Town and West Wycombe Church Yard (Appendices 5 and 6).
4) support the proposal to delegate to Cabinet decisions to add up to £100m to the capital programme, to be funded by Prudential Borrowing (see section 9.5).
5) approve the Council Tax Reduction Scheme Policy (Appendix 7).
6) approve the schedule of Fees and Charges as set out in Appendix 8.
And that it be noted that a supplementary report, formal Council Tax Resolution, will accompany the final Budget to full Council.