Councillors and committees

Agenda item

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-20 to 2022-23 and Detailed Budget and Council Tax 2019-20

To set out the proposed budget for 2019/20 to 2022/23 and the detailed information required to enable this Committee to make recommendations to Budget Council on 26 February 2019.

Decision:

RESOLVED that –

 

1. The comments of the Strategic Housing and Planning Committee, Community Engagement Committee, Children and Adults Care and Education Committee and Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee be noted;

2. The Director, Corporate and Commercial be authorised to make any necessary changes to the GLA precept and the Wimbledon and Putney Common Conservators levy in the Council Tax Calculation in Annex 3 to the Budget Report Pack prior to submission to Budget Council, once the final decisions have been confirmed by these bodies;

3. Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the budget proposals and Council Tax for 2019/20 as set out in the Budget Report Pack report and annexes.

4. Council is RECOMMENDED to authorise the relevant officers to take necessary action to deliver the agreed budget and service changes, including increasing relevant fees and charges in line with inflation.

5. Council is RECOMMENDED , in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2003, to note the comments of the Director of Corporate and Commercial in regard to the robustness of estimates and the level of reserves and balances as set out in the section “Comments of the Director of Corporate and Commercial (S151 Officer) ” in paragraphs 25 to 31 of the Budget Report Pack;

6. Council is RECOMMENDED in accordance with sections 32 to 36 of the Local Government Act 1992, to calculate the amounts in Annex C to the agenda report (amended Annex 3 to the Budget Report pack) for the financial year 2019/20.

7. Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the new Capital Strategy including the detailed capital programme for 2019/20 to 2022/23 as set out in Annex 11 to the Budget Report and the Treasury Strategy including the Annual Investment Strategy, prudential indicators and the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) policy as set out in Annex 12 to the Budget Report.

8. Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the pay policy at Annex A to the agenda report

9. Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the Schools Budget for 2019-20 in line with paragraph 17 and Enclosure 1 of Annex B to this report;

10.Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals outlined for the Central School Services Block including the transfer of £27k to the High Needs Block (ref.paras 26-28 of Annex B to the agenda report);

11.Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals outlined for the Early Years Block, including the increase of the SEN Inclusion Fund to allow for high needs support for early years children (ref. paras. 29 - 35 of Annex B to the agenda report);

12.Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals outlined for the High Needs Block (ref paras. 36-39 of Annex B to the agenda report )

13.Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals outlined for the Schools Block (ref. paras 20-25 of Annex B to the agenda report ) and the Schools Funding Formula outlined in Enclosure 2 of Annex B to the agenda report and the Schools Allocations in Enclosure 3 of Annex B to the agenda report, including a Minimum Funding Guarantee of -1.5% per pupil (ref. paras 22-23).

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to a previously circulated pack of papers which set out the budget report for 2019/20 including the financial and policy context, the Capital Programme and Housing Revenue Account and the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period to 2022/23, together with the Council Tax proposals for the forthcoming financial year. Members also received late material which included;

 

·         Comments on the budget proposals from the relevant Strategic Committees, including the recommendations of the Childrens and Adults Care Committee in respect of the Schools budget

 

·         The feedback from the consultation meeting with business ratepayers and their representatives

 

·         Details of the Greater London Authority budget and precept and confirmation of the levies issued by the Environment Agency and the London Pensions Fund Authority (confirmation of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority levy had yet to be received and would be reported to the Council meeting on 26 February 2019.

 

Members noted that the Council was now financially self-sufficient and no longer received revenue support grant from central government, needing to find its funding for essential services from maximising the collection of Council Tax, Business Rates and other income, adopting a more commercial approach to service delivery and asset management and enabling the borough’s sustainable economic growth. The budget was designed to support the Council in meeting the significant challenges it faced in ensuring services for its residents and some of its most vulnerable communities were protected against a backdrop of increasing demand in terms of volume and complexity and decreasing resources available to fund those services. Its main outcomes included:

 

·         Growth and investment in services of £7.182m to meet key priorities and demand pressures

·         The identification of £12.099m of revenue savings

·         An average Council Tax band D of £1,551.19, a 4.99% increase in the Council tax set by Kingston including the Adult Social Care Precept

·         An increase in the Band D Council Tax set by the Mayor of London for Greater London Authority services of 8.9%. to £320.51

·         An in year budget contingency of £445,000 to provide additional prudent cover in light of increasing service demand risks and to manage any pressures and service issues arising created by UK exit arrangements from the European Union

·         An increased General Fund reserve of £16.592m for 2019/20, an increase of £3.5m to ensure prudent cover for managed risks

·         An estimated total of £31m reserves, including £10m of earmarked reserves available for specific purposes in 2019/20 including increasing the resources available to invest in transforming the Council to meet the continuing financial and service demand challenges

·         A general Fund Capital programme over four years of £168m to provide infrastructure investment in Kingston.

·         The provision of £22.849m of resource, the full government allocation, for Special educational Needs Services for Kingston

 

The Committee approved both the overall budget proposals and those relating to services within its area of responsibility. In so doing it noted areas of growth and budget reductions for services together with details of the Capital Programme including new schemes.

 

Issues raised by Members during the course of the debate included the sufficiency of the £445,000 set aside to assist with Brexit preparations. It was noted that the additional Government allocation of £105,000 in both 2018/19 and 2019/20 could be utilised to augment the contingency fund. Advice was being sought on whether the 2018/19 allocation could be rolled forward into the new financial year but there was not yet any clarity on what the additional burdens might be.

 

In making its recommendations to Council the Committee had regard for the comments of the Section 151 Officer on the robustness of the estimates and the adequacy of the reserves, the identified budget risks, the implications on Council Tax setting and the Equality Impact assessment undertaken on the budget reductions proposed for 2019/20.

 

RESOLVED that –

 

1. The comments of the Strategic Housing and Planning Committee, Community Engagement Committee, Children and Adults Care and Education Committee and Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee be noted;

2. The Director, Corporate and Commercial be authorised to make any necessary changes to the GLA precept and the Wimbledon and Putney Common Conservators levy in the Council Tax Calculation in Annex 3 to the Budget Report Pack prior to submission to Budget Council, once the final decisions have been confirmed by these bodies;

3. Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the budget proposals and Council Tax for 2019/20 as set out in the Budget Report Pack report and annexes.

4. Council is RECOMMENDED to authorise the relevant officers to take necessary action to deliver the agreed budget and service changes, including increasing relevant fees and charges in line with inflation.

5. Council is RECOMMENDED , in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2003, to note the comments of the Director of Corporate and Commercial in regard to the robustness of estimates and the level of reserves and balances as set out in the section “Comments of the Director of Corporate and Commercial (S151 Officer) ” in paragraphs 25 to 31 of the Budget Report Pack;

6. Council is RECOMMENDED in accordance with sections 32 to 36 of the Local Government Act 1992, to calculate the amounts in Annex C to the agenda report (amended Annex 3 to the Budget Report pack) for the financial year 2019/20.

7. Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the new Capital Strategy including the detailed capital programme for 2019/20 to 2022/23 as set out in Annex 11 to the Budget Report and the Treasury Strategy including the Annual Investment Strategy, prudential indicators and the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) policy as set out in Annex 12 to the Budget Report.

8. Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the pay policy at Annex A to the agenda report

9. Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the Schools Budget for 2019-20 in line with paragraph 17 and Enclosure 1 of Annex B to this report;

10.Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals outlined for the Central School Services Block including the transfer of £27k to the High Needs Block (ref.paras 26-28 of Annex B to the agenda report);

11.Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals outlined for the Early Years Block, including the increase of the SEN Inclusion Fund to allow for high needs support for early years children (ref. paras. 29 - 35 of Annex B to the agenda report);

12.Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals outlined for the High Needs Block (ref paras. 36-39 of Annex B to the agenda report )

13.Council is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals outlined for the Schools Block (ref. paras 20-25 of Annex B to the agenda report ) and the Schools Funding Formula outlined in Enclosure 2 of Annex B to the agenda report and the Schools Allocations in Enclosure 3 of Annex B to the agenda report, including a Minimum Funding Guarantee of -1.5% per pupil (ref. paras 22-23).

 

Voting:

 

Items 1,2,4,5,6,8,9 & 11 – Unanimous

 

Item 3

For: Councillors Ryder-Mills, Holt, Beynon, Green, Ha, Kirsch, Sweeney and Young (8)

Against: Councillor Falchikov-Sumner (1)

Abstention: Councillors Bass and Hughes (2)

 

Items 7,8 &13

For: Councillors Ryder-Mills, Holt, Beynon, Green, Ha, Kirsch, Sweeney and Young (8)

Against: None

Abstention: Councillors Bass, Falchikov-Sumner and Hughes (3)

 

Item 10

For: Councillors Ryder-Mills, Holt, Bass, Beynon, Green, Ha, Hughes, Kirsch, Sweeney and Young (10)

Against: None

Abstention: Councillor Falchikov-Sumner (1)

 

Supporting documents: