General Revenue Budget 2019/20
The Portfolio Holder for Resources (Councillor Joyce Plummer) submitted a report setting out proposals for the 2019/20 General Fund Revenue Budget. The report also provided an overview of key issues which had arisen from the Medium Term Financial Strategy. The decision to set the Budget would be a key decision of the Council and the role of the Cabinet was to recommend a proposed Budget to Council. The 2019/20 Revenue Budget required a net expenditure of £10,995,000 and under the budget proposals, Council Tax for Hyndburn residents would rise by £5.00 per year for a band D property. The amounts due for each band are shown in Appendix 4 of the report. Altham Parish Council had issued a separate precept requirement for its activities but does not intend to increase its precept. The following information was attached to the report:-
Appendix 1 - Initial Outline Budget 2019/20
Appendix 2 - Revenue Budget 2019/20
Appendix 3 - Saving Proposals 2019/20
Appendix 4 - Hyndburn Borough Council Tax Increase 2019/20 by Property Band
Appendix 5 - Overall Change in Council Tax 2019/20
Appendix 6 - Altham Parish Precept 2019/20 by Property Valuation Band
Approval of the report was not deemed a key decision.
Reasons for Decision
The recommendations in the report provided an appropriate platform on which the Cabinet could recommend a Budget for the Council which met the objectives and key priorities of the people of Hyndburn.
Alternative Options Considered and Reasons for Rejection
A wide number of individual proposals had been put forward to produce a Balanced Budget. Options had been rejected on a variety of grounds including policy objectives, practicalities and the potential for additional costs to be incurred. Further options might be presented at the Council meeting on 21st February 2019.
Resolved (1) That an increase in Council Tax for 2019/20 by £5.00 per year for a Band D property be recommended. This would be equivalent to less than 10 pence per week and as most households in Hyndburn are Band A rather than Band D properties, the vast majority of households would only see a rise of 7p per week. That this would be only the third increase in Council Tax by Hyndburn Council in 10 years;
(2) That the Budget for 2019/20 would therefore be £10,995,000 as detailed in Appendices 1 and 2;
(3) That it be recommended that the list of savings and budget changes for 2019/20, as set out in Appendix 3 of the report, be approved;
(4) That the significant improvements made in relation to budget monitoring and cost reduction within the Authority over the past 15 years be noted and the commitment to continuing that approach in the year ahead be confirmed;
(5) That it be recommended that during the financial year 2019/20, the Deputy Chief Executive be delegated responsibility to amend the Budget (following consultation with the Leader of the Council) for technical reasons, such as the restructuring of cost centres, the re-apportionment and re-allocation of overheads, etc., provided such amendments had an overall neutral impact on the Budget;
(6) That it be recommended that during the financial year 2019/20 the Deputy Chief Executive be delegated responsibility to amend the Budget (following consultation with the Leader of the Council) should the estimate of Business Rates not be sufficiently accurate, by drawing on reserves if needed or paying over additional contributions to reserves;
(7) That to aid future financial management planning, any surpluses generated during 2019/20 be set aside to help the Council to reduce its cost base over the next three years, support its long term capital programme or strengthen its overall reserve position; and,
(8) That it be recommended that the New Homes Bonus and any additional unring-fenced funding from the Government, as well as any further surplus on the Collection Fund, can be used if required to support Capital expenditure as determined by the Deputy Chief Executive in the overall financing of capital expenditure or be transferred to Reserves.