Agenda item

Budget & Policy Framework Update - General Fund and Capital Programme

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)


Report of Director of Corporate Services  - (report to follow)


(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)


Cabinet received a draft report from the Director of Corporate Services that summarised the latest budget and council tax proposals for 2020/21 and outlined the work to be undertaken in respect of the Capital Strategy and Medium Term Financial Strategy.


The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:


Regarding the budget strategy, Cabinet may approve the proposals as set out, or require changes to be made to the suggested approach.  The overriding aim of any budget setting process is to approve a balanced budget by statutory deadlines, allocating resources to help ensure delivery of the Council’s corporate and service ambitions.  The proposed approach is in line with that broad aim and any changes that Cabinet puts forward should also be framed in that context.


In term of the actual budget position, this report puts forward a balanced budget. If Cabinet agrees the budget then it will form their proposal to Budget Scrutiny Panel on 21 January 2020 and to Council on 29 January 2020. The feedback from these meetings will be considered by Cabinet and incorporated into a final budget proposal which will be considered at the Cabinet meeting on 11 February 2020 and recommended to Council on 26 February 2020.


The 151 officer stressed that this was a very ambitious budget aligning resources against the new priorities to facilitate economic growth.  Whilst the budget was balanced for 2020/21 some underlying assumptions with regard to income and the underlying structural deficit needed to be addressed. The Director for Corporate Services explained that the Funding for the Future was intended to address the structural deficit and without progressing the capital schemes the budget gap would get wider.


Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Hanson:-


“That the recommendations, as set out in the report be approved with the following insertion at the end of recommendation (2): ‘subject to the refinement of any technical and material errors that may be identified.”


Councillors then voted:-


Resolved unanimously:


(1)          That Cabinet make recommendations to Council regarding the Lancaster City Council element of the Council Tax as set out in paragraph 3.4 (option one) of this report which is a £5 increase to the Band D Council Tax (from £226.95 to £231.95).

(2)          That Cabinet makes recommendations regarding its initial budget proposals as set out in section 4 and appendix one of this report subject to the refinement of any technical and material errors that may be identified.


(3)          That the recommendations and proposals in this report be referred to Council on 29 January for initial consideration as well as being presented for scrutiny by Budget and Performance Panel on 21 January, in order that any feedback can be provided to Cabinet at its 11 February meeting.


Officer responsible for effecting the decision:


Director of Corporate Services


Reasons for making the decision:


The budget represents in financial terms what the Council is seeking to achieve through its Framework.  The decision enables Cabinet to make recommendations to Council in order to complete the budget setting process for 2020/21.


Supporting documents: