Issue - meetings

Update on Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23

Meeting: 11/01/2022 - Cabinet (Item 6)

6 Update on Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23

Report of the Chief Executive.


Supporting documents:


Councillor Richard Clewer, Leader of the Council, presented the update report on the Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2022/23. He thanked Councillor Church, as then Cabinet Member with responsibility for finance, for being integral in preparing the report.


It was reported the proposed budget would be published on 12 January 2022 but noted in particular the report clarifying the funding settlement from central government, confirming an additional £12.5m of government grant to be included in the budget for 2022/23. Details were provided on the inflation assumptions in the report, and the potential impact of ongoing discussions regarding the staff pay award agreed nationally. Inflation and demand risk assessment would be included within the budget.


Councillor Pip Ridout, Chairman of the Financial Planning Task Group, welcomed the report and discussions held with the Task Group, and confirmed it had been agreed the strategy appeared to be sound.


Councillor Ian Thorn sought details on inflation, the modelling of latent demand as a result of Covid-19 and funding set aside for that, and the impact of any changes to the government’s new homes bonus. The report estimated that inflation would rise in 2022/23 before reducing again in 2023/24. On latent demand the Leader noted the £7m in reserve, and that the pandemic was ongoing with the potential for significant latent demand to emerge particularly in relation to children’s services. On the new homes bonus, it was estimated that there would continue to be support through that or another mechanism.


Councillor Gavin Grant sought details on funding on new Services Grants and on business rates. In relation to the grants, it was confirmed to be non-ring fenced funding, and in relation to business rates it was clarified that the number would be confirmed in estimate toward the end of February 2022 but with reasonable estimates before then of how much the government would compensate the council for loss of income for example when the government froze multipliers or introduced small business rates relief.


Councillor Helen Belcher asked a question on the council looking at alternative sources of income. The Leader stated this was explored but needed to be undertaken carefully. He noted the Stone Circle companies, although returns would not be expected for a number of years.


Councillor Clare Cape sought details on how equivalent demand for services of the council was calculated. The Leader explained that different services calculated this in different ways, for example by number of households or population estimates.


At the conclusion of discussion, it was,




The updated position in respect of the current estimated financial gap
for 2022/23 including the Provisional Local Government Finance
Settlement 2022/23.


Reason for Decision:
To inform effective decision making and ensure sound financial management as part of the Councils overall control environment.

To inform Cabinet on the current position for the setting of the 2022/23 budget
and continuing the focus for setting plans and providing resources that will be
essential for delivering services in Wiltshire over the MTFS period