Issue - meetings

Wiltshire Council's Budget 2022/23

Meeting: 01/02/2022 - Cabinet (Item 14)

14 Wiltshire Council's Budget 2022/23

      Report of the Chief Executive

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report which proposed the 2022/2023 Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2022/2023 to 2025/2026 that will resource the Councils new Business Plan. The report also set out the Council’s Capital Programme 2022/23 to 2029/30, the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget 2022/23 and the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG).

 

The Cabinet received questions submitted by Nick Parry and Colin Gale in relation to this agenda item. A copy of the questions and responses are available to read in agenda supplement 1 on the Council’s website here.

 

Supplementary questions were asked by Mr Gale who commented on the lack of detail in the budget papers in relation to concessions for blue badge holders in light of the forthcoming introduction of car parking charges, the charges for the disposal of waste items at Household Recycling Centres detailed in the budget and the status of Town/Parish election costs in between the normal round of elections. The Leader confirmed that the detail for the three areas listed above would be available in due course and be part of future consultation processes.  

 

The Leader reported that the process undertaken to consult on the Budget was open and transparent. He summarised the budget timetable and confirmed that the budget papers had been discussed in detail with members at their briefing on 18 January 2022, the Financial Planning Task Group on 18 and 21 January 2022 and the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee on 25 January 2022 prior to its consideration by the Cabinet, Group Leaders meetings with the Trade Unions Representatives and Non-Domestic Ratepayers, a further meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and Council on 15 February 2022.

 

In presenting the report, the Leader indicated that whilst managing the impact of the on-going effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on services, the council is forecasting an underspend position for the 2021/22 financial year, putting the Council in a strong position going into 2022/23 with further provision now being set aside within the Budget Equalisation Reserve to help manage the budget gaps over the MTFS period and also ensuring funds continue to be set aside to mitigate risks that may arise for example latent demand for services.

 

The Leader reported that the 2022/23 budget will ensure that vital services to the residents, businesses and communities of Wiltshire will continue to be provided during the ongoing pandemic, as well as delivering on the commitments as set out in the new Business Plan. Having sound and sustainable finances is key to the delivery of the Business Plan.

 

The report recognised the one year nature of the current government funding, the uncertainty of future reform and set out the likely state of the Council’s finances beyond 2022/23 with an estimated budget gap in year three (2024/25) of the MTFS. 

 

Cabinet members then had an opportunity to comment more specifically on the impact of the budget proposals for their areas of responsibility. In summing up, the Leader indicated that the budget was designed around  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14