Issue - meetings

MTFS 2021/22 - Budget Assumptions

Meeting: 03/11/2020 - Cabinet (Item 130)

130 Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021/22: Budget Assumptions

Report of the Chief Executive


Supporting documents:


Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement and Commercial Investment presented the report which provided information about the assumptions being used in setting the budget for 2021/22, reflecting the significant impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the Councils assumptions that were previously made in the approved Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2021/22.


Cllr Church explained that the assumptions and their outcome give rise to the current estimated budget gap that will need to be closed in order to set a balanced budget for financial year 2021/22. This depended on the outcome of the spending review, which Government have recently confirmed will be a one year spending review for both revenue and capital and announced in late November 2020. The Cabinet noted that work will continue over the coming months to put together proposals to balance the Councils budget as well as refine and update assumptions to reflect the most recent evidence and forecasts.


Cllr Graham Wright, Chair of the Wiltshire Covid-19 Response Task Group, explained that the Task Group at their meeting held on 28 October 2020 and the Financial Planning Task Group, at their meeting held on 27 October 2020, considered the Medium Term Financial Strategy report.  Many questions were asked about the Council’s finances and the Task Group’s were satisfied with the responses received.  


In response to questions from Cllr Ian Thorn about the ability of residents to pay, being a third variable (para 22 of the report), in relation to the level of income received from Council Tax; and bad debt provision, Cllr Church, Cllr Whitehead and officers commented that the Council would always support residents who were experiencing financial difficulties, in particular with the payment of Council Tax and would put measures in place to provide appropriate help and advice in support of the residents need.    




To approve the budget assumptions being used in the setting of the 2021/22 budget and the Medium Term Financial Strategy and note the current estimated budget gap.


Reason for Decision:

To inform effective, transparent decision making and ensure sound financial management as part of the Councils overall control environment.


To inform Cabinet on the assumptions being used to assess the growth, inflation, and demand for services, the estimated level of income from sales, fees and charges and the level of income estimated from core funding e.g. council tax, business rates and government grant and how all of these aspects have been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.