Agenda item

Wiltshire Council's Budget 2024/25 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2024/25 - 2026/27

To consider the Budget 2024/25 and Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2024/25-2026/27.


A report from the Financial Planning Task Group will follow.


The proposed budget for the financial year 2024/25 and the Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2024/25-2026/27 is attached.


The Chairman introduced a report and appendices within the Agenda Pack which presented the administration’s Budget for 2024/25 and Medium-Term Financial Strategy for 2024/25 to 2026/27. The Chairman noted that on Page 27 of the Agenda Pack there was a short report setting out a suggested process for the Committee’s consideration of the budget.


The Chairman also noted that the debate that would take place during the meeting was in the context of the following meetings:


·       An open to all members budget briefing provided on 17th January 2024;

·       The special budget meeting of the Financial Planning Task Group on 19th January; and;

·       Informal meetings of the other three select committees, where questions on the budget were submitted to their chairmen to be addressed to the Executive.


The draft Wiltshire Council Budget 2024/2025 and Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2024/25-2026/27 was presented by Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Clewer and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Nick Botterill, supported by the Deputy Chief Executive and Corporate Director for Resources Andy Brown; and Section 151 Officer, Lizzie Watkin. In addition, the Director of Legal & Governance (Monitoring Officer) and other members of the Corporate Leadership Team were present to provide clarification and answers to issues and queries raised by the Committee.


The published budget papers proposed the net general fund budget for 2024/2025 to be £485.772m. as well as a 2.99% general increase to Council Tax and a levy of 2% to be spent solely on Adult Social Care. In addition, the papers proposed that the Council Tax requirement for the council be set at £351.077m for 2024/25 with a Band D charge of £1,805.73, an increase of £1.65 per week.


Topics were raised included, but were not limited to, discussion on staff vacancies, the Council’s de-carbonisation programme and climate adaptation, savings relating to adult care, integrated care, the impacts of inflation, SEND funding, the latent demand reserve, and risks to the financial position of the Council.


The Chairman noted that the key points of the debate that took place would form a report which would be taken to the Cabinet meeting set to take place on 6 February 2024 as well as the Full Council meeting scheduled for 20 February, along with the budget report of the Financial Planning Task Group. In addition, it was noted that an additional meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee to scrutinise any opposition amendments to the budget before Full Council had been arranged for Monday 12th February at 1.30pm. The deadline for submitting budget amendments was 5.00pm on Wednesday 7th February.


At the conclusion of discussion, it was,




The Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee agreed:


1.    To note the Draft Wiltshire Council budget for 2024-25 and Medium-Term Financial Strategy for 2024-25 to 2026-27 and to refer the comments of the Committee and the report of the Financial Planning Task Group to Cabinet and Full Council for consideration on 6th February and 20th February respectively.


2.    To support ongoing scrutiny investigation of the budget, including the Financial Planning Task Group’s continued focus on monitoring delivery of the budget and the development of the budget for 2025-26.


Chairman called the meeting to a break at 1pm and resumed at 1.05pm.

Supporting documents: