Agenda and minutes

Special, Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring)
Tuesday, 8th February, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Hybrid Meeting: via Microsoft Teams/Abraham Derby Meeting Room, General Offices, Ebbw Vale

Contact: Democratic Services  7788

Items
No. Item

1.

Simultaneous Translation

You are welcome to use Welsh at the meeting, a minimum notice period of 3 working days is required should you wish to do so.  A simultaneous translation will be provided if requested.

Minutes:

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

 

2.

Apologies

To receive.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was reported for Councillor P. Baldwin.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To receive.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest or dispensations were reported.

 

4.

Revenue Budget 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 855 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to report of the Chief Officer Resources.

 

The Chief Officer Resources presented the report which provided an update on the positive provisional local government settlement for 2022/23 and its impact upon the Council’s budget; and sought agreement of the detailed revenue budget for 2022/23, and the level of Council Tax increase for the 2022/2023 financial year.

 

The Officer spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained therein. The headline increase for BGCBC after allowing for transfers was 8.4% (£10.4m), compared to the all Wales increase of 9.4%. This was a positive settlement and combined with the opportunities identified in the Bridging the Gap programme meant that subject to the recommendations in the report being agreed, the Council was able to agree a budget for 2022/23.

 

A Member referred to the blended learning approach introduced in schools in response to the Covid pandemic, and asked whether the Council intended to continue self-supporting the licence and ICT equipment for those families in need of support.

 

In response the Corporate Director of Education confirmed that a budget pressure had been identified for the 2022/23 financial year related to ICT developments within schools, and this would be an element for consideration by Members at the full meeting of the Council on the 17th February, 2022.

 

A Member referred to Appendix 2, particularly the cost pressure within the Environment Portfolio and asked whether this would reduce if the passporting of waste gate fees was agreed.

 

The Chief Officer Resources explained that the cost pressure within the Environment Portfolio excluded any cost pressure in relation to the waste gate fees.  If the transfer of the waste gate fees grant was not agreed the cost pressure within the Portfolio would increase.

 

A Member then proposed the following amendment to Option 1 as follows:

 

In light of the headline uplift of 8.4%, Members accept Sections 3.1.1 to 3.1.6 of Option 1; and that decision on Sections 3.1.7 and 3.1.8 (transfer of any surplus budget into the Financial Resilience Reserve, and recommendations around the Council Tax increase) be DEFERRED pending further consideration at the Special Meeting of the Council on 17th February, 2022.

 

The proposal was seconded, and following a brief discussion the amendment was carried.

 

The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, to recommend that the report be accepted and the amended Option 1 be supported as follows:

 

·        Members recommend to Executive and Council the 2022/23 revenue budget as shown in table 2 in paragraph 5.1.13.

 

·        Members note the outcomes within the overall provisional RSG Settlement and note the potential for further change in the Final RSG Settlement (paragraphs 2.7 2.17).

 

·        Members note the outcomes within the BGCBC provisional RSG Settlement and its impact upon the Medium Term Financial Strategy (paragraphs 2.18 2.24).

 

·        Members recommend to Executive and Council the cost pressures and growth items (£4m in total) identified in Appendix 2 (paragraphs 5.1.9 5.1.12) for inclusion in the Council’s budget.

 

·        Members recommend to Executive and Council passporting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.