Agenda item

Medium Term Financial Plan 2023/24 - 2026/27


The Director of Finance and Resources presented a report which enabled the Committee to consider the Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 to 2026/27 prior to the report being taken to Cabinet and Council.


A presentation was delivered to Members which outlined the following areas of the Plan:


·         National settlement

·         Assumptions

·         Budget and forecast

·         Budget position

·         Funding reforms

·         Council Tax

·         Housing Revenue Account

·         Rents

·         Capital Investment Programme


The Chair stated that a previous resolution by the Committee had been for Cabinet to identify ways to meet the budget shortfall. The Director of Finance and Resources explained that Cabinet had been guided with methods to meet it.


Members believed that a method to save money that would be worth investigating would be energy costs. The Director of Finance and Resources explained that officers already tracked energy costs, so this would be included in future quarterly Budget Monitoring reports to the Committee. The Chair agreed and also requested that ‘Efficiencies’ be added to the quarterly reports as well.


Members discussed the recent stepping down from Cabinet of the Portfolio Holder for Finance, and they felt it was inappropriate for Cabinet to not have appointed a replacement during a difficult economic time for the public. The Director of Finance and Resources assured Members that Councillor J Kenyon (Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Transformation and Climate Change) was acting as Cabinet lead on Finance.


The Chair wished to declare an interest in the HRA part of the Plan as a member of the Rykneld Homes Board of Directors, but would remain in the meeting and participate in the discussion and determination on the item.


Members referred to the increases in rent in the Plan and felt that the Council should not be asking for tenants to pay more rent in the midst of a cost of living crisis. The Director of Finance and Resources explained that the budget was set based on affordability and prudency.


Members referred to the projected income for the first year of the new Sharley Park leisure centre, and felt the forecast was too optimistic. The Director of Finance and Resources explained that the forecast included a large year-on-year increase because the centre would open at the end of a financial quarter. Members were also informed that Sharley Park centre was expected to generate more income than other leisure centres because of its size.


Members referred to the figures for Killamarsh Active leisure centre and were concerned that expenditure for the centre was increasing, bearing in mind officers had stated that expenditure for it would decrease year-on-year following its refurbishment. The Director of Finance and Resources explained that a year-on-year decrease had been the intention, but various factors had led to its costs increasing such as a subsidy being removed, increased energy costs and an increased Pay Award.


Members referred to a report that was presented to Council which included the cost of senior officers, and felt it did not account for pension costs. The Director of Finance and Resources explained that all reports presented to Council were fully costed.


Members referred to the cost of Planning Appeals in the General Fund being nothing and were concerned this meant it was being overlooked. The Director of Finance and Resources explained that Planning Appeals was not budgeted for in the General Fund, and instead Earmarked Reserves were utilised. Members were also informed that the exact amount of budget for Planning Appeals was difficult to predict, since they often varied widely in cost.


Members enquired if leasing the café out at Sharley Park leisure centre was an option to increase its income. The Director of Finance and Resources agreed to raise this with the Assistant Director for Leisure.


RESOLVED – That the Committee noted the report. 

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