Agenda and minutes

Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny - Tuesday, 3rd October, 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 September 2023 were approved as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.



Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Cox, S Hobson and Guest. Councillor Patterson, Stevens and Wyatt-Lowe were substitutions.



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest


A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered -


(i)            must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent


and, if the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest, or a personal interest which is also prejudicial


(ii)           may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter (and must withdraw to the public seating area) unless they have been granted a dispensation.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Members’ Register of Interests, or is not the subject of a pending notification, must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and prejudicial interests are defined in Part 2 of the Code of Conduct For Members


[If a member is in any doubt as to whether they have an interest which should be declared they should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer before the start of the meeting]



There were no declarations of interest.



Public Participation

An opportunity for members of the public to make statements or ask questions in accordance with the rules as to public participation


There was no public participation.


Consideration of any matter referred to the committee in relation to call-in




Action points from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 10 KB


The Chair thanked the officers for providing responses to all the action points and it was confirmed there were no matters to be discussed.



Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023 - 2027/28 pdf icon PDF 702 KB

Additional documents:


N Howcutt presented the medium term financial strategy (MTFS) noting that it aimed to outline the financial position of the Council for the next 3-5 years. Core assumptions will be taken into next year's budget setting and it relied heavily on economic and political forecasts. The strategy's principle of continuing to protect frontline services, to be more efficient as an organisation and to continue to work towards medium-term sustainability are maintained, and the MTFS will remain under close review. The major challenges to the MTFS are macro-economic factors, government funding assumptions and Transformation strategies. N Howcutt outlined the economic challenges faced from 2021-23, particularly noting the impact of the pandemic. Medium-term assumptions included a level of prudency and uncertainty, and it was assumed that the 2.99% prerogative on council tax will be maximised and the government funding for 2024-25 baseline follows 2023-24 levels, with pay settlement levels in line with assumptions on public sector pay.


N Howcutt advised that the strategy assumed a reduction on government funding given government debt and the Council will therefore need to work with other income streams to maintain its financial position. Over the next 5 years, the Council has a savings requirement of £4.4m, of which £1.7m has been identified to date. There is a balanced budget for next year with significant increases in income, including from the green bin collection charge, though there are challenges for subsequent years. On reserves, N Howcutt advised that the Council was in a healthy position and that it had used around £5m of reserves from 2019-2023 to cover Covid pressures and post-pandemic recovery. These reserves were funded through the NHB (New Homes Bonus), one-off grant installments and the freezing of negative RSG (Revenue Support Grant). Going forward, the Council's reserves remained healthy and static, though there were no allocations to reserves in the medium-term and therefore reserves must be carefully allocated.


The Chair noted that the MTFS looked to the next 3-5 years and asked N Howcutt, in his role as S151 officer, if the plan can reasonably protect frontline services over this period, given all the future uncertainties and risks. 


N Howcutt advised that the MTFS does not contain any significant changes to service delivery and there was over £1m growth for service provision. The challenge will be for years 3-5 and how services can be delivered efficiently, which will require prioritisation and assessing how to deliver services more effectively. N Howcutt confirmed that nothing in the MTFS would impact frontline service immediately as there were no significant reductions in spend or changes to the services areas.


Councillor Santamaria referred to the use of other funding streams and asked if the Council expected most of these to come from the private sector.


N Howcutt advised that the Commercial Strategy focused on maximising the use of Council assets and any income streams, which can be the selling of services, expanding services or maximising the use of under-utilised assets. N Howcutt noted that 12 IBCs (initial business cases)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 161 KB


There were no changes to the work programme.