Decision details

Revenue Budget 2024/25 and Capital Programme 2024/25 to 2028/29

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommmend Forward to Council

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Cabinet considered the head of finance’s report on the revenue budget for 2024/25 and the capital programme for 2024/25 to 2028/29.  The report brought together the information required to enable Cabinet to recommend the budget to Council.  In addition, the report recommended the Prudential Indicators to be set by Council in accordance with the Prudential Code, it contained the chief finance officer’s opinion on the robustness of the estimates and the adequacy of the council’s financial reserves, and included the medium term financial plan for the years 2024/25 to 2028/29. 


Scrutiny Committee had considered the report and had asked Cabinet to consider the following:

·       include gross amounts in reporting, to help with understanding the base budget; a fuller explanation of the base budget was requested;

·       in Appendix D1 on the capital programme, the links between expenditure and corporate plan themes were welcomed.  These should be continued and matched to new themes when the new corporate plan was approved;

·       add sensitivity analysis for the Medium Term Financial Plan, where possible, to model the impact of variables;

·       ask that the Cabinet members for finance and communications review how to make budget information more accessible to residents and contextually link the budget more clearly to corporate plan priorities. 


Cabinet thanked Scrutiny Committee for its comments.  The head of finance had reported that he would reflect these points in discussion with the Cabinet member for finance, and as far as he was able, he would include these points in future budget setting reports. 


The Cabinet member for finance reported that the draft budget had been prepared following a budgetary review and challenge by both officers and members.  The review had covered both revenue and capital expenditure.  The council was under financial pressure due to high inflation over the past year, increasing the council’s costs.  However, interest rates had been unexpectedly high throughout the past year, bringing in more treasury income than expected.  The council had received an increase in its core spending power government grant, but the level of grant was uncertain in future years.  There were no cuts to services in this year’s budget, and there had been a lower draw upon reserves than previously expected.  These factors had allowed the council to set a balanced budget.  However, it was important to keep within the budget envelope to ensure the council’s finances were sustainable over the medium term. 


Council tax would be increased by £5 for Band D properties, the maximum before a referendum was required.  The district council’s element of the council tax for a Band D property would be £156.69 for 2024/25, an increase of less than 10 pence per week. 


Cabinet welcomed the proposed budget.  A key factor in achieving this balanced budget was the review of revenue and capital expenditure by members and officers.  It allowed the council to deliver its corporate plan priorities while avoiding any service cuts.  Members were proud of the way the council had stabilised its finances and produced so much with so little.  Cabinet thanked all staff for their hard work and dedication. 


RECOMMENDED to Council to:


(a)       set the revenue budget for 2024/25, as set out in Appendix A.1 to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 16 February 2024;


(b)       approve the capital programme for 2024/25 to 2028/29, as set out in Appendices D.1 and D.2 to the report, together with the capital programme changes, as set out in Appendices D.3 and D.4 to the report;


(c)        set the council’s prudential limits, as listed in Appendix E to the report;


(d)       set the council’s medium-term financial plan to 2028/29, as set out in Appendix F to the report. 


RESOLVED: to authorise the head of finance, in consultation with the Cabinet member for finance, to make minor adjustments to the report and the prudential indicators should they prove necessary prior to its submission to Council on 21 February 2024. 

Report author: Simon Hewings

Publication date: 12/03/2024

Date of decision: 16/02/2024

Decided at meeting: 16/02/2024 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: