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Draft Revenue Budget 2010-11 to 2012-13

22/12/2009 - Key Decision - Draft Revenue Budget 2010/11 to 2012/13

The Corporate Director Finance submitted a report detailing the draft revenue budget for 2010?11 and medium term financial strategy (MTFS) for 2010?11 to 2012?13.

 

The Leader of the Council stressed that this was a draft budget and that the final budget would be submitted to the February meetings of Cabinet and Council for the setting of the Council Tax.

 

The Corporate Director Finance stated that the budget process had been challenging partly due to the recession and partly as a result of increasing costs in social care provision and additional landfill tax.  She highlighted the key aspects of the report such as the proposal to deliver a nil increase in Council Tax in 2010/11.  Savings of £7.3m had been identified and a further £1m was required to ensure a balanced budget.  Against this £4.5m would be invested in frontline services.  The schools would receive 4.1% increase in funding per pupil and this was ring?fenced.

 

The Corporate Director also referred to the proposal to amend the reserves policy, and confirmed that the Mayor of London had indicated that there would be no increase in the Greater London Authority (GLA) precept.  She informed Members that consultations on the draft budget would take place with various stakeholders.  The report to February 2010 Cabinet would additionally address public sector pay and other elements of the government’s recent pre-budget report, including the outlook for the future.

 

Cabinet was informed of the challenges that lay ahead with regard to a funding gap of £15m year on year.  In response, the Leader of the Council stated that it was an achievement during the adverse economic climate to hold off an increase in the Council Tax for 2010/11.  He also spoke on the potential implications for Council Tax for 2011/12 - 2012/13.  He noted that substantial investment had been made in Adults and Housing and that joint working arrangements with NHS Harrow (formerly known as Harrow PCT) in the provision of services had been valuable.  The Council would work to ensure that frontline services were protected and would continue to work with its partners to achieve this.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Adults and Housing highlighted the need for certainty in relation to financial planning from central government, in order to allow local government to plan ahead, noting the difficulties that had arisen earlier in the year in relation to rent rises.

 

It was noted that the Corporate Plan would be submitted to the February Cabinet, and would be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee prior to that meeting.

 

RESOLVED:  That (1) the results of the consultation carried out on the draft corporate priorities set out in Appendix 1 be noted, and the priorities for 2010/11, as set out in paragraph 2, be approved;

 

(2)  the draft Revenue Budget 2010/11 of £171.587m and the draft Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) be agreed;

 

(3)  the Reserves Policy as set out in paragraph 48 of the report be agreed.

 

Reason for Decision:  To publish the draft budget.