Decision Maker: Executive
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To recommend to Council the General Fund Final
Budget 2024-25 and Medium-Term Financial Plan
That the Executive endorsed the contents of the report and recommended the budget proposals on to Council for approval. This includes:
a) the 2024-25 revenue budget for approval and adoption as set out in this report, which sets:
i. a budget requirement of £763.773m including Dedicated Schools Grant of £388.440m resulting in a net revenue budget requirement of £375.333m as set out in Appendix A.
ii. a total Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes of £201.599m as contained in paragraph 5.25.
iii. An average Band D Council Tax of £1,740.22 for North Northamptonshire Council, representing a 2.99% increase in the ‘core’ Council Tax and a further 2% for the Adult Social Care Precept, noting that a separate Council Tax Resolution Report will be presented to Council.
iv. the detailed proposals of savings, pressures and income generation for 2024-25 as set out within the report and Appendix B.
v. the provisional Dedicated Schools Grant budget of £388.440m for 2024-25, as detailed in Appendix C, and summarised in paragraphs 5.42 – 5.56.
vi. the draft planned use of, contribution to, and movement in, reserves as identified in paragraph 5.57, section 9 and Appendix D of this report, subject to the final call on reserves as a result of the Final Financial Settlement or other changes.
vii. the corporate budget requirements as set out in paragraph 8.1, including a contingency sum of £4.101m as set out in paragraph 8.2.
viii. the Treasury Management Strategy for 2024-25 as set out in Appendix H, including the Authorised Borrowing Limit of £907m and to note a further update to the Strategy will be provided once the disaggregation of the former Northamptonshire County Council’s Balance Sheet has been finalised.
ix. the recommended Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy as set out in Section 10 and Appendix J.
x. that Council delegate authority to the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to agree any necessary variations to the budget prior to 1st April 2024.
xi. that Council delegate authority to the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to agree the use of the following reserves which will provide the flexibility to manage the overall budget during 2024-25.
• Transformation Reserve
• Public Health Reserve
• Waste Management Reserve
• Adult Social Care Reserve
• Budget Delivery Reserve
• Business Rates Retention Reserve
• General Risk Reserve
b) the forecast financial position for 2025-26 to 2027-28, noting that this will be reviewed as further information becomes available and updated as part of the budget process for 2025-26 onwards.
That the Executive:
a) noted that the financial position has been based on the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement announced on 18th December 2023 together with any further announcements and updates to the forecast budget position as at the date of the publication of this report;
b) noted the net movement of £3.875m in 2024-25, together with the associated funding, against the draft budget reported to December Executive and as summarised in paragraph 2.5, noting that any impact in the medium term has been reflected in the table under paragraph 5.1;
c) noted that, at the time of writing, the Final Local Government Finance Settlement is yet to be published and, therefore, some figures may be subject to change;
d) considered the consultation feedback as summarised in the report and attached at Appendix E;
e) considered the Equality Impact Screening Assessment as at Appendix F;
f) considered the outcome from the Corporate Scrutiny Committee, as detailed at Appendix G and any separate representations to this Committee;
g) noted the legal background for setting the revenue budget and Council Tax as set out in Appendix I.
h) considered the Section 25 Report of the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) as set out in Section 15, including her review of the robustness of the estimates and the adequacy of the reserves;
i) delegated authority to the Executive Member for Children, Education and Skills and the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director for Adults, Health Partnerships and Housing (and Children’s Services – Interim) and the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to approve North Northamptonshire’s Schools Funding Formula and to finalise the funding allocation for schools, in line with North Northamptonshire’s Schools Funding Formula;
j) delegated authority to the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to draft the recommended budget resolution for Council in accordance with the necessary legal requirements and to take into account the decisions of the Executive and any final changes and other technical adjustments that may be required;
Reason for Recommendations: To ensure that the Council complies with its Constitution and legislative requirements in setting the budget for North Northamptonshire Council from 2024-25.
Alternative Options Considered – The budgets have been subject to a formal budget consultation and scrutiny and the feedback has been considered as part of this process.
Publication date: 08/02/2024
Date of decision: 08/02/2024
Decided at meeting: 08/02/2024 - Executive
Effective from: 16/02/2024