The report updated members on the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) in preparation for considering the budget (and associated Council Tax level) in February 2022.
The purpose of the refresh of the MTFP was threefold:-
1. To update the MTFP produced in February 2021 for known or likely changes;
2. To highlight service and policy issues likely to impact on budget considerations later in the year;
3. To provide contextual information so that other issues that may impact on short and longer term budgetary issues are identified and discussed.
The overall conclusion was that the MTFP remained fundamentally robust and the following actions were needed prior to it being agreed alongside the 2022/23 budget in February 2022:-
1. Forecasts to be rolled forward to include 2025/26;
2. Inflation provision reviewed alongside economic data to establish whether structural inflation is higher than previously forecast;
3. Any service budget demands to be built in;
4. The outcomes of any Government reviews (on Council Tax, Business Rates and New Homes Bonus) are considered;
5. Any changes to the Capital Programme (including any identified capital / revenue implications of major projects) are reflected;
6. Decisions on any outstanding savings proposal and Fees and Charges are also reflected.
Members expressed concern about recent news of substantial increases to energy costs. The Leader confirmed that any such increases would be dealt with as and when they occurred.
RESOLVED – That the Panel NOTED the proposed updates to the MTFP set in February 2022, including further proposed actions.