Issue - meetings

Provisional Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 - 2026/27.

Meeting: 10/02/2023 - Cabinet (Item 209)

209 Provisional Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 - 2026/27. pdf icon PDF 772 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Corporate Resources regarding the Council’s proposed Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2023/24 to 2026/27 (MTFS), following consideration of the draft MTFS by the Overview and Scrutiny bodies and receipt of the Local Government Finance Settlement.  A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 4’, is filed with these minutes.


Comments from Mr. S. J. Galton CC regarding the proposed reduction in bus service subsidy funding are also filed with these minutes (minute 211 below also refers).


The Director said that the final Local Government Settlement was received on 6 February 2023. The only change affecting the MTFS was an additional £0.1m for the Services Grant. He added that based on the latest review of proposed service reductions in the MTFS it was now not expected that the full amount of the £1m contingency in 2023/24 would be required, and hence £0.4m of the balance could be released. He suggested that this be added to the £0.1m above to provide additional investment for highways maintenance of £0.5m.


Mr Breckon CC said that the whilst the County Council had been able to produce a four year financial plan, the latest Local Government Settlement had left the County Council with no choice but to make difficult choices which would allow the maximum level of resources to be targeted at those who needed it most. The Authority would continue to pursue fair funding and other initiatives to help the County. He added that responses to the public consultation indicated support for a rise in council tax and the continued push for fair funding. It was noted representatives of the County Council would be meeting with the Chancellor in the spring to discuss the Council’s financial difficulties.


Mr Bedford CC said the Government needed to recognise the pressures the County Council faced and the urgent need for a fairer allocation of funding. He added that the Authority was taking difficult decisions in order to deliver a balanced budget and continue to be able to provide vital services for its residents.


Mrs Taylor CC said the Children and Family Services Department had significant savings to make which would be extremely difficult at a time when the numbers of children requiring additional support were growing. In reference to the high needs budget deficit which continued to grow each year, she said that the Authority was working with the Department for Education and external consultants to try to address the issue whilst continuing to push Government for changes in the sector. She added that the Authority had secured £1m of funding to deliver a family hubs model in the County which would enable the offer of additional online support and local hubs to support families.


The Leader said that whilst the approval of the proposed budget would result in some difficult decisions, including a rise in Council Tax at a time when many people were struggling, it would enable the Authority to continue to protect the most vulnerable people.




      I.         That the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and the Scrutiny Commission as set out in Appendix Q to the report be noted;


    II.         That the following be recommended to the County Council:


a)    That subject to the items below, approval be given to the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) which incorporates the recommended revenue budget for 2023/24 totalling £512.1m as set out in Appendices A, B and E of the report and includes the growth and savings for that year as set out in Appendix C;


b)    That approval be given to the projected provisional revenue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 209