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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 11/10/2005
FINANCIAL STRATEGY 2005/06 – 2008/09



Summary & Purpose
The Council approved an update to the Financial Strategy in July 2005 which had been revised to take account of actual movements in resources in 2004/05, the effects of changes in legislation and the decisions taken in the 2005/06 budget process. The strategy document has now been updated ahead of the Finance Seminar, scheduled for 31st October 2005, and is attached for Members to comment on the key issues raised.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A



APPENDIX B
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 11TH OCTOBER 2005
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
FINANCIAL STRATEGY 2005/06 – 2008/09
[Wards Affected: N/A]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The Council approved an update to the Financial Strategy in July 2005 which had been revised to take account of actual movements in resources in 2004/05, the effects of changes in legislation and the decisions taken in the 2005/06 budget process. The strategy document has now been updated ahead of the Finance Seminar, scheduled for 31st October 2005, and is attached for Members to comment on the key issues raised.
_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a

E-Government implications:

The Financial Strategy covers all areas of expenditure including the costs of implementing Waverley’s E-Government Strategy and the resources available to fund this.

Resource and legal implications:

The Financial Strategy is a corporate document that identifies the financial issues and policies of the Council. The Strategy is a key element in Waverley’s policy framework relating to prudent financial management.
_________________________________________________________________________

The Financial Strategy

1. The Financial Strategy is well established in Waverley and the key policies and issues are presented to Members each year in the Finance Seminar. The 2005 Seminar will be held on 31st October and all Members will be invited to attend.

2. Over the coming year, the Financial Strategy 2006/2009 will need to be updated in the light of the following significant areas for which there is currently a degree of uncertainty:

Housing Stock Transfer
Review of the Government Grant Settlement
Restructure of the Council
Implementation of changes to the recycling service
Resourcing the planning service following withdrawal of PDG and the possible changes to the planning fee income regime
The impact of free bus fares for the over 60,s
Possible changes to land charges income arrangements
Decisions around the use of Prudential Borrowing

3. The Strategy draws out the following main issues that the Council will need to focus on:
The impact of a possible housing stock transfer
Council Tax Increase and capping criteria
Focus on Service Priorities
Underlying revenue deficit on General Fund
Additional Income
Maintaining service levels in planning when PDG ceases and changes to the fee income regime
New General Fund service pressures
Prudential Borrowing
Strive for ‘good’ CPA rating to ensure lighter touch inspection The impact of a possible housing stock transfer
Rent levels
Service levels
Maintain HRA balance at 1m

Capital Expenditure
Selecting Priorities against resources in line with the agreed Corporate Strategy Funding affordable housing
Maintaining and improving assets Partnership Funding for 2007/08 onwards
Prudential Borrowing

4. As part of the budget process, Overview and Scrutiny Committees will be presented with the detailed budget book pages as normal practice. These will accompany a budget report which focuses on the variations from the 2005/06 budget. In addition, an analysis of service areas categorised between statutory and discretionary functions will be provided.

5. A further report will be presented to the December meeting of the Executive which reports on the views and comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and asks the Executive to give further consideration to the Financial Strategy.

6. The Citizens Panel was consulted recently on Waverley’s aims, objectives and priorities. Members have also agreed to an exercise to consult on council tax levels for the 2006/07 budget which will link with the wider consultation strategy. Given that the Government has limited local authorities’ opportunity to increase council tax, beyond 5% in 2005/06, and the Council has agreed not to make radical changes to services in the 2006/07 budget, Members may wish to consider whether there is any merit in undertaking extensive consultation on council tax levels within this narrow range.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive:

1. notes the financial strategy issues facing Waverley ahead of the finance seminar on 31st October;
2. recommends the draft Financial Strategy 2005/06 – 2008/09 to the Council for approval; and
3. decides whether to undertake a consultation exercise for the 2006/07 budget and advises officers accordingly.

________________________________________________________________________
Background Papers (DoF)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Paul Wenham Telephone: 01483 523238
E-mail: pwenham@waverley.gov.uk






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