Agenda item

General Fund Revenue Budget and Capital Estimates 2022-23

This matter is the responsibility of Executive Councillor for Corporate Resources, Councillor Ross Henley.


The report sets out the draft budget estimates for 2022/23, Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) forecasts, and 2022/23 Capital Programme with the proposed sources of funding. Importantly this is a balanced budget with resources available to meet spending plans for the year.


Note - A recorded vote on these recommendations will be required as per the legislation.


During the discussion, the following points were raised:-

·       Councillors welcomed the budget report.

·       Councillors thanked officers for their hard work on producing the budget report.

·       Councillors queried why there had been changes in the report since it had gone to Corporate Scrutiny for debate, including the addition of the budget book.

The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources advised that the budget book was only in draft format when the report had gone to Corporate Scrutiny and further clarified that the information included in the report had been updated due to changes received during the budget process.

·       The Leader of the Conservative Group spoke on behalf of his members and agreed that the budget did pass muster, however, he was concerned that it was being politically driven and that it was not prudent or sustainable.

·       Concern was raised that a one-year budget had been produced which passed the buck to the Unitary Council.

·       Councillors were pleased to see that services had been protected within the budget.

The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services thanked councillors for their comments and was pleased that money was still being invested in assets, climate change, street scene, open spaces, the crematorium and housing projects, to name but a few.

·       Concern was raised that the climate change projects were only given a one-off allocation and had not been included within the Medium-Term Financial Plan.

The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources advised that as part of the Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience Action Plan, officers would be in a substantive part of the council and therefore would be transferred over to the New Council along with the other officers, the budget had only been set for one year, as the New Council would be responsible for setting the budget post vesting day on 1 April 2023.

·       Councillors requested clarification on the precept set for the Unparished Area of Taunton.

Clarification was given.

·       The Leader of the Council was pleased to second the budget report.  She had first entered into politics to make a difference to the local community which she believed the budget would deliver.  She also believed that the budget was sustainable and left a lasting legacy budget for the residents of Somerset West and Taunton.


In accordance with Standing Order 18(2)(i), the Chair called for a recorded vote to be taken and recorded in the Minutes.


The recommendations, which are detailed below, were put and CARRIED with thirty-six for and ten abstaining:


Resolved that Full Council:-

2.1Approved the Revenue Budget, Council Tax Rate and Capital Programme for 2022/23 and Supplementary Budget in 2021/22 including:

a)    Draft Revenue Net Budget of £17.018m for 2022/23.

b)    The basic Somerset West and Taunton Band D Council Tax rate of £174.63 for 2022/23.

c)    General Fund 2022/23 Capital Programme additions totalling £1.896m and 2022/23 Capital Programme Revisions of -£0.181m for previously approved schemes for 2022/23, as set out in Table 18.

d)    A Supplementary Budget in 2021/22 of £1m for additional capital debt repayment funded from General Reserves.

e)    The release of the £2.4m 2021/22 Budget Volatility and Risk Reserve with £0.4m transferred to General Reserves and £2m to fund a supplementary increase in the Revenue Contribution to Capital Outlay budget in order to finance capital expenditure in 2021/22.

f)      £570k was transferred from the 2021/22 budget to the Capital Financing Reserve to fund the increase to the Car Park Improvement Project capital budget in 2022/23.

2.2Delegated authority to the S151 Officer to approve the CIL capital grants budgets to reflect in-year CIL capital receipts passed to town and parishes in line with the CIL policy.


Those voting FOR the MOTION: Councillors I Aldridge, B Allen, L Baker, C Booth, S Coles, D Darch, T Deakin, K Durdan, C Ellis, H Farbahi, E Firmin, A Govier, S Griffiths, J Hassall, N Hawkins, R Henley, M Hill, D Johnson, M Kravis, R Lees, S Lees, L Lisgo, J Lloyd, D Mansell, D Perry, H Prior-Sankey, M Rigby, F Smith, F Smith-Roberts, A Sully, R Tully, S Wakefield, B Weston, K Wheatley, L Whetlor and G Wren.


Those ABSTAINING from voting: Councillors M Barr, S Buller, N Cavill, D Durdan, R Habgood, A Hadley, A Milne, S Pugsley, V Stock-Williams and A Trollope-Bellew.

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