Issue - meetings

Consultation outcomes and draft budget proposals

Meeting: 26/01/2023 - Cabinet (Item 199)

199 Consultation outcomes and draft budget proposals pdf icon PDF 285 KB

To recommend to Council the proposed 2023/24 budget and associated Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Treasury Management Strategy for recommendation to Council on 10 February 2023.

Additional documents:


Cabinet considered a report on the proposed budget for 2023/24 and associated Medium Term Financial Strategy and Treasury Management Strategy for recommendation to Council at its meeting in February 2023. The cabinet member finance, corporate services and planning introduced the report and explained that the council is moving on from the worst of the pandemic but is now impacted by the cost of living crisis and high food and energy prices. The settlement from central government means that councils have to raise council tax by the maximum allowed.


The cabinet member summarised the key points of the budget proposal and it was noted that:

·       Some councils across the country are struggling to set a balance budget, this is not the case in Herefordshire;

·       The proposal is for an increase of 2.99% in general council tax and 2% increase for social care, the cabinet is very aware of the additional burden this places on residents;

·       Financial support will be available for the worst off, in addition to the council tax reduction scheme, the budget proposes £1.7m of discretionary funding for other support;

·       The budget seeks to continue to invest while providing statutory services and many discretionary services valued by residents;

·       The cabinet have reflected on the results of consultation when putting the budget proposal together;

·       The council’s reserves meet the minimum required and earmarked reserves are set aside for a range of targeted activities.


The cabinet member thanked officers for their work in putting the budget proposals together, and scrutiny committee members for their consideration and recommendations.


Cabinet members discussed the report and highlighted key developments in each portfolio area.


Group leaders gave the comments and views of their groups. The level of settlement from central government was discussed and the delivery of savings challenged. Continued pressure on the childrens’ services budget was noted and the importance of investment in infrastructure, the economy and the environment was highlighted.


The chairperson of the scrutiny management board was unable to attend the meeting but though the leader of the council expressed her thanks for the work undertaken in supporting scrutiny of the budget proposals and to the Cabinet for their prompt and positive response to the recommendations made.


It was resolved that:


Cabinet recommend to Council for approval:

a) the council tax base of 71,073.11 Band D equivalents in 2023/24;


b) an increase in core council tax in 2023/24 of 2.99%;


c) an additional precept in respect of adult social care costs of 2% applied to council tax in 2023/24 resulting in a total council tax increase of 4.99%, increasing the band D charge from £1,701.70 to £1,786.61 for Herefordshire Council in 2023/24;


d) the balanced 2023/24 revenue budget proposal totalling £193.3m, subject to any amendments approved at the meeting, specifically the net spending limits for each directorate as at appendix C;


e) the revenue budget includes £4.0m for All Ages Social Care to fund edge of care and prevention services for all ages and the continuation of support for low income  ...  view the full minutes text for item 199