45.1 The Cabinet considered a report by the Chief Executive, together with further information received following the publication of the Cabinet agenda including a summary of the consultation meeting held with Trade Unions, comments from Sussex Police and additional comments from the Transport and Environment Scrutiny Committee Waste Review Board, representations form the Stoke Association and Care for the Carers.
45.2 The following amendment moved by Councillor Elkin and seconded was CARRIED
To amend Appendix 2 to reduce the Net Budget for Highways Contract Costs (page 78 of the agenda) by £400,000, (in respect of grass cutting), and to increase the Adult Social Care Assessment and Care Management (page 70 of the agenda) budget by £400k.
45.3 It was RESOLVED to:
1. Recommend County Council to:
i. Approve in principle the draft Council Plan at Appendix 3 and authorise the Chief Executive to finalise the Plan in consultation with the relevant Lead Members;
ii. Increase the Council Tax by 2.99%;
iii. Increase the Adult Social Care precept by 3%;
iv. Issue precepts accordingly to be paid by Borough and District Councils in accordance with the agreed schedule of instalments at Appendix 6;
v. Approve the net Revenue Budget estimate totalling of £371.3m for 2018/19 as set out in Appendices 1 (Medium Term Financial Plan [MTFP]) and 2 (Budget Summary) subject to Appendix 2 being amended to reduce the Net Budget for Highways Contract Costs by £400,000, (in respect of grass cutting), and to increase the Adult Social Care Assessment and Care Management budget by £400k, and authorise the Chief Operating Officer, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, Leader and Deputy Leader, to make adjustments to the presentation of the Budget Summary to reflect the final settlement and final budget decisions; subject to the amendments set out below:
Appendix 2 being amended to reduce the Net Budget for Highways Contract Costs by £400,000, (in respect of grass cutting), and to increase the Adult Social Care Assessment and Care Management budget by £400k,
vi. Approve the fees and charges set out in Appendix 5;
vii. Approve the Capital Programme for 2017–2023 Appendix 7;
viii. Note the MTFP forecast for the period 2018/19 to 2020/21, as set out in Appendix 1;
ix. Note the comments of the Chief Finance Officer on budget risks and robustness, as set out in Appendix 8;
x. Note the comments from engagement exercises set out in Appendix 9; and
xi. Delegate authority to the Chief Finance Officer to set fees and charges for 2019/20 onwards and to report to Cabinet and County Council on those set at a level above inflation as part of quarterly monitoring.
2. Agree that Chief Officers consult, where appropriate, on the savings proposals set out in the report.
3. Approve the fees and charges set out in Appendix 5 relating to executive functions and to delegate authority to the Chief Finance Officer to set all fees and charges for 2019/20 onwards and to report on those set at a level above inflation as part of the quarterly monitoring;
4. Continue to lobby Government through all means to provide transitional funding while the Fair Funding Review is being undertaken.
45.4 The financial challenge the Council faces is considerable and the choices between saving and spending areas are difficult. In making recommendations to the County Council, Cabinet have tried to be as transparent as possible about their thinking and how they have tried to balance the needs of all residents and businesses in the County for services and the affordability of those services to Council Tax payers.