Agenda and minutes

Meeting Held Remotely, Cabinet
Tuesday, 15th December, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held remotely. The meeting can be viewed live by pasting this link into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43NwA-EDHmk&feature=youtu.be

Contact: Lara Knight / Michelle Salmon, Governance Services,  Tel: 024 7697 2642 / 2643, Email:  lara.knight@coventry.gov.uk /  michelle.salmon@coventry.gov.uk

Note: To be held reomtely 

Items
No. Item

56.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no disclosable pecuniary interests.

57.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 361 KB

(a)  To agree the minutes from the meeting of Cabinet on 1st December 2020

 

(b)  Matters arising

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 1st December 2020 were agreed as a true record. There were no matters arising.

58.

Pre-budget Report pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Report of the Director of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Finance that outlined as a basis for consultation a set of new revenue budget proposals for 2021/22 to 2023/24 which represented changes to the Council’s existing Budget. Consultation views were also sought on the potential level of Council Tax and Adult Social Care Precept increases for 2021/22 and on the Council’s COVID-19 Equality Impact Assessment. The final Budget proposals and the Council Tax and Adult Social Care increases would be subject to Council approval in February 2021.

 

The Council’s overall future strategy was set out in the “One Coventry Council Plan” which described the Council’s key priorities including: improving the quality of life for Coventry people, especially the most vulnerable; promoting the growth of a sustainable Coventry economy and ensuring that residents shared in the benefits; and making the most of our assets and working closer with partners and residents to enable people to do more for themselves. Implicit within the plan was the Council’s commitment to delivering a range of core services to everyone in the city.

 

2020 was expected to be a crucial year for local government in England incorporating several areas of developments in relation to its financial planning environment. However, the emergence of COVID-19 had meant that such developments had been delayed for at least one year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spending Review 2020 announcement (SR2020) on 25th November was overwhelmingly focussed on a one-year perspective. Although SR 2020 included some further support for local government, at the time of writing the Council was still awaiting the 2021/22 Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement which would include details on several key funding announcements which would dictate the funding envelope within which the Council would need to operate next year. As a result, the financial Pre-Budget position set out in the report was assumption sensitive and was likely to be subject to significant changes in a small number of key areas prior to the setting of the final Budget in February.

 

The delay of key expected reforms for local government funding, which had now been put back until 2022/23 at the earliest, left local government facing enormous uncertainty for the period after 2021/22. As a result, the report and the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (a draft of which had been considered by the Finance and Corporate Services Scrutiny Board (1) on 14th December 2020) had a greater focus on the immediate term than usual, dictated in large part by the need to manage the current and pressing challenges facing the Council and the city.

 

The financial proposals in the report did not include any new service cuts. The Council’s view was that this was not the appropriate time to reduce vital services and the approach taken thus far was to try and manage the Budget position through a range of technical measures, including using one-off resources to meet one-off financial pressures. That being said, the report did not include sufficient measures to present a balanced budget in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Any other items of public business which the Chair decides to take as a matter of urgency because of the special circumstances involved.

Minutes:

There were no other items of public business.