Issue - meetings

Financial Planning and Medium Term Strategy Report

Meeting: 13/12/2021 - Cabinet (Item 4)

4 December Finance Planning and Medium Term Strategy Report 2021 to 2026 pdf icon PDF 694 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was introduced by Councillor Andy Wilson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance who highlighted that:

 

  • Since last being presented to Cabinet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s spending review had been received
  • The spending review outlined a continued tough financial budget for London boroughs
  • Calculations made by London Council saw that London boroughs required a £2 billion increase over the spending period, but only estimate to receive £1.1 billion
  • the 3% increase in Government funding announced was based on the assumption that Council’s increased their Council Tax and adult social care precept to the maximum of 3%
  • Longer term pressures would require longer term funding solutions, increasing Council Tax for the adult social care precept would not alleviate these pressures
  • The Council had remained vigilant with the new Covid-19 variant arising
  • There was already high demand in Council services around social care and temporary accommodation, which had increased as a result of the pandemic
  • The Council would continue to take every opportunity to support vulnerable people in its community, but needed to be realistic in the face of reduced funding and rising demand
  • Despite recent pressures, the Council had delivered a balanced budget
  • The current MTFS would continue to be developed to support the Council’s priorities and provide certainty to its most vulnerable residents.

 

Councillor Scott Ainslie, from the Green Group, requested that the report was in plain English and asked if the beginning of the report could highlight additional budgeting and expenditure as a result of COVID. Cllr Ainslie asked questions which were based around local revenues which had been explored by the council, rising temporary accommodation costs, the old Waterloo library 114-118 Lower Marsh funding, affordable housing and workspace and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) spend.

 

Christina Thompson, Director of Finance and Property stated that:

 

  • Additional spending on Covid-19 was mentioned in paragraph 2.30 of the report and the Council’s current forecast was a spend of £35.5million. This would be recovered from earmarked reserves and from grants from central government in this financial year
  • A deficit in expenditure due to Covid-19 was not expected this year
  • Revenue raising was identified in the savings proposals put forward last year for the 2022-23 financial year
  • The Government would have to enable tourist taxes
  • The Council were waiting to hear from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) on what would happen around business rates
  • There was an increase in activity on the number of households that had moved to temporary accommodation. Properties available for temporary accommodation had decreased as landlords were pulling out of private sector renting for temporary accommodation
  • The Council would continue to ensure that they housed families wherever possible.

 

Councillor Matthew Bennet, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Planning Investment and New Homes, explained that homelessness was a crisis throughout London which had been made worse over the last 11 years due to a Conservative-led Government. However, the solution was to build more homes within Lambeth as it was not ideal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4