Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2022-23 EXE22-001
That (v) the Revenue Estimates and Human Resource requirements for 2022/23 be approved;
(vi) a Band D Council Tax for the Borough of Woking for 2022/23 of £255.46 be approved; and
(vii) the Prudential Indicators at Appendix 3 to the report be approved, subject to any changes arising from consideration of the Investment Programme, revenue budgets and Final Government Settlement.
Reporting Person – Leigh Clarke
Councillor Ashall, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Financial Planning and Policy, introduced the report outlining the proposed General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2022-23. Councillor Ashall reported that the General Fund Budget proposed an increase in Council Tax of 2% for 2022-23 which resulted in a Band D Council Tax figure for 2022-23 of £255.46, an increase of £5.00 per annum at Band D.
Attention was drawn to paragraph 8.18 of the report which asked the Executive to resolve that the parent guarantee provided by the Council to Total Gas and Power (TGP), the supplier of gas and top-up electricity to Thameswey, be increased to £843,000. It was explained that this was necessary due to the increase in energy costs and the increased quantity of gas required to supply Victoria Square. It was highlighted that the matter concerned a guarantee and not a cash payment.
Following an independent comprehensive assessment of the Council’s assets and liabilities, the Executive received a copy of the Comprehensive Statement Response Report and was asked to agree the actions for the Council in response to the Statement. It was noted that the Comprehensive Statement had been presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 24 January 2022 and the Executive welcomed the four key points raised by the Committee. The Executive agreed that the issues raised by the Committee be incorporated into the actions for the Council in response to the Statement.
The Executive noted that the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) would be updated and brought to the Executive at its meeting on 24 March 2022 alongside the Council’s Corporate Strategy.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Azad, reported that following on from the Comprehensive Statement, the Leader would be overseeing work to review the Thameswey Group of Companies. The Executive heard that the work would follow the same Member involvement as the Comprehensive Statement, with reports to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a Member Briefing, and reports to Executive and Council. It was hoped that the work would be underway by the end of March 2022. The Leader reminded the Executive of why the Thameswey structure had been first set-up by the Council and explained that Thameswey had been established to deliver Council objectives through long term investment in sustainable energy, housing, and regeneration, rather than short term profits. Some of Thameswey’s achievements were highlighted, including the provision of 504 affordable homes, the popular Earn Your Deposit Scheme, a saving of 4,856 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2021, as well as its work in Sheerwater and preventing homelessness. The Leader acknowledged that the Thameswey business and its finances were complex and advised that work was underway with Thameswey to improve transparency for Members.
Discussion ensued on the Government’s current consultation on the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP). The Executive was informed that Officers had met with the Government to explain the impact any changes to the MRP would have on the Council’s finances. The Portfolio Holder was hopeful that Government ... view the full minutes text for item 6