General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2021-22 EXE21-001.
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 2021-22. It was noted that the report had been considered by the Finance Task Group at its meeting on 28 January 2021. Councillor Ashall advised that the current environment remained uncertain and highlighted the Council’s shortfall of income during the current financial year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Executive was informed that the Council faced a significant deficit despite government support, and would need to use some £9m of reserves in 2021-22 to maintain services. The Portfolio Holder stressed that the Executive would continue to do all it could to avoid cuts to Council services.
Councillor Ashall reported that the General Fund Budget proposed an increase in Council Tax of 2.04% for 2021-22 which resulted in a Band D Council Tax figure for 2021-22 of £250.46 or an increase of £5.00 per annum at Band D.
The Executive noted that the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) would be updated and brought to the Executive at its meeting on 25 March 2021.
The Leader of the Council reminded Members that the deadline for submitting questions or requests to speak at Executive meetings was by noon on the working day prior to the Executive. Should such future requests from Members not be received in line with the Executive Protocol, the Leader stated that she was minded to answer late questions outside of the meeting.
The Executive welcomed the proposal in the report that the community grants approved by the Executive in December be confirmed by Council for 2021-22. The Portfolio Holder commented that the Council would need to remain vigilant concerning the situation in 2022/23.
Following a question regarding local office hubs, the Executive was advised of several buildings in the town offering such provision and it was hoped that office workers from London would be attracted to smaller local office spaces in Woking.
Regarding Victoria Square and Victoria Place referred to in the report, it was clarified that Victoria Square was the name of the development project and Victoria Place would be the name of the combined centre when complete. The Executive noted that positive communication of the Victoria Place name would be undertaken when the centre opening date had been confirmed.
Discussion ensued on the Red Town Centre car park which was currently being rebuilt as part of the Victoria Square development. It was explained that the high build cost was due to the complexity of integrating it into the development. The Chief Executive reported that the Council would receive a Victoria Square update report at its meeting on 11 February 2021 which would include the financial implications of the Council acquiring the new car park.
The Executive thanked the Finance Director and her team for their hard work in compiling the finance reports on the agenda.
REcommended to Council
That (i) the Revenue Estimates and Human Resource requirements for 2021/22 be approved;
(ii) a ... view the full minutes text for item 6