To present to the Forum for comment a summary of the current position on the Council’s budget preparations for 2019/20 with a particular focus on the impact expected on the Children, Young People and Learning (CYPL) areas of the People Directorate.
The Forum received a report summarising the current position on the Council’s budget preparations for 2019-20 with a particular focus on the impact expected on the Children, Young People and Learning (CYPL) areas of the People Directorate.
The starting point for budget preparations was the Council’s commitment budget, which brought together existing expenditure plans, approved commitments and the ongoing effects of service developments and efficiencies that were agreed when the current year’s budget was set. Taking account of a number of adjustments, the base expenditure (excluding schools) was planned to decrease by £3.085m to £80.570m next year before consideration was given to allowances for inflation and budget proposals by individual directorates in 2019-20.
The report detailed with specific reference to the Children, Young People and Learning budget:
As the Forum was well aware, there was a significant medium term financial pressure on the schools budget arising from the cost of new schools that are being built in response to new housing and the resultant need for more school places. New schools were generally required to open towards the start of new developments but often took a number of years to fill up as house building continues and additional financial support was required in this period to cover the significant diseconomies of scale. This pressure was not adequately resourced in the funding settlement from the DfE and it was expected this remain the position over the medium term. The budget proposals included the Council committing up to £1m over the next four years to help finance the cost of new schools.
In conclusion, summarising the position on the Revenue budget (after known adjustments had been made) showed a draft budget requirement for 2019-20 of £78.514m. After taking account of the anticipated Revenue Support Grant, Business Rates baseline funding and Council Tax (at the 2018-19 level) there was a potential gap of £2.528m which would need to be bridged by one or a combination of the following:
The Forum also noted a summary of the Council’s capital programme for the next three, including some detail on the schemes within the People Directorate. Although there were no schemes included in 2020-21 or the following year, this could change once the Spending Review had been completed some external funding became available.
1) To note the 2019-20 budget proposals of the Executive for the Children, Young People and Learning areas of the People Directorate in respect of:
i) the revenue budget; and
ii) the capital programme.
2) To welcome the Council’s decision to commit up to £1m over the next four years to help finance the revenue costs arising at new schools.