Budget proposals use reserves to help board weather financial storm

The initial budget proposals for the coming year have been drawn up by the Tendring District Council (TDC).

Cabinet today (Friday 4 November) took note of the financial situation in the process of establishing the 2023-24 budget and that the authority was well placed to meet the challenges posed by the more economic climate. wide.

Budget planning assumptions include a £5 increase in TDC’s share of council tax for a D-Strip home – a measure already included in the authority’s long-term financial plan.

Carlo Guglielmi, deputy head of the TDC and cabinet member responsible for finance, said the long-term work had set the council in good stead for years to come.

“Thanks to our careful financial management and good decision-making over the past few years, we are in a good position to move away from how we meet current challenges that are largely beyond our control,” said adviser Guglielmi. .

“This work, including our declared intention to raise council tax – which is not a knee-jerk reaction but part of our ten-year financial plan, of which we are now in year seven – means we have time to rework our longer-term approach to issues such as inflation, the effects of the recession and the general increase in the cost of living.

The report outlines the council’s plans to use some of its reserves, reserve project budgets and savings to address the cost pressures the authority is facing. This is on top of the proposed average council tax increase of £5, which would raise the TDC share of a D-Band bill to £187.64.

It also outlines the pressures facing the board, which total nearly £3.4m this financial year and just over £4m the next. Some should be one-time issues, such as fuel and energy bills, while others – such as payroll costs, inflation charges on contracts, and rising costs on things like bonuses insurance – will need to be reflected annually.

“There remain a number of unknowns, such as the level of government subsidy – if any – we receive, but by taking a cautious approach and considering reasonable worst-case scenarios, this report shows that we are prepared for anything.” , added Councilor Guglielmi.

“The reserves are there for a rainy day, and although we have worked hard to avoid drawing on those of the past, that rainy day is now here and we will have to use some of our reserves to meet the challenges we face. .

“Using our assets in this way means we can continue to focus on our priorities, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be immune to having to make tough decisions in the months ahead.”

Today’s report is the first step in the budget-setting process, with further proposals returning to Cabinet next month. After that, the plans are reviewed by the committee, before being debated and voted on in the full council in February.

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