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Give us your feedback on our four-year financial plan

Give us your feedback on our four-year financial plan

The Council will be setting its budget for 2018/19 in February this year. This involves updating the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for the next four years.

The MTFP sets out how Council funds will be spent on the services and priorities which have been agreed after consulting local residents and partner organisations.

These priorities are:

  • Helping to create a safer and healthier environment for our residents to live and work in;
  • Meeting  financial challenges and providing value for money;
  • Supporting economic development and regeneration; and
  • Protecting and improving the environment.

The MTFP aims to make sure that the funds available are used efficiently and effectively to deliver these priorities. It also outlines the significant financial pressures facing the Council over the next four years and the plans to respond to these pressures.

Get involved

We are now asking people to give us their feedback on these proposals. All comments will be treated anonymously and considered before final decisions are made.   Please send your comments to:- policy@highpeak.gov.uk

Summary

Key issues in the Medium Term Financial Plan are set out below:

  • The way in which all local authorities are financed is changing from government grant to locally generated income such as council tax and business rates together with fees and charges for Council services.  In 2014/15 local income streams accounted for only 52% of the Council's income; by 2018/19 this is expected to have risen to 91%.
  • Revenue Support Grant - the core Government grant to Local Authorities - is to be phased out completely by the end of 2019/20 This amounts to loss of £580,000 during the life of this plan.
  • In recent years, the Council has benefited significantly from New Homes Bonus - the Government grant funding awarded to Authorities based on an increase in housing provision. Income from the scheme peaked in 2016/17 at £773,000. Since then, income levels have reduced due to national changes in the overall generosity of the scheme. The Council expects to receive £537,000 in 2018/19 rising to £679,000 by 2021/22 as increased levels of house-building activity in the Borough feeds through into New Homes Bonus.
  • The plan proposes an increase in the Council's share of council tax of 1.9% per year over the next 4 years, which will generate £103,000 in income in 2018/19.
  • Details of the proposed business rates retention system, which will mean councils retain 100% of Business Rates growth income are still awaited from Government. At this stage the Council has not included any assumptions based on the new system in the MTFP.   However, the Plan has been updated to reflect the impacts of the new rating list introduced in 2017.
  • The Council is reviewing its existing fees and charges (charges for Council provided services e.g. pest control, leisure facilities, planning, trade waste) with the aim of generating an extra £80,000 in 2018/19.  Further income is anticipated in the Council's efficiency programme arising out of income generation opportunities and the review of car parking and other charges.
  • The Council will need to encourage and enable sustainable economic and housing growth even more than it already does in order to obtain the optimum income from business rates, council tax and New Homes Bonus in future.
  • The Council introduced a new £2.1million efficiency programme in February 2017 to address a budget shortfall over the medium term. This programme will enter its second year in 2018/19 and will focus on savings arising out of:  joint arrangements with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (the Council's Alliance partner) for the provision of waste collection; joint procurement for the operation of leisure centres and facilities management of the Council's buildings; and streamlining customer contact.  The aim is to continue to make savings at the same time as maintaining priority services.
  • The Council maintains a stock of over 4,000 housing properties.  Under government legislation, annual rent reductions of 1% have been required over a 4 year period.  This is due to end after 2019/20 having cost the Housing Revenue Account £2.4million in reduced rent.  From 2020/21 rents are currently forecast to increase by 1.5% (depending on inflation rates).   The Housing Business Plan review, conducted over the last 12 months, has resulted in an efficiency plan of £1.2milion being introduced in order to ensure the HRA is financial sustainable.  A question mark remains as to the level of capital expenditure necessary to maintain the stock. This will be addressed with the completion of the stock condition surveys currently underway.