Agenda item

Draft 2024/25 Budget

Report to follow


Cabinet was pleased to be able to present a balanced budget for 2024-25 to the meeting. Members thanked Officers from across the Council and in particular Finance Officers for their hard work putting together the draft Council budget. Members noted that the budget process kicked off in August 2023 with a series of prioritisation meetings. The end product of the process was a compassionate, progressive, and resident-focused budget for all of us to review.


Members discussed the content of the budget proposals and noted that a planned approach to budget setting, combined with an efficient use of resources, had allowed the Council to present this balanced budget, which allowed for investment in key service areas that contributed towards the Council’s Corporate Priorities as well as helping to deliver against what residents want, as reflected in the feedback from the Residents Survey. This year’s financial settlement was broadly in line with the Council’s basic assumptions, with little or no change from that which was presented in October. However, the certainty over settlement had allowed the Council to review these assumptions, this had freed up capacity:


·  To employ two further graffiti cleaning operatives in 2024/25. Together with equipment and transport, the cost of which will be £80k.

·  Over and above the investment above, Cabinet had considered the use of Glyphosate as the principal chemical means by which to control the presence of weeds on land within the Council’s ownership. The Council currently applied Glyphosate using a relatively safe spotting method. It was important to note that Kent County Council also used Glyphosate, in spray form, to control weeds on the highways, and Cabinet understood that they will continue to do so. As a result of concerns expressed about the safety of the Council’s practices, Thanet District Council would be utilising Hot Foam to control weeds in the coming year. The hot foam equipment could also be used to clean graffiti and chewing gum from walls and pavements. The additional cost of this would be £100k;

·  Sports Development £50k - recent conversations with the Kent Football Association had been positive about funding that could become available through the Association to increase the work that TDC did with local communities to improve their access to sports and facilities. This included potential support for pitch improvements at Jackey Bakers for the 2024/25 football season. A one-off sum of £50k was included to be drawn from reserves as required pending an application for grant funding.

·  Given inflation had been reducing over the past months, Cabinet was where possible, reducing the resident focused fees and charges to no more than 5%;

·  As part of the overall budget setting process, Cabinet would seek to update the schedule of the proposed fees and charges for 2024/25 in the annex to the Fees and Charges report in time for the meeting of the Cabinet on 25 January 2024 for recommendation to Council for approval in February;


Cabinet acknowledged that given the timescales of the announcement of the provisional settlement only just before Christmas, and the latest reduction in CPI, announced on December 20th, it would not be possible to update the schedule in time for the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel on 16 January 2024. The main areas covered by this review would be, Parking, Garden Waste, Waste Bin Replacement and the Crematorium. Therefore, in the Cabinet report that was considered at the meeting, there was £116k that had been allocated for the reduction of the fees and charges.


Councillor Davis and Councillor Rattigan spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1.


Councillor Yates proposed Councillor Duckworth seconded and Cabinet agreed the following:


1.  That the outcomes of the budget consultation be noted;


2.  That the draft 2024/25 General Fund revenue budget, as amended from the original draft for consultation, be considered and noted;


3.  That the 2024-28 General Fund capital programme, as amended, be considered and noted;


4.  That the Flexible use of Capital Receipts policy as presented be approved.

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