Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 - 2022/23
Decision Maker: Cabinet, Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Review the strategies which support the delivery of the Corporate Plan
Councillor Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:
“We continue to face huge financial pressures, as increasing demand, rising costs and ongoing austerity policies combine to place unprecedented strain on our budget, and services. The extent of ongoing government cuts mean that we are unable to carry on doing everything the way we have previously and we need to look to new and innovative ways to provide services to protect our most vulnerable.
We must do all we can to plan long-term, put in place sustainable and radical change which allows us to continue providing the services which are most important to residents. This is becoming increasingly more difficult as we are forced to reduce in size, use our reserves and rely on the support of community and third sector organisations to support our service provision.
We have a significant budget gap to meet over the next four years, with most of it impacting next year, as a result of further cuts to our funding. However, the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) provides the mechanism and effective but robust plan as to how we will achieve this”.
Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report, which informed that the Council continued to face financial constraints and pressures. The medium term financial planning period to 2023 would see continued grant funding reductions and financial pressures as a result of increasing demand. Aligned to this the Council would, in 2020, assume full responsibility for the raising and collection of income generated locally that would be used to fund the services accessed by Wirral residents.
Appended to the report was the MTFS 2019/20-2022/23 which detailed the robust and measured way that the Council would address these challenges via a three-phased approach:
· The MTFS described what the future financial position of the Council would look like, what its challenges were and how it would allocate its resources to meet its corporate priorities and achieve the outcomes of the Wirral Plan.
· The MTFS described how the Council was currently financed and future changes to this, its approach to meeting the financial challenge and how it would measure this.
· The Financial Resilience Plan described how the Council could evidence its financial stability over the medium term to provide assurance to local taxpayers that it was providing value for money, its process for decision making was robust and it was safeguarding public funds.
The matter affected all Wards within the Borough and was therefore a Key Decision.
The Cabinet was aware that the Wirral Plan and the MTFS were key policy documents and drove all the Council’s other business planning processes. Consequently, they were imperative for the Council’s future development, therefore no other options were being considered.
Councillor Williamson informed that it was crucial that the Council a well thought through financial strategy and she thanked the team of officers who had worked on it.
Councillor Phil Davies informed that it was important that the Council doubled its efforts around those areas highlighted in the MTFS.
(1) the Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2019-2023 be agreed;
(2) the latest developments in the Council’s financial position including budget gap and the new approach to deliver balanced budgets during the Medium Term Financial Strategy period be noted; and
(3) agreement be given to regular updates being presented to the Cabinet on the progress of the implementation of the Medium Term Financial Strategy.
Publication date: 09/08/2018
Date of decision: 16/07/2018
Decided at meeting: 16/07/2018 - Cabinet
Effective from: 17/08/2018