Issue - meetings

General Fund / HRA Estimates and Capital Programme 2023/24

Meeting: 07/02/2023 - Executive (Item 17)

17 General Fund / HRA Estimates and Capital Programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 517 KB

To consider the report of the Director Finance.


Additional documents:




RECOMMENDED that Council:-


(1)   approve the overall spending proposals in respect of its revenue and capital budgets;

(2)   approve the Council Tax for each Band be submitted to the Council as set out in section 8.19.3 of the report, subject to Devon County Council, the Office of the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner and the Devon and Somerset Fire Authority confirming their Band D levels respectively;

(3)   approve the revised Council Tax levels submitted to Council on 21 February 2023, when the actual Council Tax amounts for Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner and the Devon and Somerset Fire Authority are set; and

(4)   that Council approve £100,000 using CIL funding, for the refurbishment of St Thomas Splashpad, to enhance its life and ensuring that it be available for use as soon as possible.


Reason for Decision: As set out in the report and amended as the meeting.





The Executive received the report on the proposed General Fund revenue estimates for 2023/24 and recommending the Band D level of Council Tax for 2023/24. This report also included the proposed Capital Programme for 2023/24 and future years, and the proposals in respect of the Housing Revenue Account.


Particular reference was made to the following:-


·        The provisional settlement for the General Fund Revenue position was received in December 2022 and final settlement was received on 6th February 2023, which indicated that the final settlement was the same as the provisional settlement for the city.


·        The New Homes Bonus was confirmed as £672,000 for its final year. An announcement was expected from the Government on a new replacement scheme for future years.


·        There had been considerable financial pressures faced by the Council, with a significant funding gap following additional budgeting for the national staff pay awards. The reductions required were over £6 Million, however funds set aside during the Covid Pandemic had been used to reduce the impact for the financial year, leaving a £3 Million saving to be made to balance the budget.


·        The One Exeter programme had been set up to help address the funding shortfall, the outcome of the work had enabled the Council to propose a balanced budget which identified additional sources of income and service reductions totalling £3.7 Million.


·        The Government had extended its non-domestic energy support package, which the tariff had been set below the level budgeted for.


·        The Council had previously supported another Council in its claim that Leisure services should be classified as non-business for VAT. It had been widely reported that HMRC were expected to announce that they accept Leisure services being classified as non-business for VAT, which would mean much of the Leisure income would no longer attract VAT.


·        The Council Tax being proposed for Exeter City Council was £175.13 for Band D properties which was a rise of £5.08, at 2.99%, which was the maximum amount allowed before triggering a Referendum.


·        There were similar cost pressures for the HRA. The Government had announced a limitation on rent increase to 7%, which was lower than 11.1% inflation rate. A balanced budget had been set, however the amount of minimum reserves for the HRA had been reduced.


·        Borrowing costs for the General Fund Programme had significantly risen during the previous six months. The Capital Programme had been reviewed by the Corporate Property team and Engineering team to identify the highest priority projects for Health and Safety matters and a revised programme had been submitted. The work involved had been in-depth and the proposals presented to Members were based on officer recommendations.


·        The Capital Programme was monitored on a quarterly basis and there was a process for Members to request projects being put back onto the programme once affordable funding has been identified.


·        The HRA Capital Programme was significant, totalling £19.3 Million, of which £11.8 Million would be used to make improvements of existing housing stock, whilst £7.5 Million would be put  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17