Agenda and minutes

Budget, Council - Wednesday, 23rd February, 2022 15:00

Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services 

Note: Budget 


No. Item


Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 291 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 19/01/2022


RESOLVED:              That the Minutes of a meeting of Council dated 19    January 2022, be approved as a true and accurate



Corporate Plan 2018-2023 Reviewed for 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change presented a report seeking approval of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2018 to 2023 reviewed for 2022-23. The revised plan was attached at Appendix A to the report.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change explained that the Corporate Plan for the period 2018 to 2023 described the council's vision for Bridgend County Borough Council, the three well-being objectives and organisational values and principles that underpinned how they would work to deliver the priorities. The plan represented the contribution to achieving the seven national well-being goals as set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Wales Act and improvement objectives under the performance duties of the Local Government and Election Wales Act 2021. The latter piece of legislation placed new performance and governance duties on local authorities. Evaluation of performance was now a continuous organisation wide self-assessment of how effectively a council was operating, not only in terms of meeting well-being objectives, but how it was delivering its functions, using its resources and governing itself.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change added that the Local Government and Elections Wales Act sought to establish a more regularised performance and governance system that put the onus on the Council to take ownership of its own improvement. Accordingly, each council was now required to undertake an annual review of the extent it was exercising its functions effectively and whether it was using its resources efficiently. A report on the Council’s performance had to be published and sent to Welsh Government, Audit Wales and other regulators. As part of these new requirements the Council would have to consult with residents, businesses and council staff about its performance. The Council was also required to make arrangements for an external panel appointed by the Council to assess its performance. The review should take place at least once every five years.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change explained that between October and November 2021 the Corporate Plan had been refreshed for the coming financial year and had been discussed with Corporate Directors and Heads of Service throughout the authority. This had enabled officers to consider any emerging priorities as part of the Covid 19 recovery and renewal work, to take account of any external regulator feedback and to streamline the commitments and performance indicators to ensure a strategic focus on achieving the well-being objectives. In addition, the outcome of the ‘Fit for the Future’ consultation undertaken in December 2021, helped to shape where efforts should be concentrated going forward. Residents of the Borough had placed importance on recycling and waste, highways and infrastructure improvement and community facilities, including parks and being outdoors over the last 12 months. Priority areas identified included support for older people, tackling food poverty and homelessness. Further actions identified included continuing to streamline processes, rationalise the number of offices and encourage citizens to take more responsibility themselves.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change explained that the well-being objectives,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 638.


Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2022-23 to 2025-26 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change presented the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for the period 2022-23 to 2025-26 for Council approval. This included a financial forecast for 2022 to 2026, a detailed revenue budget for the coming financial year for 2022-23 and a Capital Programme for the period 2021-2022 to 2031–2032, and also the Corporate Risk Assessment. The MTFS was fully aligned with the Council’s Corporate Plan and the well-being objectives contained within. She explained that the development of the MTFS had been guided by these priorities. Although reductions in the level of funding available in previous years had necessitated significant budget reductions across various service areas, the Council continued to manage annual gross expenditure of around £459m and was the largest employer in the County Borough. As a result, the Council played a significant role in the local economy of the area.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change explained that the Council's Medium Term Financial Strategy articulated how the Council planned to use its resources to support the achievement of its well-being objectives and statutory duties, including the management of financial pressures and risks over the coming four years. The document outlined the principles and detailed assumptions which drove the Council’s budget and spending decisions, it outlined the financial context within which the council was operating and tried to mitigate any financial risks and pressures going forward whilst at the same time taking advantage of any opportunities arising. The MTFS focussed on how the Council intended to respond to the increasing pressures on public sector services, which had undoubtedly been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that it was a legal requirement under the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (LGFA 1992) that the Council approved a balanced budget for the coming financial year and to set the council tax rates for the county borough. The report set out proposals to achieve that objective and to contribute towards a sustainable financial position going into the medium term. The quarterly reports to Cabinet during this financial year on the projected revenue position for 2021/2022 had outlined in detail the impact on the budget of the additional cost pressures and loss of income faced by the Council throughout the year as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. Welsh Government had played a significant role in mitigating a large proportion of these losses through their various funding streams, most notably the COVID-19 hardship fund. The Council now needed to consider the longer term impact of the pandemic and how it would shape the Council as part of its recovery programme, given that the hardship fund was due to come to an end in March 2022.


The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change explained that the announcement of the final local government settlement for 2022-23 was again, approximately two months later than in previous years, due to the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review by the UK government not being delivered until the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 639.


Council Tax 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change presented a report providing Council with details of the council tax requirement for the County Borough Council together with the requirements of the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and Town and Community Councils and seeking council approval of the band D council tax for Bridgend County Borough Council and the community areas for 2022 – 23.


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change explained that in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992, the Council had to calculate its budget requirement and then set the level of council tax for the coming financial year. In addition, as a billing authority, Bridgend County Borough Council was also required to calculate the basic amount of council tax for dwellings within the area which related to one or more special items. The Council collected the council tax on behalf of Town and Community Councils and the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales. The money was collected on behalf of these organisations and was then paid over to the relevant bodies in line with the amount they had included in their budget to be charged to households in the county borough of Bridgend. Council had just agreed a net budget requirement for the council for the coming financial year of £319m. This equated to a council tax of £1,597.01 on a band D property. This was a zero increase for the coming financial year


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change explained that the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales had notified the Council that their precept for the coming financial year was agreed by the South Wales Police and Crime Panel on the 3rd February 2022. As a result, their precept on a Band D property would increase to £302.11, a 5% increase. This increase by council tax banding was shown in table 3 within the report. The Council had also been informed of budget requirements by Town and Community Councils and this was an average 0.78% reduction for the coming financial year.


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change explained that table 6 within the report detailed the total average Band D council tax requirement for 2022-23 for all areas of Bridgend. A further breakdown of the Council Tax for each area, detailing the amount payable to this Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and the relevant Community Council was shown at Table 7. She added that whilst Bridgend County Council had agreed a 0% increase for the coming financial year, council taxpayers would see an increase in their overall council tax bill for the reasons outlined in the report.


A member stated that he objected for the aforementioned reasons and asked for a roll call.


A member asked with regard to the assistance for those properties within bands A to D of £150, would that be detailed in the bills being sent to households for this council tax year? As a point  ...  view the full minutes text for item 640.


Treasury Management and Capital Strategies 2022-23 onwards pdf icon PDF 605 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change presented to Council for approval, the Treasury Management Strategy 2022-23 (Appendix A), which included the Treasury Management Indicators, and the Capital Strategy 2022-23 to 2031-32 (Appendix B), which included the Prudential Indicators, and the Annual Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2022-23 (Section 7 of Appendix B). She explained that both treasury management and the control of capital expenditure were regulated by legislation. The legislation provided local authorities with the powers to borrow and invest as well as providing controls and limits on this activity. The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities included a requirement for the Council to approve a Treasury Management Strategy before the start of each financial year which set out the Council’s and Chief Financial Officer’s responsibilities, delegation and reporting arrangements. In addition, local authorities were required to determine a Capital Strategy which demonstrated that the authority took capital expenditure and investment decisions in line with service objectives and properly took account of stewardship, value for money, prudence, sustainability and affordability when making these decisions.


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change summarised the two documents. With regard to the Treasury Management Strategy 2022-2023, the ongoing impact on the UK of the pandemic, together with higher inflation, higher interest rates following the Bank of England’s increase in interest rates in December 2021 and then again more recently in February 2022, and the impact of the UK leaving Europe would be major influences on the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for the coming financial year. As at the 31st of December 2021, the council held £96.87 million of borrowing and made £77.5 million of investments. The external debt and investment position was shown in Table 1 within the Treasury Management Strategy. She explained that the Treasury Management Strategy highlighted that the Council would have a new borrowing need over the coming three years to fund the proposed capital programme. With short term interest rates currently much lower than long term rates, it was likely to be more cost effective in the short term to use internal resources to fund expenditure. The strategy was clear that they would take the most appropriate form of borrowing depending on the prevailing interest rates at the time. The borrowing need would be monitored on an ongoing basis and any new borrowing would be considered alongside any changes in the capital programme that might affect the level of borrowing required. Any significant changes within these proposals would be reported to Cabinet, Governance and Audit Committee and Council as appropriate.


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change explained that her Majesty's Treasury issued revised lending terms for public works loan board borrowing by local authorities in November 2020. The Public Works Loan Board would be the major source of any borrowing that the Council undertook. Under these new requirements, as Section 151 Officer, she would be required to confirm the capital expenditure plans did not include an intention by the authority to borrow  ...  view the full minutes text for item 641.


Urgent Items

To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency. 




Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest from Members/Officers in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008.