Members of Thanet’s council cabinet will discuss budget proposals for 2022/23, which include the removal of the deputy managing director position – vacant since former deputy Tim Willis stepped down from authority last October on a stipend of departure from £ 280,000 – and a mandatory dismissal from the Kent Innovation Center.
An increase in government funding for the year means there is no longer a budget deficit of £ 691,000 that was forecast in November.
Net expenditure on services increases by £ 1.182million to £ 17.902million, an increase of 7% from last year’s budget of £ 16.7million. This is in part due to an unexpected increase in government funding, including an allowance of £ 525,000 in premiums for new housing and £ 325,000 of a new services grant.
The budget funds all of the services the council provides to residents, communities and businesses throughout the year.
the last published report is part of the board’s annual budgeting process and follows Cabinet approval of the Budget Strategy Report on Thursday, November 18. The report covers next year’s budget and the 2022-2026 medium-term financial strategy. It includes more resources for local services, a review of council reservations and the proposed increase in the council tax for next year. It also highlights the savings made to protect key services.
Savings and income
Despite the increase in funding, savings were still needed to balance the budget.
These include the compulsory dismissal, the elimination of several vacant posts and the restructuring of services.
There will also be additional revenue by increasing Thanet’s council element of the residents’ council tax – equivalent to £ 4.99 per year on a D-Band property. And a fee and charge hike of 3 % where regulations allow.
It was also suggested that you use the council’s minor work team to generate income by selling DIY services.
Additional costs and increased homelessness
Costs for the coming year include £ 360,000 for two additional waste collection rounds. This is currently operational in 2021-2022, but staffed with temporary workers and reported as a budget overrun. The extra rounds are needed because more waste is generated as people work and spend more time at home.
Temporary accommodation costs are also expected to increase by around £ 400,000.
A report to Cabinet members states: “Homelessness has become a challenge for many local authorities over the past year, including Thanet. Additional pressures are placed on housing services as the gap between supply and demand increases and plans have previously been made to ensure that this pressure is minimized.
“The board has reviewed and is implementing its strategic action plan on homelessness, regularly monitors levels of homelessness and has commissioned new services to meet the growing need for support. This work will continue. The council also successfully bid for new government funding to support homeless services at the local level.
“However, the council is seeing a new wave of homelessness in the district as a result of Covid and furthermore, the eviction ban which ended on June 1 has added additional services and financial pressures.”
An additional £ 160,000 will be used to once again help fund Your Leisure – which operates Margate’s Winter Gardens, Theater Royal and Leisure Centers – as it continues to fight the effects of the pandemic.
Reservations are expected to be on hold at both Margate entertainment venues, with operator Your Leisure’s annual lease at the Theater Royal ending April 28, 2022, and Winter Gardens reservations ending August 14, 2022, although Your Leisure Leisure retains its lease which runs until 2024.
The report says difficult times are yet to come, especially given the concerns and renewed impacts of COVID-19.
Staff reserves and remuneration
The council also plans to replenish the reserves by making a contribution of £ 180,000 for 2022-2023. Reserves refer to the money the board withholds to fund specific projects or in an emergency.
A 2% salary increase for council staff has been incorporated into the budget, which takes into account the requirement to increase the salaries of lower grade council staff. It also includes a 6.6% increase to meet national living wage requirements set by the government.
Cllr David Saunders, Finance Cabinet Member at Thanet District Council, said: “These reports illustrate the difficulty we face when planning our finances for changing scenarios. Just a few months ago we predicted a significant budget gap, but with a planned and prudent approach, combined with an effective savings plan, we were able to balance our budget.
“Despite what may seem like a long and complicated process involving multiple reports, this level of planning is critically important. This is how we continue to provide the services that matter to people and to protect and support our most vulnerable residents. Planning our finances in this way means that we are on the right track to balance our budget in the years to come.
“We understand that some of the difficult decisions we have made come at a time when many local residents and businesses have been significantly affected by the pandemic and support is available for those hardest hit.”
If approved by Cabinet, the report goes to the Review and Review Panel the following week, then back to Cabinet the following week (if the Panel makes recommendations) before being submitted to Council of the Whole. for approval in February.
The money the board uses to fund utilities is made up of the board’s tax revenues, revenue generation including fees and charges, withheld commercial rates, and any government funding.
Thanet’s council only gets 12 pence for every £ 1 of council tax. The rest goes to Kent County Council; Kent Police and Crime Commissioner; Kent Fire and Rescue Service and City / Parish Councils.
The Council of Ministers takes place on January 13 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live.