Agenda and minutes

Performance Scrutiny Committee - Place and Corporate - Monday, 18th January, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Neil Barnett  Scrutiny Adviser

No. Item


Declaration of Interest




Minutes of the previous meetings held on 5 November 2020 and 19 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes of the previous meetings held on 5 November 2020 and 19 November 2020 were accepted as a true and accurate record.


2021-22 Budget and Medium Term Financial Projections pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:



-       Paul Jones – Head of City Services

-       Rhys Cornwall – Head of People and Business Change

-       Meirion Rushworth – Head of Finance

-       Owen James – Assistant Head of Finance

-       Amie Garwood-Park – Senior Finance Business Partner


Finance and Non-Service

Proposal 9 – N/A – Increase council tax increase from 4% base assumption by 1% to 5%

The Head of Finance gave an overview of the budget position which had followed a similar process to previous years. The budget gap was £4.1 million in September of last year. Officers had then looked at planning savings down to half a million by the time the settlement was brought forward, and so the budget was almost balanced at this point. Grant funding received just before Christmas was £9 million better than expected. Population numbers were used as a large part of this calculation and the numbers being used for Newport historically had been too low. This had now been corrected and so we had received more money this year. Also, rather than it being phased in, the grant was made in full which had made it significantly better for the council this year. The final budget would be set in February following feedback received and considered.


Members asked the following:

·         Members commented that the report states the Council is £9 million better off than anticipated, but also states that “given all of these challenges, at least another £9 million has to be found by 2025 based on current planning assumptions and projections. It was then asked if that £9 million has not obviated the necessity to find further savings and if we are still in a challenging position.


It was advised that Cabinet will decide what it wants to do with the additional settlements that we received this year. There are a number of future budget pressures and budget investments that are required and need to be considered in the budget. Assumptions have been made about what the settlements will be in those future years, and those assumptions need to be considered before February’s Cabinet meeting and Council in March.

The Head of Finance then advised that based on the on the 1% increase in our RSG each year, the 4% on Council Tax each year and the pressures that have already been identified in those future years, we still have that £9million . The second figure of £9million for future years are purely coincidental. It was advised that we are still in a challenging position.

For additional context, the committee were advised that within the draft Cabinet report, included was the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and the £9million is the budget gap for future year and around the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) plus 1% council tax each year. These are planning assumptions and not decisions at this point because it is in the future. The budget pressures that are identified in the MTFP for the future years lead up to that gap.


·         Members commented on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.