Decision Maker: Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet, Eastbourne Borough Council Full Council
Decision status: Recommend Forward to Council
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To recommend full Council to set the 2024/25 budget and council tax at their meeting in February 2024.
Recommended to Full Council (Budget and policy framework):
(1) Continue to lobby the UK Government for additional funding in recognition of the exceptional financial pressures placed on Local Councils in tackling the cost of homelessness, which in Eastbourne is projected to be £4.9m for 23/24 to pay for temporary accommodation.
a) In this circumstance, EBC Council Tax would increase for a Band D property to 2.99% and deliver £3.8m of savings over two years as per previous MTFS and reporting. This is Eastbourne Borough Councils preferred option.
b) Our preference is that the Government recognise the extreme pressures placed on Councils of all political persuasions, and agrees, as they have done with social care, to provide exceptional, emergency support to Councils to cover the costs of EA/TA in the Budget.
c) However, in appreciation that this may be unlikely, the Council have put forward three other alternatives as we continue dialogue with DLHUC to provide support for this authority.
(2) To give delegated authority to the Section 151 Officer and Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Finance to approve to Full Council, one of the following options in respect to the General Fund Budget 2024/25 dependent on the outcome of the Councils application to the Department of Levelling Up Housing & Communities for Exceptional Financial Support.
a) Option A is based on Department of Levelling Up Housing & Communities recognising and directly funding the increased number of homelessness and temporary accommodation placements activity from 2023/24 onwards (Appendices 1A, 2A, 3A & 4A).
b) Option B which assumes the acceptance of Exceptional Financial Support by Department of Levelling Up Housing & Communities but does not include additional Council Tax setting powers over and above the existing pre-referendum limit of 2.99% (Appendices 1B, 2B, 3B & 4B).
d) Option D which assumes the refusal of Exceptional Financial Support by Department of Levelling Up Housing & Communities (Appendices 1D, 2D, 3D & 4D).
(3) To give delegated authority to the Section 151 Officer and Chief executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Finance to approve an increase in the Council Tax for Eastbourne Borough Council dependent on the options described above.
a) Option A, B & D- An increase of 2.99% resulting in a gross Band D charge of £277.74 for 2024/25 an increase of £8.06 per annum.
(4) The revised General Fund & Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme 2024/25 as set out at Appendix 5 to the report.
(5) The rates of Fees and Charges proposed within Appendix 5 to apply from 1 April 2024 and to implement changes to statutory fees and charges for services shown within Appendix 5 as and when notified by Government.
(6) To note the Section 151 Officer’s sign off as outlined in the report.
Report author: Steven Houchin
Publication date: 08/02/2024
Date of decision: 07/02/2024
Decided at meeting: 07/02/2024 - Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet