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Give us your feedback on our four-year financial plan

The Council will be setting its budget for 2019/20 in February next year. Part of that process includes updating the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for the next four years.

The MTFP sets out how Council funds will be spent on the services and priorities which have been agreed after consulting local residents and partner organisations.

These priorities are focussed on:

  • Helping to create a safer and healthier environment for our residents to live and work in;
  • Meeting financial challenges and providing value for money;
  • Supporting economic development and regeneration; and
  • Protecting and improving the environment.

Give us your feedback

We are now asking people to give us their feedback on these proposals.  All comments will be treated anonymously and considered before final decisions are made.   Please send your comments to:- policy@staffsmoorlands.gov.uk 

Summary

Key issues in the Medium Term Financial Plan are set out below:

  • The way in which all local authorities are financed has changed over recent years from government grant to locally generated income such as council tax and business rates together with fees and charges for Council services.  In 2014/15 local income streams accounted for only 47% of the Council's income; by 2019/20 this is expected to have risen to 95%.

 

  • The Council has benefited significantly recently from the New Homes Bonus - the Government grant funding awarded to Authorities based on an increase in housing provision.  This source of income peaked at £1.26million in 2016/17.    Since then, income levels have reduced due to national changes in the overall generosity of the scheme. More amendments to the scheme are expected in 2019/20 which will further reduce the benefits. The current MTFP includes new Homes Bonus of £0.9million over the next 4 years. This level of income is at significant risk from the proposed changes.

 

  • The plan proposes an increase in the Council's share of council tax of 2.9% for 2019/20, which will generate £150,790 in income, followed by 3 years at 1.9%.

 

  • The Council has joined other Staffordshire authorities to apply to become a pilot pool area for the 2019/20 Business Rates Retention scheme.  This would see the percentage of business rates income retained increase from 50% to 75%.  As a successful outcome is not guaranteed; the Council has not included any financial benefits from this in the MTFP. The outcome of this application will be known in December and the impacts included in the February revision of the Plan.

 

  • The Council is reviewing its existing fees and charges (charges for Council provided services e.g. pest control, leisure facilities, planning, trade waste) with the aim of generating an extra £25,000 per year. Further income is anticipated in the Council's efficiency programme arising out of income generation opportunities and the review of car parking and other charges.

 

  • The Council's affordable housing joint venture arrangement with Your Housing Group has enabled the development of 276 affordable housing units and care facilities.  The Council has provided £19million in funding (all repayable) and benefited financially from the interest charged on the loan facility by around £275,000 annually.

 

  • The Council introduced a new £3.1million efficiency programme in February 2017 to address a budget shortfall over the medium term. This programme will enter its third year in 2019/20 and will focus on savings arising out of initiatives such as: continued implementation of the alternative delivery model for Waste, Streets and Parks via the transfer of services to Alliance Environment Services; A review of current leisure centre provision in order to reduce the Council's subsidy; and a focus on stimulating income generation. The aim is to continue to make savings at the same time as maintaining priority services.