Our financial strategy
Our Financial Strategy provides the broad framework for financial planning. It aims to make sure our budget is balanced over the medium term planning period whilst ensuring resources are applied in an effective, efficient and economical way to achieve our Strategic Plan.
The first stage of preparing the financial strategy is to understand our baseline financial position.
The baseline financial position shown in our Medium Term Financial Plan focuses on services we currently provide and, where identified, the resources needed to continue and improve upon this service while also following our strategic plan.
There are a number of budget pressures and issues that will impact on us over the life of the financial strategy.
Underlying this is a need to provide services more efficiently and over the life of the plan reducing the reliance on reserves as a means of balancing our budget, moving to a more sustainable budget funded from ongoing resources.
The recent Local Government Finance Settlement and current indications for future funding point to a significant and ongoing reduction in funding for us. In response to the financial challenge faced by us, it is proposed that the strategy adopted for the medium-term plan continues to build on the following themes:
- Growing our income using the funding mechanisms now in place for local government, particularly the Business Rate Retention Scheme and the New Homes Bonus. This means that we must actively consider ways we can increase income from business and housing growth to ensure that funding for services can be maintained
- Charging for services. Raising income means it is possible to continue providing services that residents' value. It means reviewing the level of fees and charges, reducing the subsidy on some services and considering the introduction of new fees and charges. It also includes reviewing the level of discretionary council tax discounts and the local scheme of Council Tax Support
- Saving costs by reviewing how we deliver services, doing things differently and more efficiently, scaling services to appropriate levels within the resources available to us and working with partners to sustain local facilities
We also need to demonstrate we are using our resources effectively, efficiently and economically and achieving value for money.
We review our Strategy on a regular basis to ensure that it is up to date, reflects our financial position, as well as changes and challenges, and the actions we will take to ensure our financial affairs remain sound. We report progress against the Strategy in our annual Statement of Accounts.