The Council will publish its Revenue Estimates and Council Tax report on Monday, 15 February 2016 which will propose the 2016/17 budget, including the Council Tax requirement. This report will be put to Council for approval on 29 February 2016.
Prior to 2013/14, Councils handed business rates they collected to the government and received a share back as part of overall government grant. Since 2013/14 the Council has retained a proportion of the Business Rates it collects under the Business Rates Retention Scheme, which replaced an element of grant. This means the Council is able to keep a proportion of any increase in Business Rates generated in the borough, but must directly bear a proportion of the cost of any decrease in the Business Rates Base that results, for example from a revaluation of the rateable value of individual business premises.
In October, the Chancellor announced that by the end of the Parliament, local government will retain the full £26bn of business rates it collects – including 100% of business rates growth. However, the current system of redistribution between local authorities will remain, and Camden will not be able to keep all the rates collected in the borough. The new system will replace an existing core grant, and therefore will not necessarily result in an improved financial outlook for the Council.
Since 2011 core government grant funding has been reducing each year. The decrease in funding combined with some unavoidable cost increases due to demographic changes such as an ageing population have meant that the Council is set to have made savings of over £170m from 2010/11 to 2017/18. The Spending Review published in November confirmed that funding reductions will continue up to 2019/20.
The Review of Medium-term Financial Strategy report to Cabinet in December 2015 set out the Council’s plans to address the medium term funding deficit and provided an update on the implementation of the current savings programme. The December report also updated on preparations towards setting the 2016/17 budget. A summary of the Council’s revenue and capital budget for 2015/16 (and previous years) is provided in the Budget Book which is available on the following website, along with copies of the December report which sets out detail of the Council’s financial strategy: www.camden.gov.uk/mtfs
A number of additional supporting documents are also provided on this website. The most recent documents provided for the December update are:
Wider Economic Environment and Meddium-term Financial Forecasts – Dec 2015
This report provides an update on the national economic climate and the forecast deficit position up to 2018/19, information on current levels of earmarked reserves and projected usage, and a summary of the Council’s inflationary assumptions from 2011/12 to 2018/19.
Capital Projections 2015/16 to 2024/25
This report provides information on the Council’s Capital Programme, how it is funded and the targets for capital receipts generation
2015/16 Financial Outturn Forecast Update (Quarter 2 – October)
This report provides an update on the revenue and capital financial forecasts for 2015/16 as at quarter 2, and notes any significant risks that have been identified as having the potential to affect the outturn as currently projected.
The Council can provide further information on its revenue or capital estimates for next year on request.
If any representative of non-domestic ratepayers would like to make any comments or request further information or a meeting to discuss the budget proposals before the report is put to Council, please contact Jana Simoes on 020 7974 5428 or write to Jana.Simoes@camden.gov.uk by 04 February 2016.