Decision details

Financial Update and Budget Setting and Provisional Cash Limits 2023/24

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The purpose of this report is to update Cabinet on the financial position in respect of the current financial year and to set out the process and framework for setting the 2023/24 budget, together with the financial prospects for the medium term.


Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Corporate Operations regarding

the financial position and Budget Setting and Provisional Cash Limits for 2023/24.


In introduction, it was explained that the report addressed the significant pressures facing the County Council, in particular the impact of inflation in areas such as social care and home to school transport. These additional pressures would add approximately £150million to the budget in a single year, which was roughly equivalent to the previous four years’ savings. The expected outcome of the forthcoming local government settlement was set out and assuming a Council Tax increase at the new referendum limit of 5%, it was projected that there would be £50million gap for 2023/24 to be met from the budget bridging reserve.


Cabinet welcomed the comprehensive report and noted that it relied on a number of assumptions in an unstable economic period. It was confirmed that the most concerning of these assumptions were the level of volatility in the provision of Adult Social Care and in the level of social care grant, for which the distribution formula had not yet been confirmed. It was furthermore confirmed that the 2023/24 budget had a 3% pay award built in, but should another flat rate pay award be agreed, this may not be sufficient and increases in the national living wage would also have to be accounted for.


The Director of Adults’ Health and Care joined the meeting and was asked to detail the pressures facing their Department and any connection with the Covid crisis. It was explained that there were increasing numbers of younger adults with complex needs and high cost care packages. The cost inflation in this area was significant with some now costing £3900 per week, resulting in very high ongoing pressure. Demand also had increased due to an increase in self-harm by young adults and a reversal of family carers providing support following the pandemic. The recruitment and retention of staff was difficult, particularly in some complex care areas. Cabinet asked whether the funding requirements for this area were likely to be met by the provision announced in the Autumn Statement, as suggested by the Secretary of State, and it was confirmed that it was unlikely to be sufficient to meet the additional pressures being faced.


The recommendations in the report were considered and agreed. A decision record is attached to these minutes.

Report author: Rob Carr

Publication date: 13/12/2022

Date of decision: 13/12/2022

Decided at meeting: 13/12/2022 - Cabinet

Date comes into force if not called in: 21/12/2022

Call-in deadline date: 20/12/2022

Accompanying Documents: