Councilors Should Consider Ways To Close Budget Gap – Mansfield District Council

Mansfield District Council Cabinet is to consider how the council will close a £ 1.3million gap in its budget for 2022/23.

Cllr Craig Whitby, Corporate and Finance portfolio holder, will present a report to his fellow Cabinet members on November 1.

The document details the board’s medium-term financial strategy (MTFS) which sets out the board’s current and probable financial position over the next three years from April 2022. The shortfall results from increased spending in response to the coronavirus coupled with a substantial loss of revenue from fees. and lower than expected collection fees and rates for municipal taxes and business rates.

Cllr Whitby will propose that the shortfall be made up of:

  • 1.99% increase in District Council’s share of council tax, which would provide an additional £ 115,000.
  • use of £ 300,000 of earmarked reserves.
  • 50% reduction in members’ allowances to provide an additional £ 18,000.
  • 10% reduction in special responsibility payments to deliver £ 20,000. This is a payment made for specific roles such as cabinet members, committee chairs and vice-chairs.
  • Further increase in fees and charges to provide an additional £ 104,000.

The proposed increase would mean that people living on properties in Band A would pay a total of £ 132.40 for the year (up from £ 129.81 in 2021/22) for all services provided by the District Council of Mansfield.

Figures in the report are based on government grants remaining at the current level of £ 677,000. This is expected to be confirmed as part of the government’s fall statement due to be announced on October 27.

Cllr Whitby said: “It is not easy to come up with a proposal to increase the housing tax when we know the financial impact the coronavirus has had on so many people in our district.

“The government is currently allowing local authorities to increase housing tax by 3%, or £ 5 on a D-band equivalent, whichever is greater, before having to hold a referendum. We do not wish to take advantage of this full limit and are proposing a smaller increase of 1.99%.

“It would bring in an additional £ 115,000 to help maintain vital city services and support the council’s commitment to providing high quality services and making the neighborhood a place people want to live, work and visit.

“For the vast majority of our residents, who live in A-Band properties, that means they would pay an extra £ 2.59 for the whole year.

“It is important to remember that the District Council’s share of the municipal tax bill is around 10%, the remaining 90% that residents pay goes to Nottinghamshire County Council and other departments in the county, such as police and firefighters. “

Work is currently underway to either reduce the municipality’s expenses, via a reduction in its establishment and ongoing transformation projects, or to generate additional income. In order to make up the deficit forecast for the 2022/23 financial year, work will be undertaken to review all the services provided by the municipality. This will focus on the continued provision of the service and, where it is determined that the service is still needed, an assessment of the level of service provided will be undertaken.

The budget proposals will be examined by the Synthesis and Review Committee (Corporate) on November 2. The committee will present its comments to Cabinet at a meeting on December 13 before Cabinet makes recommendations to Council plenary on February 2, 2022 for approval of budgets and the level of the housing tax to be set for 2022 / 23.
All final decisions will be made in accordance with Mansfield District Council’s corporate priorities of growth, aspiration, well-being and place and will be a key part of the Making Mansfield Towards 2030 strategy.

About Christopher Easley

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