Agenda item


Members of the Committee are requested to bring their copy of the agenda for the Executive meeting on 7 February 2024.


The Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee will be looking at the following items on the Executive Agenda:


·  Council Tax Report 2024/25

·  Capital Programme Monitoring Q3 And Capital Strategy

·  Operational Building Repair and Maintenance Budget 2024/25


The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 7th February 2024:





Report FSD24014


A key part of the financial strategy was to highlight the budget issues that would need to be addressed by the Council over the coming financial years, by forecasting the level of available resources from all sources and budget pressures relating to revenue spending. This was reported to previous meeting of Executive. Details of the capital programme were reported elsewhere on this agenda.


The Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2024/25 only covered 2024/25, with no indication of future years funding. The settlement included continuation of the ASC precept, increase in new homes bonus, increase of repurposed social care funding (children’s and adults) and market sustainability improvement fund (adult social care). However, there were significant reductions in the Services Grant.


There remained uncertainty around the level of Government funding for 2025/26 and beyond, particularly as the Government would need to address the significant increase in public debt due to the pandemic. The longer-term Spending Review together with the awaited Fair Funding Review and Devolution of Business Rates (or any revised funding proposals) was not expected until 2026/27 but could be delayed even further.


This report identified the final issues affecting the 2024/25 revenue budget and sought recommendations to the Council on the level of the Bromley element of the 2024/25 Council Tax and Adult Social Care precept.


Confirmation of the final GLA precept would be reported to the Council meeting on 26th February 2024. The report also sought final approval of the ‘schools budget’. The approach reflected in this report was for the Council to not only achieve a legal and financially balanced budget in 2024/25 but to have measures in place to deal with the medium-term financial position (2025/26 to 2027/28).


Following the Government reductions in funding since austerity measures began there have been some recent improvements in funding. However, the burden of financing increasing service demands falls primarily on the level of council tax and share of business rate income. The financial forecast assumes that the level of core grant funding will remain unchanged, in real terms, from 2025/26.


In introducing the report, the Director of Finance provided an update noting the following:


-  Earlier in the day the final settlement had been received which had included further one-off funding for 2023/24 of £411k;

-  In addition to the funding announced on 26th January 2024, a further ongoing £24k had been received;

-  A supplementary paper had been circulated to the committee providing details of the consultation responses and the minutes from the PDS Committees’ consideration of the budget;

-  Councils were required to produce productivity plans by July 2024;

-  Details of some grants remained outstanding;

-  Questions remained around the future of the Household Support Grant and further details were expected in the Spring Budget on 6th March 2024;

-  Further technical recommendations would be presented to Executive on 6th February 2024.


In response to a question, the Director of Finance confirmed that the additional £411k was a business rate levy adjustment and the funds would be reflected in the Quarter 4 Budget Monitoring Report. 


In response to a further question, the Director of Finance confirmed that there was no expectation that there would be any changes to the initial precept figures provided by the Mayor of London.


In relation to the Homelessness Prevention Grant, the Director of Finance explained that the final allocation was not yet known, and the report reflected a best estimate based on judgement.


RESOLVED That Executive be recommended to recommend to Council that:


1.  The overall Dedicated Schools Budget (DSG) of £116.5m which matches the estimated level of Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), after academy recoupment be approved;


2.  The draft revenue budgets (as in Appendix 2) for 2024/25 be approved;


3.  That Chief Officers identify alternative savings/mitigation within their departmental budgets where it is not possible to realise any savings/mitigation reported to the previous meeting of the Executive held on 17th January 2024;


4.  A general contingency sum of £9,772k (see section 6) be approved;




London Pension Fund Authority*


London Boroughs Grant Committee


Environment Agency (Flood defence etc.) *


Lee Valley Regional Park *




5.  The following provisions for levies for inclusion in the budget be approved:



6.  The latest position on the GLA precept, which will be finalised in the overall Council Tax figure to be reported to full Council (See section 12) be noted;


7.  The “Bromley element” of the Council Tax for 2024/25 to be recommended to the Council, including a general increase and the Adult Social Care Precept, having regard to possible ‘referendum’ issues (see section 16) be considered;


8.  The approach to reserves outlined by the Director of Finance (see Appendix 4) be approved;


9.  That any decision on final council tax levels will also require additional “technical” recommendations, to meet statutory requirements, which will be completed once the final outcome of levies are known at the full Council meeting (see 16.8) be noted;


10.  The Section 25 commentary (Local Government Act 2003), reflected in section 18 of the report, be considered in making recommendations to full council;


11.  The Director of Finance be authorised to report any further changes directly to Council on 26th February 2024.



Report FSD24015


This report incorporated the Council’s new Capital Strategy and Capital Programme for 2024/25 to 2027/28.  It also summarised the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the conclusion of the third quarter monitoring exercise.

The report included details of the new schemes that will be added to the Capital Programme and information concerning the proposed asset disposals that would be used to generate capital receipts and ultimately contribute towards the funding of the Capital Programme.

Also included were details of the related Capital Financing implications, including proposals to refinance current housing schemes through borrowing, utilisation of revenue reserves to address the shortfall in capital resources for 2023/24 onwards and details of how these proposals would impact the Council’s revenue budget.

In introducing the report, the Director of Finance highlighted the pressures on the Capital Programme and noted that any proposals for future capital work would need to clearly identify funding streams.

The Chairman reported to the Committee that he would be arranging a meeting with the Assistant Director for IT to discuss the costs around the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN).

Noting that the property market had been depressed, Members questioned whether now was the best time to consider selling the Civic Centre site.  It was noted that all options were being assessed and Members would be provided with details of all the options being considered.

The Committee also requested that details of the costs for the work in relation to Kelsey Park Bridge be provided following the meeting.

Turning to the Capital Strategy, a Member queried whether there were any additional costs associated with re-phasing.  In response, the Director of Finance confirmed that building cost inflation was very high and this increased the cost pressures when schemes were rephased, although a general provision was made at the time of re-phasing.

RESOLVED: That Executive be recommended to


1.  Note the report, including a total rephasing of £27m from 2023/24 into future years as detailed in section 3.7, and agree a revised capital programme;


2.  Approve the Capital Strategy for 2024/25 to 2027/28 including the following amendments to the capital programme:

(a)  Adjustments identified as part of the capital monitoring process totalling a net reduction of £1,007k as detailed in sections 3.5 and 3.6; and

(b)  An increase of £2,477k in relation to new schemes to be added to  the Capital Programme as detailed in section 3.11.



Report CSD24015


Members of the Executive would be considering the Council’s draft 2024/25 Budget at their meeting on 7th February 2024. This report set out indicative budget allocations reflected in the Draft 2024/25 Budget report for operational building maintenance against the repairs and maintenance budget.


In response to a question the Head of Facilities Management confirmed that the budget values reflected in the report were based on current rates and the cost of previous similar works.


The Committee requested that the following further information be provided following the meeting:


  1. Details of the costs of repair and maintenance of the Council’s non-operational properties; 
  2. Details of the cost per square meter of resurfacing the Norman Car Park, although Members noted that the works were procured through the Council’s contract processes.
  3. The number of ‘arches’ at Waterman Square.


RESOLVED: That Executive be recommended to


  1. Noting the 2024/25 Budget Report considered elsewhere on the agenda, approve the following expenditure for operational building maintenance for 2024/25 – Repairs and Maintenance - £2.6m.


  1. Delegate Authority to the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration to vary the planned programme and budget allocations within the repairs and maintenance budget to take actions necessary to either protect the council’s assets or make the most effective use of resources.