MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY

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					  MANSFIELD DISTRICT COUNCIL

MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY

      2010/2011 – 2013/2014
1.    PURPOSE OF THE MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL
      STRATEGY
1.1   The Medium Term Financial Strategy (Strategy) sets down the way in
      which the Council’s financial resources will be used to deliver its
      services, its own priorities and those shared with its partners.

1.2   The Strategy reflects the financial impact of other internal and external
      plans and strategies where these priorities have been approved by the
      Council.

1.3   The Strategy also identifies the financial impact of things which are not
      necessarily within the Council’s control and proposes how these issues
      are to be addressed.

1.4   The overriding purpose of the Strategy is to ensure that the Council
      delivers its priorities whilst maintaining balanced and sustainable
      budgets and an adequate level of reserves. These enable the Council
      to reduce risks and to take advantage of opportunities which arise in
      line with achieving these priorities.

1.5   The Strategy is being prepared in a period of high uncertainty within
      international and national economies. Inflationary pressures have
      subsided from the 2009/2010 Strategy as the economic situation has
      continued to deteriorate and unemployment levels rise. Confidence for
      business investment particularly in housing and regeneration projects
      is showing signs of recovery although this is in the early stages and,
      being largely dependent on demand it may once again fall as
      unemployment increases. Economic experts have differing views in
      relation to when the situation will improve, however, the majority
      believe that the world’s economies will begin to show signs of the
      recession slowing down and moving towards growth during 2010/2011.
      Opinions differ as to whether there will be a quick recovery, slow and
      sustained recovery or a quick recovery followed by a further fall and
      further recovery later.

1.6   The way in which the recovery occurs has a major impact on the
      predictions for inflation and interest rates for borrowing and investing
      and therefore on the ability to determine the optimum strategy to adopt
      and provides an inherent risk in determining the optimum strategy to
      adopt.

1.7   This situation is felt by businesses, residents and the Council itself and
      has direct implications for the Council’s central priority of revitalising its
      town centres and neighbourhoods. The Strategy is therefore
      particularly concerned with how the Council will continue to deal with
      current economic conditions in respect of its own operations and
      address the wider effects taking account of initiatives introduced during
      2008/2009 and 2009/2010 aimed at alleviating the impact through
          reduced car parking charges. Retaining general reserves will enable
          this and other initiatives to be introduced.

1.8       A further major area of uncertainty is the national political situation and
          particularly the impact of the interventions made by the Government to
          stabilise the banking sector, stimulate the economy and the additional
          borrowing required to fund this.

1.9       The Comprehensive Spending Review which would have provided
          government spending plans for three years, and therefore some level
          of certainty about grant allocations was expected in 2010, however this
          has been postponed. If this does take place, it will not now be until after
          a general election which must be held by June 2010.

1.10      Although a general election will be held before June 2010 it is expected
          that whichever party forms the government; there will be significant
          pressures to limit or reduce public expenditure. The expected limited
          resources will be targeted at the areas of national priority such as
          education or the health service.

1.11      This Strategy is therefore subject to a significant level of uncertainty
          about future funding and economic stability. The risks associated with
          assumptions are high and the required reserves necessary to mitigate
          this risk reflect this.


2.        HOW FINANCIAL RESOURCES WILL BE USED TO
          IMPROVE SERVICES
2.1       The Council will always look for ways to continue to improve its
          services together with delivering improved efficiencies in line with the
          Government’s new target of 4% year on year.

2.2       The Council’s Corporate Plan has been developed and takes account
          of a wide range of consultation with the public and partners and will
          form the basis for the delivery of priorities and services and the
          allocation of resources.


3.        IMPACT ON AND OF OTHER PLANS AND STRATEGIES
3.1       The Strategy is affected by and has an impact on a number of other
          Council strategies and plans, the main ones are shown below and
          these have been taken into account in the proposed actions.

          Internal:
         Corporate Plan
         Service Plans
         Business Transformation Strategy
         People Strategy
         Housing Strategy and Business Plan
         Capital Strategy
         Asset Management Plan
         Customer Services Strategy
         Strategic Risk Register

      In Partnership:
       Community Strategy (Big Picture)
       Crime Reduction Strategy
       Nottinghamshire Local Area Agreement
       Alliance SSP
       Local Enterprise Growth Initiative
       Area / Neighbourhood Plans


4.        IMPACTS ON THE COUNCIL’S FINANCIAL RESOURCES
          AND HOW THESE WILL BE ADDRESSED
4.1       The strategy for making best use of the Council’s financial resources to
          achieve its priorities will be affected by a number of significant issues.
          The following significant areas have been identified together with the
          way in which the Council will address these.

4.2       Economic Slowdown

4.2.1 The economic slowdown continues to be the main issue which has an
      impact on the Council as an organisation, the residents of the district
      and businesses within the area which provide services to communities
      and employment for residents.

4.2.2 There is uncertainty regarding how far and for how long the current
      economic situation will continue which makes future predictions and
      forecasting difficult to provide with accuracy. Whilst the main aim of the
      previous document was to limit the impact, the focus now starts to
      move towards preparation for the recovery as reflected in the
      regeneration programme highlighted within the Corporate Plan.

4.2.3 The Strategy continues to have six main themes:

         Limit the impact on business
         Limit the impact on residents
         Limit the impact on the Council
         Prepare for business opportunities and show confidence for the future
         Prepare and support residents for employment opportunities
         Prepare the Council for the longer term

4.2.3.1 Impact on Businesses
      Continued provision of support and advice for existing businesses
      Use asset management flexibility to retain current tenants, including
       favourable leasing arrangements
      Use resources to maintain and revitalise Mansfield town centre
       economy
      Reduce average times for payment of invoices to ten working days
      Use resources to address financial hardship of businesses through
       discretionary business rate relief.

4.2.3.2 Impact on Residents

      Sustain and support the crime and disorder reduction strategy in
       particular by supporting activities for young people in the district
      Promote entitlement to housing and other benefits with partner
       organisations
      Promote and provide further resources for the Council’s money advice
       service and the facilities available with partners and encourage early
       access for ALL residents

4.2.3.3 Impact on the Council

      Deliver efficiencies and service improvements through Business
       Transformation reviews on key areas
      Base Budget review
      Employee and vacancy review
      Employee and elected member consultation
      Public consultation on priorities for the allocation of resources
      Service efficiency targets
      Service cost and income analysis

4.2.3.4 Preparation for Businesses

      Provision of accommodation and advice for new businesses
      Use asset management flexibility to attract new tenants, including
       favourable leasing arrangements
      In line with partnership arrangements support education, training and
       skills upgrade for residents as the future workforce
      Planned asset disposals to generate investment in regeneration
       programme and business accommodation
      Access external funding for regeneration programme and business
       accommodation
      Use prudential borrowing where this is affordable, sustainable and
       prudent to invest in regeneration programme
      Assess capital funding options to meet major regeneration programme

4.2.3.5 Prepare the Residents

      Support education and training initiatives
      Support activities for young people
         Support health education initiatives and activities
         Continue to invest in Mansfield District Council funded improvement of
          council housing and use external funding and Mansfield District Council
          resources for improving specific areas of low quality private sector
          owned and rented housing.

4.2.3.6 Prepare the Council

         Invest in fuel efficient technology to meet savings and carbon reduction
          targets
         Prepare town centre sites and housing land for development
         Business Transformation in key areas
         Develop employees to meet future needs
         Develop procurement function to identify areas for consolidation and
          joint procurement opportunities
         Investigate opportunities for housing investment and provision of
          affordable homes

4.3       Carbon Reduction

4.3.1 The need to reduce carbon emissions and to realise energy efficiency
      savings will initially be focussed on the Council’s own buildings and
      vehicles and proposals will be generated following the appointment of
      the Energy Efficiency Officer approved for the 2009/2010 budget.

4.3.2 Should investment in new technology be required, this will be assessed
      on a costs and benefits basis; proposals for achieving reduced
      emissions will form part of a Carbon Reduction Strategy.

4.4       General Inflation

          The economic slowdown has reduced inflation significantly with the
          Retail Price Index (RPI) currently negative and the Consumer Price
          Index (CPI and the Government’s preferred measure) at 2.2%. The
          Bank of England forecasts this to fall to 1.13% in April 2010 before
          rising marginally to 1.2% by the end of March 2011. This low level
          inflation impacts on the Council’s expenditure and will influence
          potential pay awards.

4.5       Efficiencies

4.5.1 The Council is required to identify 4% ongoing efficiencies equating to
      approximately £600,000 cashable savings per annum based on
      revenue costs.

          These will be delivered through:
         Business Transformation Strategy
         Efficiency targets for service areas
         Procurement of goods and services
         Service cost and income review

4.6       Pay Inflation

4.6.1 The latest information (22 July 2009) regarding the 2009/2010 pay offer
      by the Local Government employers is:

         From 1 April 2009 an increase of 1.25% on Spinal Column Point 4 to
          10 inclusive
         From 1 April 2009 an increase of 1.00% on Spinal Column Point 11 to
          49 inclusive

4.6.2 This will impact on the 2009/2010 employee budget and subsequent
      years and has been reflected in the projections.

4.7       Land / property / Housing prices

4.7.1 This affects the value of the Council’s assets and therefore the level of
      capital receipt. Prior to committing capital expenditure on schemes
      which are dependent upon capital receipts as part of the funding, a
      valuation of the property will be made and the scheme reviewed based
      on the results.

4.7.2 This may also affect the timing of receipts and therefore the ability to
      commence schemes in the anticipated timescales and will impact on
      the Council’s cash flow and overall capital programme.

4.7.3 Where this is the case a risk assessment will be carried out and where
      there is a low risk of the receipt not being achieved within the
      timescale, temporary cash flow borrowing will be considered.

4.7.4 Where capital receipts are not needed to finance a capital scheme, the
      Asset Management Plan will determine the optimum time for disposal
      and therefore the capital receipt achieved.

4.7.5 A target will be set for achieving capital receipts from the disposal of
      the Council’s property where the current cost of maintaining or the
      need for significant capital investment outweighs the rental income
      generated. This income will be used to redirect capital resources to
      meet the Council’s capital investment in support of its regeneration
      programme.

4.7.6 The review undertaken on areas of unused open space which the
      Council currently maintains will be concluded in 2009/2010 and this will
      assess the scope for generating capital receipt income to be redirected
      into its regeneration programme.

4.7.7 Where the Council is to purchase property as part of its overall capital
      programme or for future enhancement of its portfolio, the Asset
      Management Plan will be considered in determining the timing of the
       purchase taking account of the requirements to achieve the capital
       programme.

4.7.8 Where opportunities arise for the acquisition of properties which are in
      line with the Council’s overall priorities, the capital programme and
      asset disposal programme will be reviewed. General reserves will be
      considered for use as long as they remain within the limits approved
      and the acquisition is important to the Council achieving its approved
      priorities.

4.7.9 The impact on the Council’s commercial, industrial and retail rental
      income will be assessed within the Asset Management Plan.

4.8    Reduced Income from Council Fees and Charges

4.8.1 A consequence of the economic slow-down during 2008/2009 was a
      reduction in the income from fees and charges as demand falls and
      through the car parking concessions within Mansfield town centre. This
      trend is expected to continue during 2009/2010.

4.8.2 The impact will be reduced by the requirement for service areas
      affected to review the related income and expenditure and to provide
      proposals for limiting or redressing the fall. The aim is to maintain the
      same margin of surplus or subsidy of the service concerned.

4.8.3 This will be achieved through a review of fee and charge generating
      services, the production of charging strategies and a full analysis of the
      costs involved.

4.8.4 The longer term strategy is to increase margins of surplus and reduce
      the level of subsidy making use of concessions to achieve the
      Council’s policies.

4.8.5 This review is to be undertaken by the Finance and Revenue Services
      department, service managers and the Business Transformation Unit.

4.9    Interest Rates

4.9.1 The Bank of England Base rate currently stands at 0.5%. This was
      significantly reduced to help stimulate the economy. Whilst the
      recession continues, there will be little incentive to increase it and
      although forecasts for rates differ between experts, there is an
      expectation that they will remain at the current level until June 2010
      with a steady increase up to 4.25% by December 2011. This is a
      quarter later than was forecasted for the 2009/2010 revenue budgets
      and the impact on investment income will be assessed and the
      Treasury Management Strategy amended accordingly.

4.9.2 The major impact at present on investment income is the limited
      number of financial institutions now meeting the Council’s credit
       criteria, the low rates offered by the Government’s Debt Management
       Account requiring that a further £200,000 be identified to meet the
       shortfall. Options including debt rescheduling are being explored and
       widening the range of financial instruments used.

4.10   Pay and Grading Review

4.10.1 The Pay and Grading review will have a significant impact on future
       years’ budgets and the cost of services provided. It has been identified
       as one of the Council’s Strategic Risks.

4.10.2 The base budget includes £600,000 which will be subject to the
       assumed pay inflation of 2.5% per annum.

4.10.3 The Council will therefore need to identify resources for this of between
       £15,000 and £60,000 over the period of this Strategy. The earmarked
       reserve for the pay and grading review stood at £1.420million as at 31
       March 2009, a further £600,000 will be added in 2009/2010.

4.10.4 At this stage it is hoped to implement the findings of the review during
       2010, although no specific date can yet be set.

4.10.5 In addition, there will be additional cost to some services which are
       already identified as having a high relative cost. Once the review has
       been completed, all costs will be separately allocated to individual
       services.

4.11   Equal Pay

4.11.1 The Council is addressing its potential Equal Pay liability through the
       Pay and Grading Review process. This does not preclude employees
       or groups of employees from making a claim for equal pay.

4.11.2 As this is not a quantifiable value and the risk of a successful claim is
       reduced as a result of the pay and grading review no specific provision
       will be maintained at this time. Should any cost be necessary these will
       be met either by in year virement or the relevant general reserve which
       therefore will be maintained at an adequate level to meet any liability.

4.12   Government Grants

4.12.1 Indicative Formula Grant figures for 2010/2011 have been given (see
       Section 6). Although these are subject to national announcements for
       the purposes of this Strategy these will be assumed.

4.12.2 The national and international financial position after this period is
       unknown. For the purpose of this Strategy and in line with the current
       annual reduction in the rate of increase a NIL increase in grant for
       2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 will be assumed.
4.12.3 Previously ‘allocated’ Area Based Grants are known and these will be
       assumed to be honoured. However, future Area Based Grant will be
       dependent upon the amounts identified in the Local Area Agreement
       Delivery Plans.

4.12.4 Grant currently received in respect of Working Neighbourhoods Fund
       and Neighbourhood Element are being phased out and will no longer
       be available to finance the grants and services provided. Although an
       element of grant has been carried forward from 2008/2009, the Council
       will need to review the need for continuing these services after
       2010/2011 and develop a plan for reducing these services if they are
       not to be continued and to identify resources elsewhere in the budget if
       they are.

4.13   Local Government Pension Scheme

4.13.1 As at the 31 March 2009 the projected ongoing liabilities of the
       Council’s element of the Nottinghamshire Pension Fund outweigh the
       projected income by £51million. There is a decrease of £6million for
       2008 arising mainly from a reassessment of investment income,
       investment assets and life expectancy of members of the scheme.

4.13.2 This is an actuarial assessment over which the Council has no control;
       however, this increased liability will impact on the Council’s employer’s
       contribution to the scheme.

4.13.3 The impact is that Mansfield District Council’s employer’s target
       contribution will increase to 21.6%. This is currently taken account of in
       the base budget.


5.     COUNCIL TAX STRATEGY
5.1    The Council has striven to reduce its element of Council Tax resulting
       in a NIL increase for 2007/08. In 2008/09 and 2009/2010 a 3%
       increase was approved. The current Medium Term Financial Strategy
       allows for a 3% increase in 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and
       2013/2014.

5.2    The Council will set its Council Tax increase below the Government’s
       capping level, which for the purpose of this Strategy is assumed at 5%.

5.3    Council Tax increases in the following years will be assessed on the
       economic position at that time; for the purposes of this Strategy an
       increase of 3% will continue to be assumed.

5.4    Council Tax Base

       In calculating the amount charged the Strategy has taken into account
       an increase in the Council Tax Base of 1% per year. Indications of the
              2010/2011 base are that the base will not increase from that shown in
              2009/2010. This reduced level of growth takes account of the economic
              slowdown particularly in the housing market, in subsequent years the
              increase of 1% is assumed as the economy begins its recovery.


      6       CURRENT AND PROJECTED FINANCIAL POSITION
      6.1.1 General Fund

Corporate Plan            2009/2010      2010/2011    2011/2012    2012/2013    2013/2014
Priority                     Latest      Projected    Projected    Projected     Projected
                           Approved       Budget       Budget       Budget        Budget
                            Budget
                             £000           £000         £000         £000            £000
Ensure effective leadership and
management
Base                         3,888         4,527         3,814        4,113           4,586

Revitalise our district,
town centres and
neighbourhoods
Base                         3,330         2,694         2,712        2,881           2,994

Develop a high
quality, clean and
green environment
Base                         7,541         7,573         7,908        8,115           8,463

Reduce crime and
disorder
Base                         1,327         1,399         1,429        1,485           1,522

Ensure Decent
Homes for All
Base                         1,447         1,480         1,512        1,572           1,600


Current Base                 17,533        17,673       17,375       18,166       19,165

Reduction in                  -346          -596         -647         -647            -647
Employee Budgets
Amendment to                   0            -369         -602         -602            -602
inflation
Changes to base:
  Leisure Transfer             0            200            0            0              0
  Option
  Head of Planning             0             74           78            80             82
  Land Search                  0            173          182           186            190
 Income
 Fees and Charges             0             700           350             0             0

Capital Programme                                 See paragraph 6.1.6
Service Developments                              See paragraph 6.1.6

Projected budget           17,187         17,955         16786          17,183        18,188

Financed from:
Government Grant           -10,315        -10,366       -10,400         -10,400       -10,400
Council Tax                 -5,675         -5,904        -6,142          -6,390        -6,647
Collection Fund              -100           -100          -100             -50           -50
Surplus
Appropriations              -1,443         -803           274            226            0
Projected Base               -346           682           368            569          1,091
Budget – Deficit /
(surplus)

     6.1.1 The table above sets out the projected financial position for the
           General Fund based on the 2009/2010 budget report together with the
           effects of the significant items identified.

     6.1.2 This shows that, in order to provide a balanced and sustainable
           General Fund revenue budget for 2010/2011, the Council must find
           savings and efficiencies of £682,000 through those actions shown. For
           2011/2012 onwards the deficit increases to £1.091million by
           2013/2014.

     6.1.3 Budgets approved in principle for 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 have been
           adjusted for a reduction in both general inflation due to the lower
           Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Retail Price Index (RPI) compared to
           one year ago, and also the pay award which is currently being
           negotiated at levels below that which were assumed during the
           2009/2010 budget process. These represent year on year savings to
           the Council.

     6.1.4 Current forecasts for fees and charges suggest that income levels will
           be about £700,000 lower than budgeted for, for the current financial
           year. The main areas of concern include:

           Car parking income
           Leisure income
           Planning income
           Commercial, retail and industrial property rental income

            Assumptions made within the Medium Term Financial Strategy, based
            on the predictions as to the recovery of the economy, are that there is
            potential for income levels to remain low in the next financial year
            (2010/2011), and beginning to recover from 2011/2012. If nothing is
          done to mitigate the impact on the Council from reduced levels of
          income, it is predicted that additional budget pressures will exist in
          2010/2011 of £750,000 and in 2011/2012 of £350,000.The impact of
          this on the 2010/2011 budget will be assessed as the budget develops
          and the Strategy will be updated accordingly.

   6.1.5 Changes have also been made to the budgets approved in principle,
         for the Leisure Transfer Option which has been delayed by one year
         (meaning that savings will not accrue until 20012/2013) and the
         establishment of the Head of Planning post. In addition, there is
         currently a legal challenge around whether Local Authorities can
         charge for carrying out Land Search requests, as there is potential for
         some information to fall within the scope of Environmental Information
         requests. If the legal challenge is successful, then the Council will no
         longer be able to charge for this service.

   6.1.6 The above projection does not take into account potential proposals for
         service developments or the impact of the capital programme which is
         currently being prepared.


   6.2    Housing Revenue Account (HRA)

Service                   2009/2010     2010/2011     2011/2012     2012/2013       2013/2014
                            Latest      Projected     Projected     Projected       Projected
                          Approved       Budget        Budget        Budget          Budget
                           Budget
                            £000           £000          £000          £000           £000

Housing Repairs              6,002         6,150         6,314        6,465           6,600
Housing Management           1,686         1,698         1,738        1,775           1,850
District Heating                0            0             0            0               0
Care of the Elderly           817           851           885          942            1000
Homeless Service               93           105           116          125             135
Grounds Maintenance           230           241           252          253             260
Allocations / Move-           381           393           406          415             420
ahead
Tenancy Support               -41           -37           -35          -37            -40
Housing Strategy              307           318           327          334            340
Anti-social Behaviour          43            44            46           47             50
Team / Neighbourhood
Warden
Debt Recovery                 49            52            52           53               55
Wardens                      1,339         1,386         1,429        1,464           1,500
Other non service            9,019         8,962         8,958        8,959           9,000
specific expenditure
Housing Income              -19,925       -20,155       -20,482      -20,853         -21,200

Current Base                   0             8             6            -58            -30
Reduction in employee          -59         -102          -110           -110      -110
budgets
Amendment to inflation         0           -92           -56             -56       -56
Amendment to subsidy           0           174           220              0         0
payment
Revenue Contribution to        59           12            0              224      196
Capital

Capital Programme                                 See paragraph 6.2.5
Service Developments                              See paragraph 6.2.5

Projected Base Budget –        0            0             60              0        0
Deficit / (surplus)

       Other non service specific expenditure has been detailed below:

Other non service           2009/2010   2010/2011     2011/2012    2012/2013    2013/2014
specific expenditure          Latest    Projected     Projected    Projected    Projected
                            Approved     Budget        Budget       Budget       Budget
                             Budget                                             Estimated
                              £000        £000          £000            £000      £000
Revenue Contribution to       2,189       2,219         2,219           2,219     2,250
Capital – Decent Homes
Provision for bad and         200          200           200             200      200
doubtful debts
Proportion of                 2,546       2,434         2,406           2,407     2,400
outstanding loan interest
and debt management
cost allocated to HRA
Depreciation on housing       4,078       4,088         4,112           4,112     4,130
stock and operational
buildings
Contribution to Pay and       100          100           100             100      100
Grading reserve /
towards cost when
implemented
Internal support service       21           21            21             21        20
charges
Reduction in interest          -15          0             0               0        0
payments due to
restructure of
outstanding loans in
previous years.
Reduced expenditure           -100         -100          -100           -100      -100
anticipated from Housing
Management
Restructure
                              9,019       8,962         8,958           8,959     9,000
6.2.1 The tables above sets out the projected financial position for the
      Housing Revenue Account based on the 2009/2010 budget report
      together with the effects of the significant items identified.

6.2.2 Budgets approved in principle for 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 have been
      adjusted for a reduction in both general inflation due to the lower
      Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Retail Price Index (RPI) compared to
      one year ago, and also the pay award which is currently being
      negotiated at levels below that which were assumed during the
      2009/2010 budget process. These represent year on year savings to
      the Council.

6.2.3 Amendments have been made to the budgets approved in principle for
      2010/2011 and 2011/2012 for subsidy payments to Government in
      respect of income collected from council dwelling rents. This
      amendment is based on changes to the consolidated rate of interest
      which forms part of the formulae for calculating the subsidy liability.

6.2.4 Taking the above into consideration, the Housing Revenue Account is
      expected to balance in 2010/2011, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 with
      contributions being made to capital to support the Decent Homes
      Programme. A deficit position is expected in 2012/2013 of £60,000 for
      which savings will need to be identified.

6.2.5 The above projection does not take into account potential proposals for
      service developments or the impact of the capital programme which is
      currently being prepared.


7     REVENUE AND CAPITAL RESERVES

7.1   The uncommitted General Fund and Housing Revenue Account
      reserves stand at:

      General Fund         £4.3million
      HRA                  £2.6million

7.2   Following an assessment of the risks involved and the potential
      requirement to meet liabilities it has been determined that the General
      Fund Reserve should have a target level of £4million in 2010/2011 with
      a minimum of £3.75million. This is a significant increase in the
      minimum level of balances for the following reasons:

7.2.1 The economic recovery, though expected during 2010 may be quick,
      may be prolonged or may have recovery followed by further downturns.
      Experts are uncertain. This therefore adds significant uncertainty in
      respect of inflation, interest rates and demand for services affecting
      fees and charges income and the level of service required to be
      provided.
7.2.2 The Council may wish to introduce initiatives to help stimulate the local
      economy as it did in relation to car parking charges in 2008/2009 and
      2009/2010. Retaining higher reserves provides the ability to take swift
      action.

7.2.3 The 2009/2010 revenue budgets identified a number of substantial
      ongoing savings. These are expected to be delivered during 2009/2010
      however some of the significant ones are not yet concluded and the
      £200,000 anticipated from the Leisure review in 2010/2011 will not now
      be achieved until 2011/2012. If these are not implemented, reserves
      may be required to provide replacement funding which will reduce the
      amount available towards meeting the economic and regeneration
      priorities.

7.2.4 The Council is aiming to implement the results of the pay and grading
      review during 2010, however this does not preclude employees from
      making an equal pay claim against the Council which if successful
      could have a significant financial impact and therefore adequate
      general reserves are necessary to minimise the impact on services.

7.2.5 The grant anticipated from the government for 2010/2011 will be
      dependent upon the national financial position and the priorities of the
      political party in power after the general election. Indications are that
      reductions or severe limits on public spending will be required and
      therefore the level of grant may be reduced.

7.3    Housing Revenue Account Reserve

7.3.1 The HRA reserve will maintain a minimum level of £1.75million
      reaching £2million by 2012/13 in order to provide support to the current
      Decent Homes capital programme as income from land sales and the
      sale of Council dwellings falls in the current economic climate.
8         CAPITAL PROGRAMME
8.1       The capital programme for 2009/2010 has been approved and is
          currently being reviewed in light of the economic climate and the review
          of the Council’s Corporate Plan. The Medium Term Financial Strategy
          is to identify the optimal method of financing additional proposals
          coming from feasibility studies currently being carried out in relation to
          the former Queen’s Head Building, Mansfield Town Hall, joint Housing
          Works and Highways Depot.


9.        EFFECTIVENESS OF MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL
          STRATEGY
9.1       It is important to assess the effectiveness of the Strategy. This has
          been judged in relation to the accuracy of its projections and whether
          this has helped the Council to meet the aims set out within it.

9.2       The 2009/2010 document identified the significant issues which would
          impact on the Council, residents and businesses and these are still
          relevant in the coming months however, it made projections in relation
          to inflation and interest rates based on the position at that time and the
          advice from specialist sources. These projections did not envisage the
          rapid decline of the economy following the collapse of major financial
          institutions and the unprecedented actions taken by governments
          across the world in supporting these institutions and stimulating
          economies by rapid reductions in interest rates. This situation was
          rectified in the actual detailed budget reports where account was taken
          of the new situation and actions taken which involved the re-allocation
          of the Council’s resources.

9.3       The Strategy itself set six main themes as are restated in section 4.1.

         Limit the impact on business
         Limit the impact on residents
         Limit the impact on the Council
         Prepare for business opportunities and show confidence for the future
         Prepare and support residents for employment opportunities
         Prepare the Council for the longer term

9.4       The Strategy was implemented through the General Fund and HRA
          revenue budgets and the capital programme which identified a number
          of measures:

         Christmas and New Year reductions in car parking charges to attract
          people into Mansfield town centre
         New Year reduction in market stall rents to help stall-holders and
          stimulate the market
         Reducing the time taken to pay invoices to less than 10 days
         Procuring locally where possible by helping local firms to do business
          with the Council
         Providing incentives for encouraging new and retaining commercial,
          retail and industrial tenancies by providing rent free periods for start up
          businesses and cash flow arrangements for current tenancies if
          needed
         Use Small Business Rate Relief more proactively
         Use the General Fund Reserve to pay for free car parking at times of
          low demand to help attract people into the town centre
         Promoting the availability of the Business Advice service
         Assessing debt collection policies and practices for those unable to pay
         Speeding up Housing Benefit processing and payments
         Promoting availability of the Money Advice services for individuals
         Ensuring that the Homelessness service is able to deal with potential
          increase in demand
         Looking at how to improve affordable warmth through measures like
          insulation grants to help with fuel bills
         Publicising the help which is available from the Council’s Getting into
          Work team
         Looking at how the Government Homes package can help locally

9.5       These measures have been implemented and monitored throughout
          the year and have shown to increase footfall in the town centre and has
          resulted in a significant increase in housing benefit applications
          resulting in significant sums being redirected to the economy.

9.6       A review of the actions required from the 2009/2010 Medium Term
          Financial Strategy shows that all actions have been completed or are in
          progress which ensured that budget managers, employees and elected
          members were all aware of the contents of the document which
          resulted in savings and efficiencies being made and the Council
          achieving its objective of a balance budget and adequate levels of
          reserves.


9.        RISK ASSESSMENT

Risk                   Risk Assessment          Risk         Risk Management
                                                Level
Financial

Assumptions            The impact of         High            The latest figures and
regarding inflation    inaccurate                            projections by financial
and interest rates     assumptions is                        and economic
are not accurate       significant and the                   institutions and
                       current economic                      specialist Treasury
                       situation makes such                  Management
                       assessments difficult                 consultants will form
                                                             the basis of the
                                                         projections made

Assumptions           The current               High     Market conditions will
regarding the         economic climate in                be monitored and
ability to generate   respect of land                    reported on by the
capital receipts      values and the                     General Practice
are inaccurate        confidence of                      Surveyor and the
                      potential purchasers               Asset Management
                      to commit funds to                 Plan will set out the
                      development means                  strategy in respect of
                      that the level and                 disposals.
                      timing of capital
                      receipts is uncertain

The Council is        The Council will       Medium      Monitoring and
unable to identify    need to find                       management of the
and implement         substantial                        review process will be
the required level    reductions in                      put in place to identify
of efficiency and     expenditure or                     potential shortfalls
savings               additional income to               from efficiency target,
                      produce and                        base budget review or
                      maintain a balanced                the cross cutting
                      and sustainable                    reviews.
                      budget over the
                      coming years.                      The Business
                      However, this is not               Transformation
                      a new situation and it             process is underway
                      has achieved                       and has a timetable
                      significant levels in              for delivery which is
                      the past                           monitored through the
                                                         steering group and by
                                                         senior managers




Reputation

This strategy will    This strategy is          Medium   In order to
not help the          ambitious in the way               communicate the
Council to            it sets out how the                ambitious nature of
achieve its           Council will deliver               the strategy and the
priorities and        its equally ambitious              Council’s plans, the
those of its          priorities and there               Council’s
partners              are many external                  communication
                      factors which will                 strategy will provide
                      affect the Council’s               information and
                      ability to achieve this            explanation to
                      over which it has no               residents, community
                      or little control                  groups, businesses
                                               and employees

                                               In order to deliver
                                               those things over
                                               which the Council has
                                               control / influence an
                                               Action Plan will be
                                               produced which sets
                                               out the tasks,
                                               responsibilities and
                                               timescales required.
                                               This will be monitored
                                               and managed by the
                                               Portfolio Holder for
                                               Resources together
                                               with the Council’s
                                               Corporate
                                               Management Team

Legal

The Strategy will   Local authorities    Low   The Monitoring Officer
require the         have a wide range of       and S151 Officer will
Council to          powers which can be        be involved in the
operate outside     used for the benefit       budget setting and
its statutory       and well being of          management process
powers              their areas. The           throughout
                    Council will use
                    these powers to
                    achieve this.

                    The Council is
                    advised by the Head
                    of Legal and
                    Member Services in
                    respect of these
                    powers in the role of
                    Monitoring Officer
                    and the Head of
                    Financial Services
                    (S151 Officer) in
                    respect of setting
                    illegal budgets and
                    adequacy of
                    reserves
Employees

The Strategy         The Council’s            High       The Council will set up
identifies a         employees are                       regular briefings with
requirement for      currently going                     Union representatives
substantial          through significant                 and regular updates
efficiency and       changes in respect                  through the Insider,
budget savings. It   of the pay and                      Team meetings and
includes a review    grading review and                  will set up meetings
of employees and     business                            for specific issues.
vacancy levels       transformation.
which may de-        Inflation affects                   Employees will be
motivate             employees and                       asked for their ideas
employees at a       families and the                    and suggestions for
time when their      below inflation pay                 improving efficiency
contribution to      offer, recent                       and making savings
resolving the        industrial action and               which will be included
situation is vital   uncertainty adds                    in the budget setting
                     further to the service              process
                     cuts and additional
                     workload which may
                     be perceived from
                     this Strategy




10.      SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND EQUALITY IMPACT
         ASSESSMENTS


Social

The Strategy is designed to limit the impact of the current economic conditions
on the residents and businesses of the district in order to reduce the potential
for anti – social behaviour, crime and welfare issues. At the same time, the
Strategy aims to support the Council’s revitalisation priority by identifying ways
in which to fund the regeneration of communities


Environmental

The Council is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and identifying more
efficient ways of energy usage. The Strategy also aims to meet the need for
reducing consumption to reduce the cost of energy and fuel usage, and to re-
direct these resources directly into service provision
Equalities

As the Council has demonstrated, equality is an important value which it aims
to achieve in all it services, strategies and policies. This strategy helps those
disadvantaged by the current economic situation, which tends to be the
vulnerable within the community.

The promotion of money advice and benefits entitlement is particularly aimed
at reducing inequality during this difficult period.

				
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