Agenda item

Recommendation 3 – 2023-2024 Budget and Council Tax


The Full Council considered reports FIN/606and FIN606a of the Chief Executive and Chief Accountant (s151 officer). The Leader of the Council presented the reports which detailed that the Council had a statutory responsibility to set a Council Tax and Budget in advance of the commencement of the new financial year. It was noted that the report detailed each of the Revenue, Capital and Housing Revenue Accounts that combine together to formulate ‘The Budget’. In proposing the level of Council Tax for the financial year 2023/24, each of those accounts identified had been considered. The proposed Council Tax for 2023/24 was to be increased by 2.99%. In presenting the report the Leader highlighted the proposal to use £261,970 from the General Fund reserve, the proposal to increase the capital budget for Crawley Homes retrofit schemes by £900,000 to assist with water neutrality and the expenditure on capital projects.


The item had been previously considered at the Overview and Scrutiny Commission and Cabinet meetings on 30 January 2023 and 1 February 2023 respectively. Councillor Jones moved the recommendation which was seconded and supported by Councillor C Mullins.


Councillor Crow then moved and presented Amendment 1to Recommendation 3 (as shown in the Supplementary Agenda Order Paper on page 27). The amendment was seconded by Councillor Lanzer.


A single debate occurred on both the recommendation and the proposed amendment. Councillor Lanzer, Jhans, Irvine, C Mullins, Burrett, S Mullins, and Lamb also spoke during the debate.


At the conclusion of the discussion, Councillors expressed their thanks and

appreciation for the work carried out by the Council’s Finance division.


The Full Council was reminded that in accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, all Councils at their annual budget meetings were required to adopt the practice of recorded votes - that is, recording in the minutes of the meeting how each member present voted on any decision relating to the Annual Budget and Council Tax. This applied not only to substantive budget motions to agree the Budget and setting Council Taxes, including precepts, but also on any amendments proposed.


Following the conclusion of the debate, the Mayor invited the Democracy and Data Manager to commence the recorded voting process on the 2023/24 Budget and Council Tax, for both the amendment and the substantive recommendation respectively.


For the Amendment: Councillors Belben, Bounds, Burgess, Burrett, Crow, Hellier, Jaggard, Lanzer, McCarthy, Millar-Smith, Morris, Mwagale, Peck, Pendlington and Piggott (15)


Against the Amendment: Councillors Ayling, Buck, Hart, Irvine, Jhans, K Khan, Y Khan, Jones, Lamb, Lunnon, Malik, C Mullins, S Mullins, Nawaz, Pritchard, Raja, Rana and Sivarajah (19)


Abstentions: None (0)


The Mayor declared that the proposed amendment had fallen – votes in favour 15, and votes against 19 with 0 abstentions.


For the Recommendation: Councillors Ayling, Belben, Bounds, Buck, Burgess, Burrett, Crow, Hart, Hellier, Irvine, Jaggard, Jhans, K Khan, Y Khan, Jones, Lamb, Lanzer, Lunnon, Malik, McCarthy, Millar-Smith, Morris, C Mullins, S Mullins, Mwagale, Nawaz, Peck, Pendlington, Piggott, Pritchard, Raja, Rana and Sivarajah (34)


Against the Recommendation: None (0)


Abstentions: None (0)


The Mayor declared the recommendation was carried – votes in favour 34, and votes against 0 with 0 abstentions.





That the Full Council approves the following items regarding the 2023/2024 Budget:


a)            approve the proposed 2023/24 General Fund Budget which includes using £261,970 of general fund reserve and includes savings rolled forward from the current financial year as set out in section 6 of report FIN/606,


b)            approve the proposed 2023/24 Housing Revenue Account Budget as set out in Appendix 3 of the report which includes the savings and growth items as set out in section 10 of report FIN/606,


c)            agree to increase the capital budget for Crawley Homes retrofit schemes by £900,000 to assist with water neutrality, funded from the HRA but reimbursed by developers to carry out further retrofitting works on Council’s housing stock and new-build schemes (para 11.3 of report FIN/606). In addition that authority be delegated to the Head of Crawley Homes, the Head of Corporate Finance, and the Head of Governance, People & Performance; in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Housing, to enter into the necessary contracts, and complete all relevant legal documentation to achieve the above recommendation,


(Generic Delegation 2 and 3 will be used to enact this recommendation).


d)            increase the capital programme by £129,950 funded from Government grant for the Town Centre DHN Phase 2 extended feasibility. An increase of £184,950 for the DHN and a reduction of £55,000 for the Town Centre Capital programme (para 11.5 of report FIN/606),


e)            approve the 2022/23 and future years Capital Programme and funding as set out in paragraph 11.6 of report FIN/606,


f)             agree the transfers between reserves as outlined in Section 12 of report FIN/606, this includes creating a Cost of Living reserve,


g)            agree that the Council’s share of Council Tax for 2023/24 be increased by 2.99% (£6.55) from £218.79 to £225.34 for a Band D property as set out in paragraph13.1 of report FIN/606,


h)            approve the Pay Policy Statement for 2023/2024 as outlined in paragraph 16.3 and Appendix 6 of the of report FIN/606, noting that the pay award has yet to be agreed,


i)             approve that the S151 Officer (in consultation with the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council) be delegated authority to make minor amendments to the Hardship Policy (under Generic Delegation 7),


j)             agree to increase the capital budget for Temporary Accommodation by £1,150,000, funded from grant funding of £474,000 and borrowing of 676,000 as detailed in report FIN606a,


k)            agree to increase the capital budget for Acquisitions of Land and Dwellings by £10,000,000 funded from 1-4-1 receipts £4,000,000 and borrowing of £6,000,000 as detailed in report FIN606a.