The Charter Trustees are required to set their 2021/22 budget, council tax requirement and resultant precept for submission to BCP Council by 31 January 2021.
This report also updates the Charter Trustees on the conclusion of the external audit of the 2019/20 Annual Governance and Accountability Return.
The Responsible Financial Officer presented a report on the Budget and Precept 2021/22, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.
The Charter Trustees were advised that the report set out the recommended budget for the 2021/22 financial year which if approved would result in a council tax requirement of £121,920 as set out in the recommendations. The Responsible Financial Officer reported that the detail of the budget was set out in Appendix A and built on the discussion and guidance from the discussions at the budget workshop held in December 2020. The Charter Trustees were advised of the main features of the budget which included the individual budget heads being maintained at the current levels so that the base budget was fit for purpose as the Charter Trustees emerge from the pandemic and activity returns to normal. The Responsible Financial Officer reported that some of the budget heads had been reviewed such as premises, post and stationery where the budgets had been reduced to reflect savings and the actual costs that would be incurred. In addition, based on the guidance from the workshop, a Twinning budget of £1,500 had been included. Charter Trustees were informed that a significant review of the salary costs and recharges had been undertaken and the salary recharge had increased to £59,400 with a detailed calculation set out in Appendix B to the report. The Responsible Financial Officer reported that the calculation included time for the Head and Deputy Head of Democratic Services and the percentage allocation of staff time for the Civic Team. The Responsible Financial Officer reported on the review of the accountancy recharges which had increased to £3,400 to reflect the work and support provided by the finance team.
The Charter Trustees were advised that expenditure of £120,600 would be funded from the precept of £121,000 less a modest investment income included this year and a small contribution to reserves. In respect of reserves paragraph 16 refers to £37,000 which was carried into the financial year and because of the pandemic and the reduced activity it was expected that over £50,000 would be added this year from the underspend and therefore it was anticipated at 31 March 2021 the level of reserves would be over £88,000 which would be 73% of the precept . The Responsible Financial Officer reported that a more prudent level of reserves would be 20% and explained that the budget had been constructed removing the base contribution to reserves of £19,000 and replaced with £1,400. He referred to recommendation (c) of the report and forming a working group on how to spend the reserve for one-off activities with the initial focus on the £37,000.
The Responsible Financial Officer reported on the Tax base and explained that this had gone down from 58,609 to 56,971 which was due to the pandemic with the cost of Council Tax Support increasing and amendments ... view the full minutes text for item 35