Agenda and draft minutes

Improvement and Scrutiny Committee - Resources - Thursday, 14 December 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, County Hall, Matlock, DE4 3AG

Contact: Ivan Walters  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest (if any)


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To confirm the non-exempt minutes of the meeting of the Improvement and Scrutiny Committee – Resources held on 28 September 2023.


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2023 were confirmed as a correct record.



Public Questions (30 minute maximum in total) pdf icon PDF 53 KB

(Questions may be submitted to be answered by the Scrutiny Committee, or Council officers who are attending the meeting as witnesses, on any item that is within the scope of the Committee. Please see the procedure for the submission of questions at the end of this agenda)



There were no public questions.


Production of the 2024/25 Budget pdf icon PDF 95 KB


Mr M Kenyon, Director of Finance and ICT introduced the report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, to consult with Members of the Improvement and Scrutiny Committee – Resources as part of the 2024-25 Revenue and Capital budget process. The report also provided Members with details of the process followed to prepare the budget(s) and the proposed consultation approach to be adopted, as well as providing an initial summary of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in so far as it was expected to impact upon the Council’s financial position.


The highlights of the report were summarised and it was confirmed that the current financial position of the Council was a forecasted overspend of £33 million, with significant cost pressures placed on its budget.  There were no new substantive measures announced in the Autumn Statement and the Council would need to deliver significant cost savings and efficiency improvements to deliver a balanced budget.


Following Cabinet consideration, a detailed consultation would take place on individual savings options where appropriate. A review of earmarked reserves was underway to identify balances that may be surrendered and released to bolster the general reserve of the Council.  A report outlining the proposed savings was expected to go to Cabinet on 11 January 2024 and this Committee for scrutiny on 22 January2024.


Following questions from Committee members, Mr Kenyon advised that high interest rates and high inflation were playing a significant role in increasing financial pressures on the Council. This was an unpredictable situation, with inflation difficult to predict however interest rates had stabilised but there was continued high demand for services.


Organisations were having to make an assessment of the likely pay award in 2024/25 in their budget assumptions.  Increases in the national minimum wage continued to have a significant financial impact on the Council’s budget. Mr Kenyon confirmed that investment advice was shared with internal partners.  Also, a programme management approach was being adopted to the delivery of savings in 2024/25. 


RESOLVED to note:


1)   The Revenue Budget Forecast Outturn for 2023-24, as at Quarter 2 (30 September 2023);


2)   That the Council faces a significant financial challenge to produce a balanced Revenue Budget for 2024-25 based on currently known information;


3)   That cost savings and efficiency options were being developed;


4)   The intention to consult on savings and efficiency options and other material aspects of the budget to inform decisions required to deliver a balanced budget; and


5)   The key announcements in the Autumn Statement 2023 relevant to Local Government.