Issue - meetings

Medium Term Financial Strategy & Budget Proposals

Meeting: 08/01/2019 - Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee (Item 148)

148 Medium Term Financial Strategy & Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 82 KB

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Mr Green informed the Committee that the Medium Term Financial Strategy reflected the new Strategic Plan.  This had been agreed on 12 December 2018 by Full Council.  Mr Green stated that the budget needed to be balanced against the resource available, and the projections showed that there would be a budget gap in 2020/21, even if Council Tax was increased by the maximum amount.  The budget proposals for the Committee included growth of £48,000 to facilitate infrastructure delivery.  It also incorporated savings regarding enhanced efficiency and improved income generation.  The proposed Park and Ride budget reflected the resolution of the Committee on 6 November 2018 to terminate the current service and work with potential providers to deliver a service whereby Maidstone Borough Council was responsible solely for the maintenance and upkeep of the car parks.


The Committee commented that it was difficult to make a judgement on the suitability of the budget without information pertinent to the resourcing that was required to fulfil the Local Plan deadlines in 2021.  It was suggested that a growth item of £50,000 be recommended to the Policy and Resources Committee to provide in-house expertise for traffic modelling.  This was due to a skills gap in the current team and previous instances of outsourcing this function.  The Committee also noted that while there was a surplus in the last year regarding Planning Performance Agreements, this was not something that could be relied upon in coming years.


In response to questions from the Committee, Mr William Cornall, Director of Regeneration & Place, stated that while the role of an Infrastructure Delivery Officer was being scoped, there was currently no decision regarding potential line management arrangements for this post.  Regarding traffic modelling, Mr Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development, explained that a single post would not be sufficient to cover all aspects of strategic modelling.  It was more appropriate to buy in the relevant expertise when it was required.  The cost of modelling could be met from Planning Performance Agreements, if the work arose from specific developments, or otherwise from the Local Plan budget.


RESOLVED: That the budget proposals for services within the remit of this Committee, as set out in Appendix A, be agreed for submission to Policy and Resources Committee, with the addition of a request for a growth item to fund an Officer/resource for additional expertise in transportation matters.


Voting: Unanimous