Agenda and minutes

City Council (Extraordinary)
Monday, 18th December, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - at the Council House. View directions

Contact: Jane Garrard, Senior Governance Officer  01158764315

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Councillor Sam Harris – personal

Councillor Gul Khan – leave

Councillor Farzanna Mahmood - unwell

Councillor Nayab Patel – personal

Councillor Georgia Power – personal

Councillor Sarita-Marie Rehman-Wall – personal

Councillor Samina Riaz – personal

Councillor Naim Salim - unwell

Councillor Hayley Spain - personal


Declarations of Interests




Response to Section 114 Notice - Financial Recovery Plan pdf icon PDF 355 KB

Report of the Chief Executive



Additional documents:


Councillor David Mellen, Leader of the Council, moved the report which, as required by the Local Government Finance Act 1988, asked Council to determine whether it agrees or disagrees with the views contained in the report issued by the Section 151 Officer on 28 November 2023 under section 114(3) of the Local Government Finance Act notifying the Council that in his opinion the Council is unable to meet its statutory requirement to deliver a balanced budget in 2023/24.  The report set out that as a consequence of the issuing of the Section 114(3) Report it is proposed to implement a Financial Recovery Plan, including continuation of the Spend Control Policy introduced during the spend prohibition period; continuation of the Finance Improvement Plan in relation to systems improvement, improved forecasting and income maximisation; and a review of the capital programme.  The report was seconded by Councillor Audra Wynter.


Councillor Michael Edwards asked the following question for clarification: whether a risk assessment had been carried out in relation to the issuing of the Section 114(3) Report.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:20pm to seek legal advice.


The meeting resumed at 6:36pm.


The Lord Mayor stated that, based on advice from the Monitoring Officer, she had determined that the question asked by Councillor Edwards was not seeking clarification and therefore a response was not required.


Councillors debated the response to the Section 114(3) Report.  During the debate councillors commented on the significant demand pressures facing the Council, particularly in the areas of adult social care, children’s social care and homelessness and the impact that this is having on the in-year financial position.  Councillors cited examples of other local authorities experiencing similar demand pressures and consequent pressures on their budgets.  Councillors also commented on local government funding, both from central government and that raised through council tax and business rate collection, with suggestions that the current framework is not fit for purpose and insufficient to meet the growing levels of need in local communities.  This means that local authorities must make very difficult decisions about what they are able to do.  Councillors noted that their role is to set the policy direction and budget for the organisation, and a balanced Medium Term Financial Strategy and Budget for 2023/24 was agreed by Council in March 2023; and that the Section 114(3) Report reflected that it had not been possible for officers to deliver this budget in year.


Councillors raised concerns that, while necessary in order to deliver a balanced budget for 2023/24 and set a balanced budget for 2024/25 as the Council is legally required to do, both the proposed Financial Improvement Plan and proposed savings for 2024/25, which are due to be considered for consultation by Executive Board on 19 December, will have a significant impact on local communities. During the debate, councillors suggested that the only real solution to these issues is a fundamental change in how local government is funded.


Resolved to:


(1)  accept the Section 114(3) report issued by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.