Decision details

Service & Financial Planning 2024/25

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To approve draft budget proposals for 2024/25.


RESOLVED – that the Executive agreed:

(i)               That the national and local policy context (Annex 1) and significant financial uncertainties at this stage in the budget-setting process be noted.

(ii)             That the service proposals set out in this report which seek to respond to this context and deliver our corporate priorities, be endorsed.

(iii)           That the draft service business plans for 2024/25 to 2026/27 be approved, and that Heads of Service be authorised to finalise the plans for their service areas in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holders.

(iv)           That the following be approved for consultation under the Council’s budget and policy framework:

a.     Medium Term Financial Plan Forecasts and proposed actions to address the forecast Revenue Budget gap    (Annex 2);

b.     Service Revenue Budget growth proposals totalling £0.943 million, savings of (£1.719) million and additional income of (£0.540) million (Annex 3);

c.     Continued funding support for Banstead Commons Conservators for a further three years (2024/25 to 2026/27);

d.     Central Revenue Budget savings and growth proposals totalling (£0.376) million, and £1.75m provision for the 2024/25 pay award (Annex 3);

e.     Agreement of a new 10 year Section 136 agreement with Horley Town Council;

f.       Revenue Issues, Risks and Opportunities totalling £0.964 million, to be funded from earmarked Reserves as necessary;

g.     Revenue Reserve Balances at 1 April 2023 of £35.474 million (Annex 6.1); and

h.     A forecast balanced Revenue budget for 2024/25, subject to final confirmation of the outstanding items.

(v)             That the Capital Programme Growth proposals totalling £3.976 million (Annex 4) be approved.

(vi)           That the Fees & Charges Policy (Annex 5) be approved.

(vii)         That the Reserves Policy (Annex 6.2) be approved.

(viii)       That the following changes to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme be approved and adopted from 2024/25:

a.  Removal of the maximum award of 90% Council Tax liability for 1,800 households and increasing the award to 100%;

b. Removal of the minimum requirement for a household to   qualify for £5 per week before support is provided;

c. Expansion of support awards to cover full Council Tax liability for residents in Bands F to H;

(ix)           That the following changes Council Tax premiums on empty properties be approved and adopted from 2024/25:

a. Removal of the empty homes discount of 28-days where a property becomes empty and unfurnished;
b. For empty and furnished second homes – charge 200% council tax after the first 12 months; and
c. For long-term empty properties – commence charging the 100% premium after 12 months.

Reason Key: Expenditure > £250,000;

Corporate Priorities : A great council.;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Contact: David Brown, Finance Manager Email:, Pat Main, Chief Finance Officer Email: Tel: 01737 276063, Catherine Rose, Head of Corporate Policy Email: Tel: 01737 276766.

Report author: David Brown, Pat Main

Publication date: 21/11/2023

Date of decision: 16/11/2023

Decided at meeting: 16/11/2023 - Executive

Effective from: 29/11/2023

Accompanying Documents: