Robust four year financial plan set for consultation
The public will be asked next week to comment on the council’s draft four-year financial plan, with a consultation set to run throughout December and into January.
Cabinet will be asked to approve a public consultation for the council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) at a meeting on 7 December. If agreed, the consultation will run until 21 January 2022.
Following the consultation, the final MTFP – which covers the period 2022/23 to 2025/26 – will be voted on by full council in the new year.
A report prepared for cabinet on 7 December acknowledges the financial challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic – and says the council has responded to them well.
Councillor Scott Durham, cabinet member for resources, said: “The 2022/23 budget and the wider MTFP has an eye to future years, but does not seek to presume what the future will look like. What we are aiming to do is ensure the council can continue to provide vital services regardless of the Covid situation.
“The council has performed well in response to the financial challenges of the pandemic and has taken early action to ensure that it is ahead of the curve and not pushed into short term decisions.
“I am pleased we’ve been able to come up with a balanced four-year MTFP, which sets out the council’s robust financial position. This MTFP will allow net revenue investment in Darlington and its residents of over £100m per year, while creating the conditions and opportunities for growth.”
The council’s biggest area of expenditure is adult social care, while Council Tax income is its largest single source of income.
The MTFP proposes a 1.99 per cent increase in Council Tax for 2022/23, as well as an additional 1 per cent precept to fund adult social care.
Councillor Lorraine Tostevin, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “While no one will relish the prospect of their council tax bill going up, the precept is crucial to enable investment in adult social care and ensure this vital service continues to be sustainable.”
Details of the MTFP proposals, and how you can have your say online, will be available after the meeting on Tuesday 7 December at www.darlington.gov.uk/consultations or you can view the proposals at Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries on request, after December 7, and post comments to Finance Department, Darlington Borough Council, Room 301, Town Hall, Feethams, Darlington DL1 5QT.
• Please be aware the consultation does not open until after the meeting on December 7