Financial Strategy Update
Decision Maker: Executive
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Following consideration of the officer report, appendices and discussion, the Executive agreed:??
a. That Somerset Council faces a financial emergency and acknowledges that urgent actions need to be taken to address the position including the setting up of the Financial Focus Group and the introduction of further financial controls to limit spending.
b. To approve that the Council should continue its discussions with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) following the letter from the Section 151 officer to them concerning the councils’ financial challenges and the initial meeting.
c. That there should be a special meeting of the Audit Committee in December to consider the council’s financial sustainability and the issues raised in the letter from Grant Thornton.
d. To approve the disposal of the commercial investment portfolio, delegated the appointment of external agents to the Director of Strategic Asset Management in conjunction with the Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning and Assets, and uses the Property & Investment Executive sub-committee to oversee the disposal programme.
e. To receive an update report on the actions being taken and progress in closing the budget gap for the 2024/25 Budget at the 6 December Executive 2023 meeting.
f. To receive a report on the review of Earmarked Reserves at the 6 December Executive meeting.
g. To task the Asset Management Group with bringing forward asset disposals including council office rationalisation proposals, with an update to the Executive on 6 December 2023.
h. Agreed to receive a report on the vision for a sustainable Somerset Council at the 6 December 2023 Executive meeting.
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS CONSIDERED: As set out in the officer report
REASON FOR DECISION: As set out in the officer report
Publication date: 08/11/2023
Date of decision: 08/11/2023
Decided at meeting: 08/11/2023 - Executive
Effective from: 14/11/2023