To review the budget, the fees and charges, and growth bids for the Committee’s areas of responsibility.
The Chief Accountant presented the following items for the Committee’s areas of responsibility: a net expenditure budget for 2023/24, a detailed budget report, fees and charges, and growth bids for economic development. There were no savings bids or capital impact bids.
The Chief Accountant explained the budget setting process and how it had changed from last year as a result of Member feedback. The Committee noted that this was a balanced budget which took inflation into account and that there were no substantial increases for economic development.
The Chief Accountant presented the budget report and explained that the intention was to make the Business Incubator cost neutral. The economic development team were confident that expected rentals for both the Business Incubator and the Elmsleigh Centre would be achieved. However, they expected income from Staines Market to reduce due to inflation. There was ongoing debate as to which cost centre Staines Market should come under.
The Chief Accountant reminded the Committee that the growth bids for the Economic Development Officer and Town Centre Manger were both fully funded and, as such, were in line with Council guidance to recruit only for fully funded or statutory posts. The Committee supported both of the posts.