Decision details

General Fund Budget Options & Medium Term Financial Strategy

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


1.     That the projections set out in Appendix A of report CAB3374 be noted and the proposal that the Exceptional Inflation Reserve be used if required to address the forecast deficit for 2023/24 be supported.

2.     That, subject to final Government Spending Review announcements in December 2022, any additional grant award (such as continuation of New Homes Bonus) not included in current forecasts be used to fund the forecast deficit before reserves are used.

3.     That the Medium-Term Financial Strategy be approved, as set out in sections 22-28 of the report. 

4.     That an increase to Garden Waste subscriptions with effect from November 2022 be approved in order to achieve cost recovery, resulting in charges increasing to £43 for small bins and £65 for large bins.  For residents in receipt of a council tax reduction, to increase the discount from £10 to £15 on the cost of purchasing the green waste service.

5.     That, following consultation, parking charges in Zone 1 (City Centre) car parks be subject to an increase in line with inflation (10%) and that charges and weekday charging periods or times for these car parks be extended to include Sundays and bank holidays with new overnight charging introduced, to be implemented as soon as is practicable.  There is no increase to Park and Walk or Park and Ride charging as part of this recommendation.

6.     That Sunday on-street parking restrictions within the Winchester Inner Area Parking Permit Zone and on city centre parking meters be added to the Traffic Regulation Order Programme for 22/23. The exact zones to be included will be subject to consultation.

7.     That, following consultation, parking charges in “market town” car parks be increased by a 20p flat amount on each chargeable rate; to £2.00 for the daily rate (where charged); and no change to season tickets, to be implemented as soon as is practicable.  This change will not apply to the Alresford Station Car Park, where charges were amended recently.

8.     That other fees and charges be increased where appropriate in line with the September Consumer Price Index figure (10.1%) to address contractual increases, to achieve cost recovery or to bring a fee in line with the market norm and that the Section 151 officer be authorised, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Value and the Cabinet Member responsible for the service, to approve a different fee where appropriate.

9.     That £450k of the Transitional Reserve be used to support a council wide transformation challenge programme, incorporating focussed independent reviews of key services over the next 6 months with the clear aim of determining longer term savings or income generation to support the delivery of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy and the Council Plan.

10.  That £900k of the existing “Business Rates Retention Reserve” be re-allocated to the “Exceptional Inflation Reserve”.

11.  That a detailed budget be prepared for consideration by Council in February 2023 based on the above assumptions, final spending review announcements and including the following options:

a.    That grants to core housing providers totalling £68,000 be funded from the Homelessness Prevention Fund rather than the General Fund base budget

b.    That, in relation to staffing matters:

                                  i.    an additional “vacancy management” provision of £200k be included

                                ii.    an additional £23k per annum be included to fund an additional tree officer to support the delivery of essential works.

                               iii.    £250k be included to fund the outcome from a review of salaries and to maintain reasonable parity with neighbouring councils.

c.    That, in relation to the council’s regeneration programme:

                                  i.    as the existing contract for strategic development advice will end in early 2023, £150k is included for the next phase of professional advice needed to assist in preparing for the major decisions we will be bringing forward for regeneration projects

                                ii.    £130k is included to fund staffing to support the move into delivery phase for our major regeneration projects from 2023 onwards

d.    that, in relation to services:

                                  i.    the annual transfer to the Asset Reserve be reduced from £250k to £100k in 2023/24 (one year only) and the transfer to the Parking reserve be suspended for one year only

                                ii.    an additional £80k per annum be included to address the impact of the “On Street parking” agency ending in 2023

                               iii.    an additional £50k per annum be included to fund additional “street scene works”

                               iv.    an additional £67k per annum be included to fund essential health and safety related tree works

                                v.    £15k per annum for 2 years be included to ensure existing grant funding for the Hampshire Cultural Trust can be maintained

e.    That Council Tax will increase in line with the Government referendum limits (currently a maximum of £5 for a Band D property).


Reason Key: Expenditure > £250,000;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Contact: Richard Botham, Strategic Director & Section 151 Officer Email:

Report author: Richard Botham

Publication date: 16/11/2022

Date of decision: 15/11/2022

Decided at meeting: 15/11/2022 - Cabinet

Effective from: 24/11/2022

Accompanying Documents:


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