[Report of the Director of Finance. To be introduced by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Transformation]
This report will provide an update on the Quarter 1 budget monitoring and Council's financial position. It will seek approval for any changes to the Council's revenue or capital budgets required to respond to the changing financial scenario and the delivery of the MTFS.
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Transformation introduced the report which provided an update on the Quarter 1 budget monitoring and Council's financial position. The report sought approval for any changes to the Council's revenue or capital budgets required to respond to the changing financial scenario and the delivery of the MTFS.
The Cabinet Member and the Director for Housing, Regeneration and Planning responded to questions from Councillor Palmer:
In broad terms, the Capital Programme had expanded substantially, however this was at the same time of the impact of the pandemic on the construction industry. This had caused delays in delivering on programmes but there had been no resources lost or projects abandoned as a result of this.
With regard to the Good Economy Recovery Plan, there had been money allocated and this was being spent. However, in some areas the spend was delayed due to further unanticipated lockdowns so it was felt that it would be appropriate to delay some spending at that time.
The Director for Housing, Regeneration and Planning agreed to provide a written response in relation to the delay of the Additional Carbon Reduction Project.
1. Note the forecast base budget revenue outturn for the General Fund of £5.2m and that Directors are seeking actions to bring the forecast down before the end of the year. (Section 6, Tables 1a and 1b, and Appendix 1).
2. Note that the £13.9m forecast Covid pressure on the GF is expected to be offset by Government funding (Section 6 and Table 1a).
3. Note the net Housing Revenue Account (HRA) forecast of £0.6m overspend (Section 6 and Appendices 1 and 2).
4. Note the net DSG forecast of £6.6m overspend. (Section 6 and Appendix 1).
5. Note the forecast budget savings position in 2021/22 which indicates that £2.86m (27%) may not be achieved. (Section 6 and Appendix 3). This is incorporated in the GF budget pressures addressed in recommendations 3.1 and 3.2 above.
6. Approve the proposed budget adjustments and virements to the capital programme as set out in Table 2 and Appendix 6.
7. Note the 2021/26 Revised GF Capital MTFS budget after virements and budget adjustments proposed in recommendations 3.6 above (Appendix 5)
8. Note the forecast expenditure of £342m in 2021/22 which equates to 72% of the revised capital budget (Section 8 and Appendix 4).
9. To approve the revenue budget virements and receipt of grants as set out in Appendix 6.
10. To note the debt write-offs approved by officers in Quarter 1 2021/22 (Appendix 7) and approve the >£50,000 debt write-offs (Appendix 7a).
11. To note the C19 grants schedule (Appendix 8).
Reason for Decision
A strong financial management framework, including oversight by Members and senior management, is an essential part of delivering the council’s priorities and statutory duties. This is made more critically important than ever as a result of the on-going financial implications placed on the Council by the Covid-19 crisis.
Alternative Options Considered
The report of the management of the Council’s financial resources is a key part of the role of the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) in helping members to exercise their role and no other options have therefore been considered.