Decision details

Revenue and Capital Outturn 2020/21

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

To note the Council’s financial performance for 2020/21 and to approve movements to and from reserves and the carry forward of budgets to 2021/22.

Decisions:

Summary

 

The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder presented the Revenue and Capital Outturn 2020/21 report which set out the Council’s financial performance for 2020/21 and the impact on reserves. He highlighted the huge impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the hard work of the finance team in applying for and administering grants to local businesses. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder thanked the Finance Team for their work during a challenging period and added that despite the complex situation, the Council was in a better positon than had been expected earlier in the year.

 

Attention was drawn to the significant impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s finances with £134 million of additional support from the Government to the Council and South Lakeland area. He reminded Members of the additional budget of £2 million which had been funded by use of the General Reserve and approved by Cabinet and Council in June 2020 and explained that the expected net cost of Covid-19 to the Council had been reduced to £1.3 million in February 2021. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder informed Members that mainly due to additional grants and contributions received, the estimated cost was now £259,000.

 

The report was due to be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 9 July 2021.

 

Discussion raised a query relating to funds that had been made available to vulnerable people within South Lakeland. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder informed Members that the funding had taken the form of grants that had already been paid.

 

Members having raised concern relating to the impact of a potential unitary authority on the budget of the Council in the short-term, the Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder explained that in the event of that decision, there would be direct costs on the Council as consultants would be needed to work out how to move forwards. He added that in the event of that decision there would also be constraints placed on the outgoing authorities’ finances to prevent asset stripping within the organisation but highlighted that well documented decisions that had been made would most likely still be able to go ahead.

 

Further discussion raised a query relating to the performance of the Planning department, the Chief Executive Officer responded by informing Members that the Council had the right and sufficient amount of employees to undertake the planning services and that the department’s performance statistics had been improving greatly.

 

In seconding the report, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder highlighted the ambitious program across the district and that it remained the Council’s plan to deliver these projects to residents. He echoed the earlier comments thanking the finance team for their hard work during a challenging period and thanked all officers of the council for their strong response to Covid-19.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)   the outturn figures and variance explanations set out in the report and appendices be noted;

 

(2)   the carry forwards set out in Appendix 1d and 2 be approved;

 

(3)   the receipt by the Council of the additional grant of £18,121 payable to GLL set out in paragraph 3.9; be approved;

 

(4)   the use of £58,000 of hardship grants as set in paragraph 3.10 be approved; and

 

(5)   Council be recommended to approve the following:-

 

(a)   the contributions to and from reserves detailed in Appendix 1a; and

 

(b)   the changes in responsibility for reserves set out in paragraph 3.15.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

This decision forms a key part of the financial governance arrangements that support all Council priorities.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

No alternative options are proposed. Not approving the proposed carry forwards may challenge service delivery during 2021/22 and beyond.

Report author: Claire Read

Publication date: 25/06/2021

Date of decision: 23/06/2021

Decided at meeting: 23/06/2021 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: