Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
It is expected that Members note the projected
year end position based on performance to the end of Quarter 2
2021/22 and officers planned actions to ensure a balanced budget by
the end of the financial year.
The Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder presented the Corporate Financial Monitoring report for Quarter Two of 2021/22. The report included an update on the Capital Programme at Appendix 2, with Table 3 of the report, being a summary of capital programme and expenditure.
In presenting the report in detail, the Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder informed Members that currently the best estimate of additional costs and loss of income from Covid-19 for 2021/22 are £377k, further work is being undertaken to firm up these estimates. While this currently suggests a saving against the contingency budget of £320k, it is too early to declare this as the situation continues to develop and with winter still to come this could change. For business as usual activities, there is a projected overspend of £95k which is reasonable and modest at this time of year. There is an overspend on employee costs due to the need to use agency staff in critical posts where there have been extreme recruitment problems.
The Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder highlighted a request to transfer funds from the NNDR pool reserves, of £144,000 which would be used to fund salary costs for Economic Development and Culture Specialists to free up funding in other areas of the Council. He added that with this transfer from reserves, the full year forecast would become an underspend of £49,000.
Members raised a query regarding what the capital underspend would be. The Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder advised that the current capital expenditure was at £3.317 million, further expenditure was still expected and added that a further update would be provided at the December 2021 Cabinet meeting.
Following a question regarding the impact of Local Government Reorganisation on the reserve funds, the Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder advised that in principal, all debts and assets would be transferred to the new authority.
In response to a question regarding the use of electric vehicles, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) informed Members that the fuel type is not specified in vehicle procurements but that suppliers of alternatives to diesel vehicles were not submitting bids. As a result the majority of the Council’s vehicles were diesel but two new property service vehicles were hybrid and had been leased in the expectation that electric vehicles would be available when the leases expired. In addition, the Customer and Locality Services Portfolio Holder informed Members that alongside the Climate Action and Biodiversity Portfolio Holder, he had attended an exhibition of electric vehicles recently.
RESOLVED – That
(1) the content of the report and appendices 1-3 be noted; and
(2) the use of the NNDR Pool Reserve be recommended to Council for approval, as set out in paragraph 3.1.2.
Reasons for Decision
Regular budget monitoring forms part of the corporate governance arrangements that support all Council priorities.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
There are no alternative options for Appendices 1-3.
Report author: Claire Chouchoulas
Publication date: 16/11/2021
Date of decision: 10/11/2021
Decided at meeting: 10/11/2021 - Cabinet