To consider the projected year end position based on performance to the end of Quarter 1 2021/22 and officers’ planned actions to ensure a balanced budget by the end of the financial year.
Note – at this point in the proceedings, it was proposed and seconded that the meeting was adjourned for a short comfort break. It was agreed that the meeting would adjourn at 12:34pm and resumed at 12:44pm.
The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder introduced the report and noted that the review was based on the original budgets as set in February 2021/22, updated for carry forward requests approved by Cabinet in June. It did not reflect recent changes from Cabinet and Council in July. The report aims to provide a split between COVID and business as usual.
He began by drawing Members’ attention to the Revenue Budget figures at Section 3.0.1, paragraph 3.1 and Appendix 1. A budget of £679k for the pandemic was agreed back in February and current best estimates for spending were around £305k, however it was too early to have confidence in this level of saving. With cases rising again, it is impossible to be sure what impacts may hit the Council later in the financial year.
He went on to note that ‘business-as-usual’ expenditure was forecast an overspend of £347k, which came down to continued need to use agency staff to fill vacant posts and loss of income in planning and water inspection services. He also noted that Delivery and Commercial Services was predicting an overspend of £148k due to shortfalls in income relating to moorings, caravan sites and works to contract vehicles. He concluded by informing the Committee that the figure wasn’t overly concerning, however officers would need to ensure that it was rectified by year end.
He then briefly drew attention to virements to be approved by Cabinet and a request to delegate power to the Legal Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist and relevant operational leads to enter into grants agreements and amend budgets relating to COVID-19. He then quickly touched on Capital Expenditure, informing the Committee that the revised full year budget was £26.8m, but added that it was very unlikely that the Council will be able to spend this amount due to things like LGR taking up officer time.
He then moved on to other key items within the report, directing attention to Section 3.3 which highlighted continued satisfactory progress with Treasury Management and Section 3.4 which highlighted progress with Council Tax and Non-Domestic rates collection.
He concluded by informing Members that the Council continued to be in a good financial position, despite the impact of the pandemic, and recommended that the Committee note the contents of the report and its appendices.
No questions were raised.
RESOLVED – That the contents of the report and appendices be noted.