To consider the budget monitoring report for quarter 2 (to follow).
C Hartgrove, Finance Consultant, explained that the Budget Monitoring Report was usually reported to the Stronger Council Select Committee but as its next meeting was in January 2021, the Chairman had agreed it was more timely for the quarter 2 report to come before this Committee tonight.
This report dealt with the 2020/21 General Fund revenue and capital positions, as at 30 September 2020 (quarter 2) and provided an update on the quarter 2 capital position for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA). The revenue elements of the HRA were currently under review, with detailed projections being developed for the quarter 3 stage for consideration by members. This would include an update on progress against the Council’s adopted 30-year HRA Business Plan. In terms of General Fund revenue expenditure at quarter 2, a budget over spend of £1.944 million was forecast, with projected net expenditure of £19.118 million against an overall budget provision of £17.174 million. The General Fund revenue position for 2020/21, at quarter 2 was summarised by service area in Appendix A of the agenda report.
Covid-19 had made a massive impact on the General Fund revenue position most notably on:
· Leisure facilities (c. £2.8 million)
· Qualis income (c. 2.1 million
· Car parking (c. 1.01 million)
· Development Control (c. £0.67 million)
On a positive note the Government had been generally supportive of the financial challenge facing local authorities. £1.947 million in general un-ringfenced funding had already been provided, along with further support through an income loss compensation scheme, which was forecast to rise to £1.875 million by the year end. This amounted to a combined funding of circa £3.8 million.
The General Fund Capital Programme for 2020/21 at service level as at 30 September 2020 was detailed in Appendix B of the agenda report. Spending in the first 6 months had been £1.4 million, with a forecast outturn of £17.34 million and, if this happened, would lead to a small net underspend of £0.094 million.
The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme for 2020/21 as at 30 September 2020 (detailed in Appendix C) showed the programme budget totalled £25.313 million. Spending in the first 6 months had been £6.369 million, with a forecast outturn of £18.427 million, and if this happened, would lead to an underspend of £6.886 million.The dominating factor on the HRA Capital Programme for 2020/21 had been Housing Development, with a net underspend of £6.742 million forecast for the year end at the quarter 2 stage.
Councillor S Murray said to the Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor J Philip, that what happened this financial year had a potential impact on the next financial year, and would there be a Council Tax increase and were non-core services under threat? Councillor J Philip replied that a report (C-040-2020/21 – Medium Term-Financial Plan Development and Scene Setting) to Cabinet on 16 November 2020 allowed £4 million in next year’s budget to minimise this. Council Tax could increase by £5 a year for a Band D property but the Council would keep any Council Tax increase as low as possible for its residents.
(1) That the General Fund revenue position at the end of Quarter 2 (30th September 2020) for 2020/21, including actions being or proposed to improve the position, where significant variances have been identified, be noted (Appendix A);
(2) That the General Fund capital position at the end of Quarter 2 (30 September 2020) for 2020/21 be noted (Appendix B); and
(3) That the Housing Revenue Account capital position at the end of Quarter 2 (30 September 2020) for 2020/21 be noted (Appendix C).