Report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services
The Cabinet considered the report of the Executive Director for Corporate Resources and Customer Services and advised of:
(1) the current estimated financial impact of COVID-19 on the 2020/21 Budget;
(2) the current forecast revenue outturn position for the Council for 2020/21;
(3) the current forecast on Council Tax and Business Rates collection for 2020/21; and
(4) the monitoring position of the Council’s capital programme to the end of November 2020:
· the forecast expenditure to year end;
· variations against the approved budgets and an explanation of those variations for consideration by Members;
· updates to spending profiles and proposed amendments to capital budgets necessary to ensure the efficient delivery of capital projects are also presented for approval.
The Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services referred to the recent Government Spending Review Announcement and reported that Officers were working through the detail in relation to the impact on the Council and as such would report back accordingly.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Maher referred to the lack of Government Funding and the burden this has left on the Council in addressing the significant short fall from the impact of the Covid pandemic.
The Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, Councillor Lappin referred to the un-even approach of taxation which has been applied across the board without any consideration of the less financially able.
Decisions Made: That:
(A) in respect of the Revenue Budget:
(1) the current estimated impact of COVID-19 on the 2020/21 Budget together with the key issues that will influence the final position, be noted;
(2) the financial risks associated with the delivery of the 2020/21 revenue budget and the material variations that are to be expected to the current estimates contained in this report be recognised, and it be agreed subsequent reports provide updates and where appropriate remedial actions plans as appropriate;
(3) the current forecast revenue outturn position for 2020/21, be noted;
(4) it be acknowledged that the forecast outturn position will continue to be reviewed to ensure a balanced forecast outturn position and financial sustainability can be achieved; and
(B) in respect of the Capital Programme:
(1) the spending profiles across financial years for the approved capital programme (paragraph 6.1.1) be noted;
(2) the latest capital expenditure position as at 30 November 2020 of £11.530m (paragraph 6.2.1) with the latest full year forecast of £31.147m (paragraph 6.3.1) be noted;
(3) the explanations of variances to project budgets (paragraph 6.2.3) be noted;
(4) the additional School Condition Grant of £0.680m for inclusion in the capital programme (paragraph 6.4), be approved;
(5) the additional Highways Active Travel Tranche 2 Grant of £0.700m and the School Streets allocation of £0.030m (section 6.5) for inclusion in the capital programme, be approved;
(6) the additional Disabled Facilities Grant allocation of £0.572m for inclusion in the capital programme (paragraph 6.6), be approved; and
(7) the Executive Director Corporate Resources and Customer Services will manage capital resources to ensure the capital programme remains fully funded and that capital funding arrangements secure the maximum financial benefit to the Council (paragraph 6.7.3), be noted.
Reasons for the Decisions:
To ensure Cabinet are informed of the forecast outturn position for the 2020/21 Revenue Budget as at the end of November 2020, including delivery of a remedial action plan, and to provide an updated forecast of the outturn position with regard to the collection of Council Tax and Business Rates.
To keep members informed of the progress of the Capital Programme against the profiled budget for 2019/20 and agreed allocations for future years.
To progress any changes that are required in order to maintain a relevant and accurate budget profile necessary for effective monitoring of the Capital Programme.
To approve any updates to funding resources so that they can be applied to capital schemes in the delivery of the Council’s overall capital strategy.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected: