The Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Resources presented the Council’s Financial Outturn Report 2019/20 and Reserves and in so doing highlighted the following information for Members’ consideration:
· The report had been presented to the Executive Committee slightly later in the calendar year than usual due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
· The majority of services were underspent when compared to the budget that had been set in the MTFP for the financial year.
· In part, these savings could be explained because the MTFP had been agreed before the Section 24 Notice had been issued to the Council and therefore significant changes had been made since the budget was set, resulting in the financial savings.
· The savings that had been secured would be returned to balances, which would help the Council to address one of the concerns that had been raised by the external auditors in the Section 24 Notice.
· The one exception to this was expenditure in respect of the strategic purpose ‘help me run a successful business’, where there had been an overspend of £486,000. This was largely due to a significant loss of income for Rubicon Leisure Ltd from January 2020 onwards, due primarily to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
· The Council had budgeted to spend £9.8 million in the capital budget but there had been an underspend of £6.9 million during the year. The Corporate Management Team (CMT) had been concerned that this was not acceptable and therefore Officers were working to ensure that this did not occur again in future.
· Savings had been achieved in relation to the HRA so only £26,000 had been required from balances to balance the budget for the year, meaning that the Council retained more than the minimum level of balances.
· However, there remained concerns about levels of expenditure for the HRA and this would need to continue to be carefully managed moving forward.
· The Council would be putting up to £1.3 million into reserves which would help to ensure the sustainability of services moving forward.
· The Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Resources would be requesting an additional meeting of the CRWP in due course to discuss further delegations to the Section 151 Officer in respect of grants provided to the Council.
· A new fee was proposed for customers undertaking journeys on a Dial a Ride vehicle for medical appointments. This fee had been proposed because the journeys tended to involve delivering and collecting a single customer and therefore were more expensive for the Council.
Members subsequently discussed the report and commented on a number of points in detail:
· The budget that had previously been agreed for the new IT system for Environmental Services and the reasons why additional funding was now required. Officers explained that previously a request had been made for a certain amount of capital funding, based on external advice, but it had since become clear, based on market testing, that additional funding would be required.
· The timeframes for the introduction of a new ... view the full minutes text for item 14