45 Finance Monitoring Quarter 2 2020/21 PDF 301 KB
The Head of Financial and Customer Services presented the Financial Monitoring Report for the second quarter of the 2020/21 financial year.
The recommendations included a proposal to increase the management fee paid by the Council to Rubicon Leisure Limited. The cost of this would be covered using grant funding that had been provided by the Government to the Council to help manage the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Council had received £1.6 million funding from the Government during the year for this purpose and £1.1 million remained available to spend.
There was an overspend on the strategic purpose ‘Aspiration, Work and Financial Independence’ of over £200,000. This was primarily as a result of an overspend on temporary accommodation for rough sleepers and homeless people during the Covid-19 pandemic. The strategic purpose ‘Run and Grow a Successful Business’ was also overspent by over £750,000. This was largely as a result of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had had on Rubicon Leisure Limited.
By contrast, there was an underspend for the strategic purpose ‘Communities which are Safe, Well Maintained and Green’ of £34,000. This was primarily due to a significant saving in the anti-social behaviour budget of £135,000. However, Bereavement Services had received less income than had been anticipated at the start of the year.
Enabling services were overspent by £281,000. This was primarily due to additional audit costs as well as extra costs associated with the introduction of the new finance ERP system. There had been difficulties with the introduction of this system due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and additional agency staff had had to be employed to help embed the system.
Officers were projecting a £2.4 million variance in the capital programme by the end of the year. The majority of capital projects that had not been delivered as anticipated had been postponed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, contractors could not necessarily come on site to work when planned.
The Corporate Management Team were working hard to review the Council’s budget position. It was hoped that there would be improvements to the accuracy of budget forecasting moving forward.
The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) had a surplus of over £200,000 by the date of the meeting. This was primarily due to savings in respect of Repairs and Maintenance (R&M) and Management and Supervision costs. During the Covid-19 pandemic it had not been possible for Officers to undertake the full range of R&M work that was required. However, it was anticipated that once the Covid-19 vaccine had been rolled out, the work of the team would increase and therefore this saving was not likely to be sustainable moving forward. The savings in supervision and management costs were mainly due to vacant posts, though the service reviews that were being undertaken were likely to impact on this budget.
The Committee subsequently discussed the financial position of the Council by September 2020 and in so doing highlighted the following points: ... view the full minutes text for item 45