The Head of Finance and Customer Services presented the Financial and Performance Monitoring Report for the third quarter of 2023/24.
The projected budget position for the Council, based on figures from Quarter 3 of the financial year, would be £750,000. This represented a £381,000 increase on the £369,000 overspend that had been reported for the end of Quarter 2 and was largely caused by the allocation of a £1,925 pay award to staff, which had been paid in December 2022. In addition to this, there had been increased fuel and fleet maintenance costs during the period.
The Council’s budget position would continue to be reviewed; however, this in-year budget forecast reflected the best information available at the time. Members were advised that it was important to note that there were a number of key factors that might impact upon the financial position which were not yet reflected fully within the forecast, including:
· The cost of living crisis and the impact that this might have upon demand for Council services, including the impact of homelessness and bed and breakfast temporary accommodation costs.
· Inflationary increases – general inflation had been running at 10 per cent and would impact upon transport costs, utilities and contracts in particular.
· Ensuring all invoicing was up to date – especially as the Council moved closer to the end of the financial year at the end of March 2023.
A capital programme of £4.1 million had been approved in the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for 2022/23 in March 2022. This had been fully reviewed as part of the MTFP using actual data as at the end of December 2022. Many of the schemes in the capital programme were already in partial delivery in the 2022/23 financial year. The capital programme included the sums not spent in 2022/23 (and 2021/22 by default if schemes originated earlier than 2022/23, as sums had been carried forward from the previous year’s final MTFP) to be carried forward into 2023/24.
The budget included Town’s Fund grant funding schemes, such as the Digital Manufacturing and Innovation Centre, improvements to the Town Centre Public Realm and the business case for the Library site, subject to approval of the latter scheme. There was also £294,000 in UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF). Expenditure at Quarter 3 of the 2022/23 financial year was at £1.88 million against the overall 2022/23 capital budget totalling £5.4 million.
A review of the Council’s reserves position had been undertaken as part of the MTFP process. At Quarter 2, the General Fund had been impacted by the significant 2022/23 overspend position, which was £1.424 million. This was what was reflected in the MTFP. However, Quarter 3 monitoring set out a significant improvement of this position to a £750,000 overspend and therefore improved the General Fund position to a forecast £2.506 million at 31st March 2026.
The Executive Committee was being asked to approve implementation of the Council Tax Support Fund Policy for 2023/24. The Council was keen to support all ... view the full minutes text for item 143