Due to the length of this report, only the covering report has been included in the main agenda for this meeting. The full length report, including appendices, has been published in a separate supplementary pack for the meeting.
The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling presented the Finance and Performance Quarter 2 Report 2023/24 for the Committee’s consideration.
The Committee was advised that the Council had an £11.1 million budget for 2023/24 which had been approved by Council in February 2023. By the date of the meeting, the Council was forecasting a revenue overspend for 2023/24 in the region of £596,000. The overspend position was mainly due to the pay award of £1,925 to all staff, backdated to 1st Aprill 2023 as well as to the impact of homelessness and temporary accommodation costs. However, this would be partly mitigated by the receipt of homelessness prevention grant funding, use of unused funding from the utilities reserve and an increase in income for some service areas.
The Council has a capital programme of £12.6 million which was approved in the budget in February 2023. Of this, £10.6 million was externally funded whilst £2.0 million was Council funded. At quarter two, the actual spend against the original 2023/24 capital budget was £1.267 million.
By the date of the meeting, it was anticipated that there would be underspends in the Housing Revenue Account (HRA). Budget underspends were projected against repairs and maintenance and supervision and management due to vacancies in some parts of the service. This resulted in an overall projected surplus on services totalling £73,000, which would be contributed to HRA reserves. In addition to this, there was a £174,000 projected underspend against the £11.725 million HRA capital programme.
Members subsequently discussed the content of the report in detail and in so doing commented on the following points:
· The Town’s Fund allocation for Redditch and whether this would be sufficient to cover the financial costs involved in work on the innovation centre, demolition of the current library site in the town and the refurbishment of the Town Hall.
· The decision making process that had been followed for the use of the Town’s Fund. Members were advised that figures in reports had initially been based on estimates and all of these issues had been reported to both the Executive Committee and Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
· The proposed bids for fundings in respect of the innovation centre and project managers, due to be considered by the Executive Committee in January 2024.
· The poor energy efficiency rating that had been reported for Winyates Craft Centre and the action that would be taken to address this.
· The potential issues, in terms of the energy efficiency ratings of other community centres in the Borough and the plans in place to address this.
· The timescales for completion of the review of the energy efficiency ratings of all of the Council’s assets. Officers explained that further clarity on this point should be available by spring 2024.
· The extent to which the Council was likely to receive additional funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for projects in the town centre.
· The Council’s eligibility to receive funding as a partner in the former Greater Birmingham and Solihull ... view the full minutes text for item 60