Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee, Policy Development Committee, Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (circulated previously) regarding the Performance and Financial Management for Quarter 1 of 2021/22.
The Accountancy Services Manager highlighted the following:
· The revenue budget for 2021/22 was approved at Council on 24th February 2021 at £13,639,000.
· As at 30 June 2021, the latest forecast net budget was £13,630,000, which produced a forecast budget surplus of £9,000. Details were shown in “Appendix A – Variations in the Revenue Budget”
· There was still pressure on the 2021/22 budget due to the Covid-19 pandemic with continued additional costs being incurred and forecast decline in core income sources.
· Included within the approved budget a government grant had been factored in relation to Covid-19 pressures of £536,710 and also budgeted for £375,000 of additional costs and reduced income, these had already been incorporated into Appendix A along with the latest forecast for each service area.
· The grant of £536,710 had been approved and received and it was also anticipated that £80,000 re-imbursement would be received for Quarter 1 loss of Sales, Fees and charges, from the continued Government 75% income reimbursement scheme. This was an estimate as the scheme was extended to include the period April to June 2021 only.
· At the end of 2020/21 NDC placed £375,000 into a Covid Budget management reserve to help mitigate any further adverse variances due to the pandemic in 2021/22, this future protection was still available if required.
· As at 31 March 2021 the Collection Fund reserve balance was £9,810,252.
· “Appendix B – Movement in reserves and Balances” detailed the movements to and from earmarked reserves in 2021/22.
· Full details of the Strategic Contingency Reserve movements and commitments were detailed in “Appendix C – Strategic Contingency Reserve”.
· The 2021/22 Capital Programme was detailed in “Appendix D – Capital Programme 2021/22”.
· The Budget and Financial Framework report to Full Council on 24 February 2021 outlined the Capital Programme for the 2021/22 financial year of £22,419,916. Project underspend of £917,121 were bought forward from 2020/21 year and further variations of £1,379,087 were approved as part of the performance and financial management report to Strategy and Resources Committee, to produce a revised 2021/22 Capital Programme of £24,716,124.
· Overall variations of £99,978 proposed to the 2021/22 Capital Programme were detailed in paragraph 4.4.3 of the report.
· The overall Capital Programme for 2021/22 to 2024/25 was £37,135,687 and detailed in paragraph 4.4.6 of the report.
· The Programme of £37,135,687 was funded by Capital Receipts/Borrowing (£18,866,483), External Grants and Contributions (£16,042,616) and Reserves (£2,226,588).
· Release of Funds for 2021/22 Capital Programme as detailed in paragraph 4.4.10 of the report.
· Treasury Management as detailed in paragraph 4.5 of the report.
· Debt Management as detailed in paragraph 4.6 of the report.
· General Debtors as detailed in paragraph 4.7 of the report.
In response to questions, the Accountancy Services Manager advised the following:
· The figures in red in Appendix A were better than forecast and the figures in black were worse than forecast. The Car Parks Pay and Display income forecast was down by £225,000.
· A breakdown of the figures in Appendix A would be circulated to the Committee.
· The total surplus of £9,000 in Appendix A was the forecast for the whole of the financial year and took into account the additional Government grant which would be received for loss of sales, fees and charges.
· The Accountant for the CCTV service was in the process of discussing the arrangements for the recovery of CCTV income with the Town Centre, Pannier Market and CCTV Manager.
· Acquisition of corporate property £250,000 as detailed in Appendix D was for the acquisition of the property at Boutport Street as part of the High Street fund.
· There was a slight reduction in the levels of collections of Business Rates and Council Tax, which was due to Covid 19. Following consultation with the Revenues and Benefits Manager he would provide Members with an update on the potential financial impact of Covid 19 on the collection of Business Rates and Council Tax on this year and future financial years.
· Clarification would be sought from the Revenues and Benefits Manager regarding no write off for Quarter 1. It was understood that there had been no write offs as there had been a change in the way that debts were being collected as a result of Covid 19.
In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:
· The vehicle contract would commence on 1 October 2021.
· In relation to the reduction in car park income, the Government 75% income reimbursement scheme ended in June 2021.
The Committee thanked Officers for their hard work in achieving the current financial position.
(a) That the actions being taken to ensure that performance was at the desired level be noted;
(b) That the contributions to/from earmarked reserves be approved as detailed in section 4.2 of the report;
(c) That the movement on the Strategic Contingency Reserve as detailed in section 4.3 of the report be noted.
(d) That funds be released for the capital schemes listed in section 4.4.10 of the report;
(e) That the sections dealing with Treasury Management (section 4.5 of the report), and Debt Management (sections 4.6 and 4.7 of the report) be noted.
(f) That Council approve the variations to the Capital Programme 2021/22 to 2024/25 as detailed in section 4.4.3 of the report.
Report author: Tony Rumble
Publication date: 20/09/2021
Date of decision: 06/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 06/09/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee