Report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive to the Strategy and Resources Committee on 6 February 2023 (attached).
Council considered the Performance and Financial Management Quarter 3 report to the Strategy and Resources Committee on 6 February 2023 (circulated previously).
Report by Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (attached).
The Committee considered a report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (circulated previously) regarding Performance and Financial Management Quarter 3 of 2022/23.
The Accountancy Services Manager highlighted the following:
· As at 31st December 2022, the latest forecast net budget was £13,702,640, which produced a forecast budget surplus of £19,000. Details were shown in “Appendix A – Variations in the Revenue Budget”.
· The original budget for 2022/23 included a forecast to achieve £250,000 worth of salary vacancy savings. The current position forecasted that £452,000 savings would be achieved. The additional £202,000 was due to timings of filling the capacity building posts throughout the year which were approved as part of the original 2022/23 budget.
· Temporary Accommodation was under additional cost pressure due to the increase in homelessness cases; the in-year impact of this £250,000 forecast increase in costs had been mitigated by utilising balances from the Homelessness earmarked reserve. Whilst this had alleviated the pressure this year, it did mean this one-off amount from the homelessness reserve could not be utilised for other homelessness initiatives.
· Within the joint Building Control Services partnership with Mid Devon District Council there had been a decline in income and due to challenges in recruiting to vacant posts, an increase in the use of agency staffing costs which had negatively impacted the trading account. Full Council had recently approved an 8% increase in the Building Control fees, this additional income would cover the additional staffing costs moving forwards and improve the Council’s ability to fill vacant posts. It was now being forecasted that there would be a net deficit for the Council of £33,000, this included utilising a £50,000 contribution from the Building Control reserve built up through prior year trading surpluses.
· The largest variance within Appendix A was the £804,000 National pay award additional staffing costs over and above the £280,000 already built into the base budget; this was based on the offered pay award put forward to the Unions by the National Employers pay review body for the 2022-23 year. The pay award was accepted by the Union and its members and was backdated to 1st April 2022 and paid to staff in December 2022. The pay award was based upon £1,925 per full time equivalent employee.
· Other inflationary pressures built into the forecast included additional fuel costs across the Council’s fleet of £104,000 and additional energy costs of £63,000. To date the Council had not included any further general supplies and services inflationary increases as we will endeavour to control and manage these in year through the existing budgetary framework.
· The other significant in-year cost pressure that had not been included in the current figures yet was the award of costs claim in relation to the Yelland planning appeal; once this amount was known a report would be brought to Members detailing the award of costs amount and setting out how the Council would be funding this cost.
· As at 31st March 2022 the Collection Fund reserve ... view the full minutes text for item 96