Purpose of report
To inform Cabinet of the Council’s forecast 2021/22 financial position as at the end of July 2021, covering the general fund revenue budget, housing revenue account budget and capital programmes associated with the general fund and housing revenue account.
(1) Notes the forecast 2021/22 outturn position for the general fund and housing revenue account revenue and capital budgets as at the end of July 2021.
(2) Agrees to receive further finance monitoring reports during the year in order to provide ongoing updates with respect to the projected outturn position.
(3) Notes the allocation criteria of the Covid recovery reserve, the use of which had been delegated to the Chief Executive and Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.
Other options considered and rejected
Reason for decision
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources presented a report which confirmed the following information relating to the Council’s revenue and capital budgets:
· the general fund, taking into account approval of budget carry forwards was noted as a net cost of service budget equated to £19.378 million as set out in table 1 of the report;
· a deficit as at 31 July 2021 was forecast as £1.022 million and was mainly as a result of reduced levels of income from specific service areas, the reduced forecast of procurement and process automation efficiencies and removal of the salary vacancy forecasts;
· the general fund capital programme equated to £4.085 million. The outturn position as at 31 July 2021 was set out in table 6 of the report;
· the housing revenue account revenue budget was £5.435 and the budgeted surplus was fully utilised to fund future investment in stock growth and property maintenance. The summary of movements associated with this were highlighted in table 7 of the report, with the outturn position set out at table 8;
· the housing revenue account capital programme was £22.716 million, with table 7 of the report showing the summary of movements. The forecast outturn position was set out at table 10.
The Leader of the Council acknowledged the forecast £1 million deficit and highlighted that there would be difficult decisions for the Council to take, but that this was reflective in local government nationally. In terms of key areas of income for the authority, these would continue to be monitored and reviewed.
During discussion a comment was made that despite the challenges faced by the authority in the previous 18 months, the Council’s teams had worked very well in continuing to deliver services. It could be that positive variances occurred throughout the year given that there was a lot of the year to go yet. It was therefore anticipated that the Council may be in a better position by the end of the year, noting, however, the projected deficit position set out in the report.