Purpose of Report
To present the second quarter’s performance (up to 30 September 2021) on the Council’s General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Housing Repairs Service and Capital Programmes, and to seek approval for changes to both the revenue and capital programmes.
1. That the financial performance for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021 and the projected outturns for 2021/22 be noted.
2. That the underlying impact of the pressures and underspends identified in paragraphs 3.3 (and Appendix B), 4.3 (and Appendix D), and 5.2 (and Appendix F) be noted.
3. That the proposed contributions from earmarked reserves, as set out in paragraph 3.6 and paragraphs 4.9 and 4.10 of the report be approved.
4. That the changes to the General Investment Programme and the Housing Investment Programme, as detailed in paragraphs 7.4, 7.10 and 7.11 of the report be approved.
5. That the changes to the General Investment Programme, as detailed in paragraph 7.4 of the report, be approved.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Reason for Decision
Following the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s finances in 2020/21, budgets for 2021/22 had been revised as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2021-26, based on a number of assumptions around the speed and extent of the national and local recoveries particularly in relation to income budgets. Whilst in many cases these assumptions had reflected the actual position to date, there were still some areas where the rate of recovery was impacting adversely on the Council’s finances.
In addition, the impact of Covid-19 was still being felt throughout the authority in relation to service delivery both in terms of backlogs of outstanding work, but also due to the current economic operating conditions in terms of supply chain issues, escalating costs and availability of labour. Whilst these issues were being addressed, they were likely to continue into the medium term and impact on the Council’s finances. Furthermore, the imposition of any new national restrictions over the winter period would adversely affect the forecast outturns provided within this report. Close monitoring of the position and implementation of mitigating actions over quarters 3-4 would be key to ensuring the Council maintained a balanced budget position for 2021/22.
Updates were reported as follows:
General Fund Revenue Account
For 2021/22 the Council’s net General Fund revenue budget was set at £978,410 including a planned contribution from balances of £477,240 (resulting in an estimated level of general balances at the year-end of £2,193,359, after allowing for the 2020/21 outturn position).
The General Fund Summary was currently projecting a forecast overspend of £46,366 (Appendix A provided a forecast General Fund Summary), resulting in general balance at the year-end of £2,146,993.
There were a number of forecast year-end variations in income and expenditure against the approved budget; as detailed at paragraphs 3.3- 3.4 of the report, with the main variances provided in Appendix B to the report.
Although the forecast outturn for the General Fund was a deficit of £46,366 ... view the full minutes text for item 51