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Declarations of Interest
Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.
No declarations of interest were received.
Jaclyn Gibson, Chief Finance Officer:
a) presented Performance Scrutiny Committee with the first quarter’s performance (up to 30 June 2020) on the Council’s:
· General Fund
· Housing Revenue Account
· Housing Repairs Service
· Capital Programmes
b) Reported as follows:
· General Fund Revenue Account – for 2020/21 the Council’s net General Fund revenue budget was set at £12,963,220, including a planned contribution from balances of £286,310 (resulting in an estimated level of general balances at the year-end of £2,522,188, after allowing for the 2019/20 outturn position)
· The General Fund Summary was currently projecting a forecast over spend of £78,802 as shown in Appendix A of the report. Although this was a relatively minor overspend in comparison to the net budget there were a significant number of forecast year-end variations in income and expenditure against the approved budget, primarily as a result of Covid-19 along with variances arising from measures taken to address the budget pressures and the financial support provided by Government. Key variances were detailed in the table in paragraph 3.2 of the report and the main variances were detailed in Appendix B.
· In response to the emergency situation arising in March 2020, the Council had to adjust its service provision to meet the needs of its users and residents as well as establish new services/response cells and meet increased costs through contractual arrangements. This increased costs across a range of services including:
o Setting up the Civic Society (including the befriending service) and Business Support cells
o Moving rough sleepers into temporary accommodation
o Provision of PPE and COVID secure status for Council services and buildings
o Requirements under existing contracts for services
o Increased demand on the Revenues and Benefits Service
o Increased demand on Licensing and Health & Safety Teams
o Other costs
· In total the estimated cost in supporting the response to the emergency situation and recovery phase, as well as meeting rising demand for some services was currently estimated to be £0.518m in the General Fund.
c) advised that the most significant of income losses had been:
· Car parking
· Development Management, Land Charges & Building Control
· Leisure, Recreation & Tourism
· Christmas Market
· Commercial Rents
· Treasury Management
· Court Cost charges
· Other Income areas
d) detailed financial support received from Government had been provided through a package of measures:
· £3.7bn of un-ringfenced funding to respond to spending pressures – from this allocation of funding the Council had received three allocations totalling £1,254,696.
· An income compensation scheme. Recognising the unprecedented impact the pandemic had on councils’ income the government was introducing a scheme to compensate for these losses. The new income loss scheme involved a 5% deductible rate, whereby councils paid the first 5% of all lost planned sales, fees and charges income, with the government compensating them for 75p in every pound of net loss.
· Targeted grants in relation to specific cost pressures and new burdens arising during Covid-19, for the Council which included:
o New Burdens: Business Support Grants - £130,000
o Rough Sleepers - £20,250
o Test & Trace - £41,383 ... view the full minutes text for item 18.