Agenda item

2021-2022 Q4 Provisional Outturn & 2022-2023 Q1 Monitoring

To consider Report No: DoR77/22 of the Interim Director of Resources, which seeks to consider the provisional Outturn position for 2021-22 and to review the position at Q1 of the 2022-23 Revenue budget.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  The Finance Scrutiny Committee is recommended to:

 

1.    Note the draft Revenue Outturn Position for 2021-22 of £311k underspend   set out at 3.10.

 

2.    Note the proposed slippage of Revenue budgets of £206k from 21/22 to 22/23 as set out in Appendix 2.

 

3.    Note the draft Capital Outturn Position for 2021-22 set out at 3.13.

 

4.    Note the proposed slippage of Capital budgets of £1,355k from 21/22 to 22/23 as set out in Appendix 3.

 

5.    Note the Quarter 1 forecast outturn position for Revenue as set out in    Appendix 4.

Minutes:

Members considered the report: DoR77/22 of the Interim Director of Resources, which sought to consider the provisional Outturn position for 2021-2022 and to review the position at Quarter 1 of the 2022-2023 Revenue budget.

 

The Interim Director of Resources noted that the report sought to provide as much detail as possible regarding the Value for Money assessment, specifically the variances. It was clarified that the provisional outturn was the Quarter 4 monitoring. The Interim Director of Resources advised that the committee should be able to see all four quarters of budgetary monitoring before it went back to Cabinet.

 

The committee was advised that Cabinet had approved the proposed slippage which would then go onto Council for consideration and approval.

 

The Interim Director of Resources, noted that there would be a briefing after the report went to Cabinet, but before Council, which would seek to update Members on the revised budget and Single Site Programme.

 

Members asked the following questions of the Interim Director of Resources on the provisional outturn 2021-2022:

 

·       Proposed slippage in the capital scheme will this go into reserves?

 

Response: the budget is in the programme so it will slip into the 2022/2023 financial year.

 

·       Could you clarify the £704 000 overspend on the One Eden Programme and £430 000 overspend on Housing in Appendix 2:

 

Response: (One Eden Programme) the savings within the budget were left as a single line, it should have been that the revised budget was set on the basis that the savings were incorporated into all of the individual areas, that’s why it shows as a variance on the single line. When we setup the original body and programme we put a line in the medium term financial forecast of to what the savings would be with the view once we stablished where the savings would be made, this would be taken out, and the budget would include all the savings in 21/22, this didn’t happen when we set the revised estimate. What it shows is that savings have been made over the expected amount, but they’ve been made in the individual lines and not against the lines originally set.

 

(Housing) The Patterdale Housing scheme was originally included in capital, but it was established that it should have been included in revenue. The expenditure was therefore moved from capital to revenue, it was funded from the reserve originally intended and is therefore not an actual overspend.

 

 

 

·       Is there money owing in the community fund to improve play areas?

 

Response: No, those monies haven’t been spent and were in the budget for 21/22 at revised estimate time, which will now be spent in 22/23.

·       With LGR happening is there guarantee that the money will be spent to improve the play areas prior to LGR?

Response: Some of the expenditure is dependent on third party actions, such as bids. There are funds therefore that the council spend on play equipment that it owns and then there are funds that the council provides to devolved play areas.

 

·       With regard to slippage in 23/24, including the town hall redevelopment, how confident are you that that the funds will be there to be spent for 2023/2023?

 

* The Interim Director of Resources declared an interest: as current and interim S151 officer for Westmorland and Furness Council.

 

Response: In terms of slippage, it is inconceivable that any of the authorities. It is expected that the Council will underspend this year as it has a history of underspending. The Council is committed to spending the funds and given the current economic circumstances and difficulty in engaging other bodies to spend the funds, there is an expectation that there will be slippage on both revenue and capital.

 

·       Will it be a completely revised budget that we receive in November for 2022/2023?

 

Response: Yes, there are some significant changes on the budget that need to be made, including with regard to the deficit on the Greenwhich Leisure Limited (GLL) contract. Given the economic circumstances, their deficit has increased. The budget will on the whole remain the same. The level of underspend hasn’t been as big as it was last year and the pay award is unlikely to cover this.

 

·       With regard to the GLL deficit, how long has this been ongoing and are GLL in breach of any of the provisions in their contract?

 

Response: When the contract was taken on by GLL from the previous contractor, at the time, there was a structural deficit present. The council has not funded this deficit, except during the Covid-19 pandemic when funds provided from the government were used to support businesses, including the Penrith Leisure Centre, and GLL were transparent with their accounts when the support was provided by the Council during this period only. We are not aware that they are in breach of their contract in any respect. At this point in time, we have not funded GLL post-Covid, we knew that we would negotiate with GLL during this year especially in light of the increasing energy costs. The Council is therefore engaging them in regards to their service provisions.

 

·       Why has anticipated recycling income not materialised and why has there been an increase in sale of blue bags?

Response: The green sites have been closed. – not sure why recycling income hasn’t materialised.

 

·       With regards to the local plan policy review, will this be progressing?

 

Response: There are significant delays and further queries that have been raised which need to be addressed before it can be moved forward. The funding will be available from an earmarked reserve for the local plan.

 

The Chair noted his thanks for the level of detail provided in the report by the Assistant Director Finance, Marianne Bastille.

 

Proposed by Councillor Nicolson

Seconded by Councillor Ryland

 

andRESOLVED that the Finance Scrutiny Committee noted the recommendations in the report.

Supporting documents: