The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Director of Finance which provided them with an update on the Council’s 2019/20 forecast revenue budget position and the financial position of the capital programme as at 30 November 2019 (Month 8), together with the revised capital programme 2019/24.
In relation to the Revenue position, the Cabinet was informed that the current forecast outturn position for 2019/20 was a projected adverse variance of £1.367m after allowing for approved and pending transfers to and from reserves.
The most significant areas of concern were the People and Place, Children’s Services and Community Services and Adult Social Care portfolios. Action was being taken and would continue for the remainder of the financial year to address variances and take mitigating action as detailed in the report.
The Cabinet noted the overall corporate position was, to a limited extent, being managed by offsetting favourable variances, most noticeably from Capital, Treasury and Corporate Accounting budgets. Management action had been initiated across all service areas to review and challenge
planned expenditure and to maximise income. Progress was being made and this was demonstrated in the position being reported at month 8. Further work needed to be done, if as anticipated, the outturn was to move to a balanced position by the end of the financial year.
Information on the Month 8 position of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and Collection Fund was also outlined in the report. There were no significant issues of concern in relation to the HRA and Collection Fund, however the Collection Fund, whilst forecasting an in-year deficit of £0.127m, remained in a cumulative surplus position. The DSG, continued to be an area which was facing a financial challenge, with a projected deficit increase in 2019/20. Action was being taken with the aim of reducing the cumulative deficit and bringing the DSG towards a balanced position. A further update was provided on the funding that was announced earlier in the financial year.
With regard to the Capital position, the revised capital programme forecast spend for 2019/20 was £63.945m at the close of month 8, a net decrease of £20.387m from the original budget of £84.332m. Actual expenditure to 30 November 2019 was £33.013m (51.63% of the forecast outturn). The report also updated the forecast Capital Programme over the period 2019/20 to 2023/24.
Members noted it was probable that the forecast position would continue to change before the year end with additional re-profiling into future years.
Option 1 – To approve the forecast revenue and capital positions presented in the report including proposed changes.
Option 2 – To approve some of the forecasts and changes detailed within the report.
Option 3 – Not to approve any of the forecasts and changes detailed within the report.
RESOLVED – That: