Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Finance which provided an update on the deployment of additional capital and revenue grants received in 2020/21 since the report to Cabinet of 23 April 2020 and to advise of the estimated financial challenge for the Council arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was reported that the COVID-19 outbreak continued to place further unprecedented pressure on services provided by both the Council and the NHS.
The Government had in response allocated a number of significant grants to provide support in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A report was considered by Cabinet on 23 April 2020 which presented a range of grant support received towards the end of 2019/20 and early 2020/21. This report outlined the additional grant funding that has been received since the Cabinet meeting.
The report provided details of the financial information that the Council provided to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on a monthly basis which informed the Government of costs being incurred/income lost by the Council as a result of the pandemic. The information included in the returns highlighted the financial challenge that the Council was facing in 2020/21 although additional Government grant funding was expected. Members were also advised of the on-going impact of COVID-19 on the financial position of the Council in future years, with the provisional budget reduction requirement for 2021/22 increasing to £30m.
It was further noted that the Financial Monitoring reports presented to Cabinet during 2020/21 (the report for month 3 is included elsewhere on this agenda) would provide information about the impact of COVID-19 on the financial position of the Council as it developed throughout the year and the reports would also provide details of the use of the grants, both COVID and non-COVID related.
Option 1 - Cabinet approves the adjustments to the budget of the Council to reflect the additional grant funding received during 2020/21 as outlined in this report, confirms its support for actions being taken to address the financial challenge and notes the updated financial forecasts.
Option 2 - Cabinet does not approve the adjustments to the budget of the Council to reflect the additional grant funding received during 2020/21 as outlined in this report, suggests alternative action to address the financial challenge and does not agree to note the updated financial forecasts.
RESOLVED – That: