Report of the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services
1. That the current General Fund Revenue Budget forecast of £2.3m overspend be noted.
2. That it be noted that actions will continue to be taken to mitigate the forecast overspend and that a balanced financial outturn is envisaged. ... view the full agenda text for item 74
Consideration was given to the report which set out the financial position as at the end of September 2020 and was based on actual costs and income for the first 6 months of 2020/21 and forecast for the remainder of the financial year.
Financial performance was a key element within ... view the full minutes text for item 74
Cabinet Portfolio: - Corporate Services and Finance
Strategic Directorate: - Finance and Customer Services
Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 23 November 2020 in respect of September Financial Monitoring 2020/21. The Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, the Strategic Director for Finance and Customer Services and the Assistant Director – Financial Services attended the meeting to present the report.
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services advised that the report was the latest in a series of financial monitoring reports and noted that the current report detailed the Council’s the financial position as at the end of September 2020. The Cabinet Member stated that as at September 2020, the Council had a forecast year-end overspend of £23.7m on the General Fund, this however was mitigated in part by the Governments provision of COVID-19 emergency support grant and a Sales, Fees and Charges Income Compensation scheme that meant that the net forecast budget outturn was showing a £2.3m overspend was being forecast.
The report provided a full and detailed analysis on the current budget position (as at September 2020) for each of the Council’s directorates as well as current information regarding the Council’s Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme.
Members asked for further information on how changes to how the NHS funded discharge packages would impact the Adult Care budget. The Assistant Director – Financial Services noted that changes to how care packages were funded made earlier during the pandemic, where care packages that in normal times would have been funded by the Council had been funded by the NHS had created savings in the Adult Care budget. The Assistant Director advised that with the change of how care packages had been funded, taken alongside the additional support being provided by the Government to support essential Council services throughout the winter period, it was anticipated that any changes to how the NHS funded care packages would not have a significant impact on the Adult Care budget.
Members asked for assurances that the Council had the procedures in place to continue to manage the significant financial impacts of the pandemic. The Strategic Director for Finance and Customer Services noted that a significant challenge surrounding budget management was managing changes to processes and funding made as a result of frequent changes of Government policy. The Strategic Director advised that the rigorous financial control, reporting and oversight procedures that had been implemented at the start of the pandemic had been hugely beneficial in enabling effective budget management and control at the Council during a very challenging period. The Strategic Director assured members that the learning from pandemic would be analysed and reviewed in order to take forward improved ways of working.
Members asked for the further information on the projected overspend of £9.4milion in the Regeneration and Environment budget and whether an increased use of agency staff had contributed to the overspend. The Strategic Director assured members that the use of agency staff was reducing across the Council and advised that the majority ... view the full minutes text for item 248