Report from the Strategic Director for Finance and Customer Services.
1. Note the current General Fund Revenue Budget forecast overspend of £4.5m.
2. Note that actions will continue to be taken to reduce the overspend position but that it is possible that the Council will need to draw on its reserves to balance the 2023/24 financial position.
3. Approve the capital budget variations as detailed in section 2.61 of the report.
Consideration was given to the report which was the financial position at the end of July 2023 including the forecast for the remainder of the year. It estimated an overspend of £4.5m for the financial year, which was largely due to demand-led pressures on children’s placements, demand-led pressures on home to school transport, the impact of inflation and the economy generally regarding food prices. The current economic climate remained turbulent. The Council had some mitigating factors. There was also overall funding uncertainty for the local government sector beyond 2023-24 as the local government settlement was only for one-year allocations.
The Leader noted this was quarter one monitoring data but there were clearly considerable demand pressures continuing with services and some uncertainty around funding going forward.
The Assistant Director Finance explained that an intensive review of current forecasts had commenced with the Strategic Directors to ensure the Council could be as robust as possible moving forward for the rest of the financial year.
Resolved: That Cabinet: