Issue - meetings

Revenue Management Quarter 4

Meeting: 22/06/2023 - Cabinet (Item 13)

13 Revenue Management Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To consider and decide on the recommendations as set out in the associated report.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

  1. That the unaudited actual revenue expenditure outturn and impact on reserves for the year ended 31 March 2023 be noted.

 

  1. That the withdrawal from reserves of £944,000, to meet the budgeted deficit, will not be needed, and a sum of £18,000 will be transferred into the General Fund be noted.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: To show the actual expenditure on services compared to the revised budget for the period ending 31 March 2023, and the forecast outturn position, highlighting significant variances from the revised annual budget.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Christopher Hall, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance introduced Jane Fineman, Head of Finance, Procurement and Parking who presented the report set out in the agenda.

 

Discussion and questions from Members included the following:

 

-       2022/23 was a difficult year, but officers and Members had worked well together to take tough decisions.

-       Decisions were taken at the right time to manage the Council’s  investments.

-       The Council couldn’t and shouldn’t rely on the savings made due to the current staffing issues. 

-       The challenges remained, but Members would continue to look at income, expenses and a savings plan.  In addition the Council’s proposed asset disposals would be progressed.

-       The ability to fund the Capital Programme was important and this was very welcomed news.

-       A funding surplus due to staff shortages was unsustainable. 

-       The deficit for 2023/24 was still £943k so there was still work to be done.

 

RESOLVED –

 

  1. That the unaudited actual revenue expenditure outturn and impact on reserves for the year ended 31 March 2023 be noted.

 

  1. That the withdrawal from reserves of £944,000, to meet the budgeted deficit, will not be needed, and a sum of £18,000 will be transferred into the General Fund be noted.

 

REASON FOR DECISION: To show the actual expenditure on services compared to the revised budget for the period ending 31 March 2023, and the forecast outturn position, highlighting significant variances from the revised annual budget.

 

 


Meeting: 06/06/2023 - Finance and Governance Cabinet Advisory Board (Item 6)

6 Revenue Management Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jane Fineman, Head of Finance, Procurement and Parking introduced the report set out in the agenda.

 

Discussion and questions from Members included the following:

 

-       The Finance Team were congratulated for finalising the Council’s accounts by the end of May 2023. 

-       The introduction of the new Fees and Charges were staged and took effect towards the end of the last financial year.  They generated about  £300k more than had originally been projected.

-       The budget deficit of £943k was based on the assumption that the 48 vacancies in the Council were filled.

-       The Council were mindful that staff vacancies needed to be filled.  It was hoped the People’s Strategy, when published, would help achieve this.  The Council continued to advertise but at the moment it was struggling to make any significant headway in trying to reduce the number of vacant posts.

-       The People’s Strategy would be one of the Council’s core policy documents so would need to go through the usual approval process.  It was hoped that it would be adopted by February 2024.

-       There was no guarantee that the vacancies would be filled in the next 12 months.  If the vacancies were not filled, the money saved would cancel out the deficit. 

-       However, this was not a healthy position for the Council.  The Council were reliant on its staff to continue delivering the services but the current shortfall meant the position would soon become unsustainable.

-       The level of service that the Council needed to deliver to its residents was starting to suffer.  Experienced staff had left and new staff required training. Staff sickness had also risen.

-       The budget included a vacancy factor which accounted for the turnover of staff.  In 2022/23 it was £260k, for 2023/24 it would be £340k.  An increase of £80k as the Council recognised the problems it was having in recruiting staff.

-       The savings over 2022/23 due to staff vacancies was £1m.  If you subtracted the additional £80k and then divided the balance by four, you would have a figure of £230k which the Council could then contribute towards the £944k deficit. 

-       At quarter one of 2023/24 the Council would be in a position to start projecting for the year ahead.

-       It was noted that there was quite a large jump at year end from where the Council thought it would be at Quarter 3 and where the Council ended up in Quarter 4.  The biggest jump was in staff costs as department managers continued to be hopeful they would be able to fill vacancies.

-       The aim was to be able to find staff so the Council didn’t have a £1m variance for staff costs next year.

-       An alternative would be for the Council  to start to use agency staff.  But this was expensive. 

-       The Local Plan was difficult to budget for.  The Council didn’t budget for the Local Plan on a year by year basis.  It was usually funded from Reserves.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6