To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.
Jane Fineman, Head of Finance and Procurement introduced this Report that showed the actual expenditure on services for the period ending 30 September 2019 and the forecast outturn position, including variances from the revised annual budget and included the following:
- The actual expenditure to 30 September 2019 was £7.275m, £39,000 less than budget. However the forecast outturn for the year was currently £98,000 over budget.
- The main movements were a £87,000 forecast reduction in staff costs, £55,000 from planning and £32,000 from finance.
- The income from cremations was much lower than budgeted. This meant that income was now forecast to be £120,000 below budget by year end.
- A reduction in car parking income of £60,000 was now forecast. Parking income in Royal Victoria Place and Crescent Road were both below budget. As season ticket income at Crescent Road (season tickets were not available at Royal Victoria Place) was on budget, this suggested it was shopper and visitor numbers that had declined.
- Income from Fixed Penalty Notices for littering and dog fouling was forecast to be £82,000 under budget – this was as a result of the contractor terminating their contract. The income loss was mitigated in part by a reduction in the cost of the contract – a total of £49,000.
- The Council had now set up its own enforcement service for littering and dog fouling.
- Earmarked reserves were forecast to be £10.6m by the end of the year. With total reserves of £19.7m.
- The Capital Programme was not quite fully funded, being £284,000 under. It was suggested the projects might be rescheduled into future years and income from the sale of assets could be used to finance projects and bridge the funding gap.
- It was noted that the reserves did not include the impact of the cessation of the Calverley Square development, this would be presented in the Quarter 3 accounts.
- Included in the Report was a request for Cabinet to approve the Write Off of £11,943 of Housing Loans. To assist in the prevention of Homelessness the Council gave interest free loans to pay for rental deposits. The Council would then collect the loans at a later date – however this was not always possible.
RESOLVED - That the recommendations to Cabinet set out in the Report be supported.