To receive an update on the year-end forecast for the 2019/20 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, gave an update on the year-end forecast for the 2019/20 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets
Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, alternative options and reasons for recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and,
1. Note the forecast revenue year end position as at the end of May 2019 for the 2019/20 financial year as showing a net £2.956 million overspend against the revenue budget of £429.661 million.
2. Note the one off transfer of £0.028 million to GFRS from the Transformation Reserve to subsidise travel on a targeted basis for key stage 2 and 3 children across Gloucestershire.
3. Note the forecast capital year end position as at the end of May 2019 of £1.147million overspend against the current budget of £121.537 million
4. Approve the addition of £1.147 million to the Highways capital budget funded from a variety of sources as outlined in the body of the report.
5. Note the allocation of £1.209 million from the approved carriageway resurfacing budget to specific schemes as outlined in the body of the report.
In the absence of Cllr Lynden Stowe (Cabinet Member: Finance and Change), Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, gave an update on the year-end forecast for the 2019/20 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets. The update to reflect the financial position for the 2018/19 year end, showing a forecast revenue year end position of a £2.956 million overspend, (on a net budget of £429.661 million), representing 0.69% of the budget.
The Leader confirmed that the most significant change within the report was the net position forecast overspend in the Children and Families Budget, reported at £7.427 million. The Leader said the overspend reflected ongoing pressures attributed to the high cost of external placements and safeguarding staff budgets. An efficiency plan had been put in place to reduce the forecast overspend to below £5.0 million by the end of the year. The Leader advised that the council’s investment aimed to address some of the issues experienced in delivering Children’s and Families Services, issues not unique to Gloucestershire.
The Communities & Infrastructure Budget forecast reported an overspend of £0.310 million. This was largely due to an overspend of £0.357 million in the council’s waste budgets, for which it was proposed should be offset by areas forecast to be on (or very close) to budget. The council continued to address a number of minor overspends in other budgets.
The Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service reported a forecast overspend of £0.213 million. This was mainly attributed to significant increases in employer superannuation costs for fire service pension schemes. Although a grant had been received to alleviate the increase, this had only represented 90 per cent of the costs. It was proposed that the overall overspend be off set by a number of underspends identified in corporate budgets.
The Leader advised that the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) was forecast to overspend by £4.842 million. This included a deficit carry forward of £2.884 million, primarily a consequence of cost pressures in the High Needs Block. Although there had been a temporary fix from government, without the necessary additional funding, it was unlikely the DSG grant would be brought back into balance in the near future, creating a potential financial risk to the Council. To reduce the risk, a 5 year recovery plan was underway. The Local Government Association (LGA) would also work with councils to highlight the impact of the cost pressures to the Government.
In terms of capital, the Leader reported a forecast year end position of £122.684 million. This included an in year overspend of £1.147 million against the current budget. It was proposed that an increase of £1.147 million be added to the capital programme. Further other changes to be put forward during the next 6 to 8 months.
The Leader referred to Appendix A of the report, detailing financial support for subsidised admission and travel for school children to attend Skillzone from September 2019. The information was noted.
Cllr Richard Boyles, (Cabinet Member for Safeguarding Children and Early ... view the full minutes text for item 5