Cllr Lynden Stowe, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, provided an update on the year-end forecast for the 2022/23 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets and reported on the Council’s performance and risk during Quarter 4 of 2022/23.
Having considered all of the information, Cabinet noted the report and
1. Note the 2022/2023 revenue budget underspend of £910k and recommends that £910k is transferred to General Reserves.
2. Approve the £1.748 million carry forward of the Covid 19 Emergency Grant funding and a further £405k of carry forwards, as detailed in annex 1.
3. Note other technical reserve movements for 2022/23 as set out in annex 3.
4. Note delivery of the £9.342 million of savings against a target of £10.987 million in 2022/23 or 85.03%
5. Transfer £568k to the Business Rates Reserve in relation to the GCC share of the surplus on the Business Rates Retention Pool. In addition, approve a transfer of £710k to the Business Rates Reserve, ring fenced for the Strategic Economic Development Fund as a result of the Business Rates Pool surplus for 22/23.
6. Transfer £4.92 million to the Business Rates Reserve following reconciliation and distribution of the DLUHC Levy Account from 2021/22.
7. Note the capital outturn position for 2022/23 of £122.771 million against a budget of £149.279 million, giving in year slippage of £26.508 million.
8. Approve an increase of £41.638 million in the Capital Programme and reallocation of capital funds as detailed in section G of the report.
9. It is recommended that the cabinet approve a drawing of £795k from the general reserves in 2023/24 to support a reduction in the SEND backlog and case loads
10.Consider this report of the Council’s performance and risks and identifies any areas of concern requiring further analysis, assurance or action.
5.1 Cllr Lynden Stowe, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, provided an update on the year-end forecast for the 2022/23 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets and reported on the Council’s performance and risk during Quarter 4 of 2022/23.
5.2 The final revenue position at the end of 2022/23 was an underspend of £910k. This underspend would be transferred to General Reserves.
5.3 The Council’s cost of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic (excluding expenditure funded from specific grants) was £6.926 million in 2022/23. Covid-19 funding available to support this expenditure was £8.674 million which was carried forward from the 2020/21 Emergency Grant. Approval was requested that the remaining balance of £1.748 million of Section 31 Covid-19 Emergency Grant be carried forward to fund the future years commitments of recovery from the pandemic in 2023/24.
5.4 The overall position did mask a number of significant variances, with the areas of major revenue risk during the year continuing to relate to the care of the most vulnerable children and adults.
5.5 It was recommended that the cabinet approve a drawing of £795k from the general reserves in 2023/24 to support a reduction in the SEND backlog and case loads. The Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Bus Transport welcomed the recommendation in the report.
5.6 The budget for 2022/23 included £10.987 million of savings. Overall, £9.342 million had been achieved, this represented an achievement of 85.03% of the annual target.
5.7 A summary of reserves had been set out in Section B of the report. Details of all reserve movements in 2022/23 were shown in the table in annex 3 of the report.
The balance on the General fund as at 1st April 2022 £23.052 million, the Balance at 31st March 23 £16.839 million. General Reserves have decreased by £6.213 million.The movement on the general reserve represents £1.046 million funding of the 2022/23 budget and £5.167 million additional funding to support the 2022/23 pay award. The use of carry forward requests of £405k had been detailed in annex 1 of the report
5.8 The re-profiled capital budget for 2022/23 totalled £149.279 million. The outturn position for 2022/23 was £122.771 million, giving in year slippage of £26.508 million. This represented slippage in some major schemes (as detailed in the Cabinet report) but the schemes were still on budget and expected to be completed during 2023/24
5.9 It was noted that the report also included details of the Councils performance and risk. The Council was performing well against the Council Strategy delivering against targets in a number of areas.
5.10 There had been continued improvement in Children’s Social Care while there were also remaining challenges in repeat referrals. The Cabinet Member for Children and Safeguarding commented on the hard work being carried out in this area and the achievements that had been made while recognising there was still more work to do. Adult Social Care investment in staff was leading to improvement performance in meeting those challenging needs.