Agenda item

Financial Monitoring Report 2018/19

To consider an update on the year-end forecast for the 2018/19 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets

 

Decision:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, updated members on the year-end forecast for the 2018/19 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets for the year ending 31 March 2019.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, alternative options and reasons for recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and,

                             

RESOLVED to:

 

1.    Note the forecast revenue year end position as at the end of February 2019 for the 2018/19 financial year is a balanced position. This represents a £0.406 million improvement on the previous position reported to Cabinet on 13th March 2019.

 

2.    Approve that the slippage in year on IRIS in 2018/19, currently standing at £0.3 million, is transferred as revenue contribution to capital to support the capital refurbishment of Trevone House.

 

3.    Note the forecast overspend in the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) of £4.89 million in 2018/19, which reduces to £1.24 million after adjusting for the £2.3 million of uncommitted DSG balances brought forward and the £1.35 million additional funds announced in December 2018 to support children with special educational needs; and also endorses on going discussions with the Schools Forum to agree actions to bring DSG back into balance.

 

4.    Note the forecast capital year end position as at the end of February 2019 of £97.786 million against the current budget of £100.504 million – in year slippage of £2.718 million.

 

5.    Approve the addition of £0.025 million to the Adults capital budget funded by a revenue contribution.

 

6.    Approve the addition of £0.074 million to the Highway Capital budget funded from a variety of sources as outlined in the body of the report.

 

7.    Approve the addition of £0.121 million to the ICT Capital budget funded by a revenue contribution from the Adults Contact Centre budget.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, gave an update on the year end forecast for the 2018/19 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets. The update reflected a challenging year based on an 11-month period ending 31 March 2019. Noting the success of the council’s policies, he commended Paul Blacker and the Finance Team for their tireless efforts in achieving a balanced budget. 

 

The following points were noted: -

 

The forecast revenue year end position was in a balanced position, on a net budget of £418.081 million, (representing a £0.406 million improvement on the previous position reported). There remained a significant underlying forecast overspend in the Children and Families Budget of £12 million, (reduced to £9 million by using one-off income from the business rate retention pilot and the drawing down from the Vulnerable Peoples Reserve). This reflected the continuing pressure on external placements and the cost of agency staff to cover vacancies. The number of children in care was reported as 740, compared to 650 two years ago.

 

Support Services were forecast to underspend by £0.425 million, largely due to staff vacancies. Other areas were forecast to be on or very close to budget.

 

Overall overspend was offset by a number of underspends, many of a one-off nature, that had been identified in corporate budgets.

 

The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) was forecast to overspend by £4.89 million, a decrease of £0.3 million from the previous position reported. The deficit carried forward into 2019/20 had been reduced by £2.3 million of uncommitted balances brought forward from previous years and the additional allocation of £1.35 million announced by the Department for Education to address the national pressure on high needs. This would leave a net forecast deficit of £1.24 million at the year end. It was confirmed there would be on-going discussions with the Schools Forum to agree actions to bring the DSG back into balance in future years.

 

The forecast year end position was reported as £97.786 million, resulting in a forecast slippage of £2.718 million.

 

The Cabinet report proposed an overall increase of £2.877 million to the capital programme. 

 

Cllr Theodoulou thanked the Finance Team and stated that, despite the challenges it had been presented with, the financial competency of the team was a credit to the council, a quality not always achieved nationally.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, alternative options and reasons for recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and,

                             

RESOLVED to:

 

a)    Note the forecast revenue year end position as at the end of February 2019 for the 2018/19 financial year is a balanced position. This represents a £0.406 million improvement on the previous position reported to Cabinet on 13th March 2019.

 

b)    Approve that the slippage in year on IRIS in 2018/19, currently standing at £0.3 million, is transferred as revenue contribution to capital to support the capital refurbishment of Trevone House.

 

c)    Note the forecast overspend in the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) of £4.89 million in 2018/19, which reduces to £1.24 million after adjusting for the £2.3 million of uncommitted DSG balances brought forward and the £1.35 million additional funds announced in December 2018 to support children with special educational needs; and also endorses on going discussions with the Schools Forum to agree actions to bring DSG back into balance.

 

d)    Note the forecast capital year end position as at the end of February 2019 of £97.786 million against the current budget of £100.504 million – in year slippage of £2.718 million.

 

e)    Approve the addition of £0.025 million to the Adults capital budget funded by a revenue contribution.

 

f)     Approve the addition of £0.074 million to the Highway Capital budget funded from a variety of sources as outlined in the body of the report.

 

g)    Approve the addition of £0.121 million to the ICT Capital budget funded by a revenue contribution from the Adults Contact Centre budget.

 

Supporting documents: