Agenda item

Finance, Performance and Risk Monitoring Report

Decision:

Cllr Lynden Stowe updated Cabinet on the Council's outturn expenditure for

2023/24, and sought approval for changes to the Capital Programme in 2023/24 and future years. He reported on the Council’s performance and risk during Quarter 4 of 2023/24

 

Having considered all of the information, Cabinet noted the report and

 

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1) Note the 2023/2024 revenue budget underspend of £10.045 million, inclusive of £4.410 million arising from additional electricity income generated by the Energy from Waste (EfW) facility (paragraph 14)

2) Approve that the £10.045 million underspend is transferred to General Reserves at the year end with £4.410 million from this reserve released in 2024/25 to fund:

 An allocation of £2 million for highways projects to cover £500k to maintain 8 Find and Fix gangs throughout the year, £500k for refreshing lining across

the network, £300k to fund Cheltenham Spa access ramp, £200k for further vegetation cutting gangs to improve safety on the network, £200k towards maintaining footways in our town centres, £100k increase to the schools safety programme, £100k to refresh crossings across the network and £100k to deliver the Merrywalks bus station resurfacing.

 An allocation of £2.41 million to address financial risks arising within the current year’s budget including, but not limited to, the cost of children’s placements, additional expenditure required to support the forthcoming CQC inspection and the introduction of the Procurement Act.

3) Note other technical reserve movements for 2023/24 as set out in annex 2.

4) Note the Council’s £1.420 million share of the estimated 2023/24 surplus generated by the Gloucestershire Business Rate Pool and agrees to transfer this surplus to the Business Rates reserve. Included in this surplus is £780k ring fenced to the Strategic Economic Development Fund.

5) Note delivery of the £15.891 million of savings against a target of £21.101 million in 2023/24 or 75.31%. This shortfall is funded within the reported outturn position.

6) Note the capital outturn position for 2023/24 of £136.059 million against a budget of £161.319 million or 84%, giving an in-year slippage of £25.260 million.

7) Approve an increase of £11.763 million in the Capital Programme and additional reallocation of capital funds as detailed in section H of the report.

8) Consider this report of the Council’s performance and risks and identifies any areas of concern requiring further analysis, assurance or action.

Minutes:

5.1     Cllr Lynden Stowe updated Cabinet on the Council's outturn expenditure for

2023/24, and sought approval for changes to the Capital Programme in 2023/24 and future years. He reported on the Council’s performance and risk during Quarter 4 of 2023/24

 

5.2     It was explained that the final position at the end of 2023/24 was an underspend of £10.045 million – which included £4.410 million of additional electricity income generated from the energy from waste facility. He thanked staff in the Council for keeping an eye on expenditure. The report recommended that the underspend should be transferred to General Reserves at the year end with £4.410 million released during 2024/25 to fund additional expenditure on Highways and to address any financial risks that arise during the year.Those recommendations would enhance the level of reserves, giving flexibility to support future budgetary pressures and also allow urgent pressures to be addressed during the current financial year as they arise.

 

5.3     A summary of reserves was set out in Section C of the report. Details of all reserve movements in 20234/24 were shown in the table in annex 2 of the report.The balance of General Reserves at 1st April 2023 was £17.749 million and this increased to £22.339 million at 31st March 2024. The Cabinet report recommended that the underspend of £10.045 million less the earmarked allocation of £4.410 million will be used to increase General Reserves. This would increase the balance to £27.974 million which represented 4.5% of the 2024/25 net revenue budget.

 

5.4     The overall revenue position masked a number of significant variances.The main area of revenue overspend during the year continued to be Children and Families. The main overspends in this Directorate related to external placements, disability services and section 17 / discretionary payments. This overspend was offset by a number of major underspends / additional income relating to the energy from waste facility, additional investment income and lower than forecast capital financing costs.

 

5.5     Cabinet noted the risk and performance information in the report. Particularly highlighting progress made in reducing emissions from public transport with the introduction of fifty-eight zero emissions buses. They also reflected that in the first half of the year a high number of SEND related complaints been upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman, although there had been a significant reduction in the later part of the year.

 

5.6     There was a discussion around the long-term thinking and planning within the budget. In particular, around providing resources to support the children’s budget, including the timeliness of EHCP assessments, as well as investing in roads and ensuring balance by keeping a close eye on reserves. Members noted the Energy from Waste facility and the income generated through that.

 

5.7     The Cabinet Member outlined the recommendations in detail.

 

 

Having considered all of the information, Cabinet noted the report and

 

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1) Note the 2023/2024 revenue budget underspend of £10.045 million, inclusive of £4.410 million arising from additional electricity income generated by the Energy from Waste (EfW) facility (paragraph 14)

2) Approve that the £10.045 million underspend is transferred to General Reserves at the year end with £4.410 million from this reserve released in 2024/25 to fund:

·       An allocation of £2 million for highways projects to cover £500k to maintain 8 Find and Fix gangs throughout the year, £500k for refreshing lining across

the network, £300k to fund Cheltenham Spa access ramp, £200k for further vegetation cutting gangs to improve safety on the network, £200k towards maintaining footways in our town centres, £100k increase to the schools safety programme, £100k to refresh crossings across the network and £100k to deliver the Merrywalks bus station resurfacing.

·       An allocation of £2.41 million to address financial risks arising within the current year’s budget including, but not limited to, the cost of children’s placements, additional expenditure required to support the forthcoming CQC inspection and the introduction of the Procurement Act.

3) Note other technical reserve movements for 2023/24 as set out in annex 2.

4) Note the Council’s £1.420 million share of the estimated 2023/24 surplus generated by the Gloucestershire Business Rate Pool and agrees to transfer this surplus to the Business Rates reserve. Included in this surplus is £780k ring fenced to the Strategic Economic Development Fund.

5) Note delivery of the £15.891 million of savings against a target of £21.101 million in 2023/24 or 75.31%. This shortfall is funded within the reported outturn position.

6) Note the capital outturn position for 2023/24 of £136.059 million against a budget of £161.319 million or 84%, giving an in-year slippage of £25.260 million.

7) Approve an increase of £11.763 million in the Capital Programme and additional reallocation of capital funds as detailed in section H of the report.

8) Consider this report of the Council’s performance and risks and identifies any areas of concern requiring further analysis, assurance or action.

 

Supporting documents: