Issue - meetings
Revenue Budget Monitoring 2014/15 (Month 5)
(a) That the content of the report be noted; and
(b) That the concerns raised on the costs in waste disposal and collection, including use of agency workers and impact on other Streetscene services be referred to the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee for consideration.
The Corporate Finance Manager introduced a report to provide Members with the latest Revenue Budget Monitoring 2014/15 (Month 5) information for the Council Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) to be submitted to Cabinet on 18 October 2014. This was based on actual income and expenditure as at Month 5 and projected forward to year-end based on the most up-to-date information available.
For the Council Fund, the projected net in-year non pay expenditure was forecast to be £0.608m less than the budget. Pay variances had not been included in the report due to the continuation of work to rebase all workforce budgets to reflect the actual new costs arising from the new pay and grading structure. This work was nearing completion however it was considered that pay variances would not be significant. The report detailed the main variances since Month 4 including some elements identified through a cost control exercise recently undertaken to identify areas of non-essential spend. As requested previously, the table showing total expenditure and income now included information on the original budget and the amount for the current month.
It was reported that £8.627m of corporate and functional efficiencies (98% of that included in the budget) had either been achieved or were expected to be achieved by the end of the financial year, which was an improvement from Month 4. An update was provided on the functional value for money target for administration support as indicated in the report, together with work being undertaken to assess the impact of the second phase of the voluntary redundancy programme to achieve £1.7m of workforce efficiencies for 2014/15.
Following comments previously raised by Members, the report also provided explanation on existing risks and changes to previously reported risks.
Information provided on unearmarked reserves reported a projected balance of £3.549m of contingency reserves at the end of the financial year.
On the HRA, an overall projected underspend of £0.045m was reported, resulting in a closing balance of £1.210m which at 4% of total expenditure, was above the recommended level of 3%.
Councillor Richard Jones welcomed the improved changes made to the report and asked if the value of assumptions and risks could be indicated on future reports, where possible, to help understanding. The Corporate Finance Manager said whilst that figures could be included in some instances, it would be more difficult for those such as out of county placements.
On the HRA, Councillor Jones referred to the potential impact from a review of the HRA Garden Service but pointed out that this had been accounted for in the appendix of major variances. Further points were raised by Councillor Jones on the causes of major variances in Appendix 2 to the report, changes to budget headings for Social Services, clarification on the use of ‘Penderels’ and major variances in Social Services and the reconciliation of variances in Streetscene and Transportation.
The Chair suggested that Councillor Jones submit the list of detailed questions to officers to enable a full response to ... view the full minutes text for item 40