Issue - meetings
Revenue Budget Monitoring 2014/15 (Month 7)
That the report be noted.
The Corporate Finance Manager introduced a report to provide Members with the latest Revenue Budget Monitoring 2014/15 (Month 7) for the Council Fund and Housing Revenue Account which was to be submitted to Cabinet on 20 January 2015.
For the Council Fund, the projected net in year expenditure, which included variances in pay, was forecast to be £0.821m lower than budget and was a £0.060m reduction on Month 6. Appendix 1 detailed the movement since Month 6 and the rebasing of workforce budgets as detailed in paragraph 3.02 had resulted in changes to portfolio budgets. Section 3.06 detailed the efficiencies and it was currently projected that £7.597m of the £8.840m (86%) would be achieved. Details of the workforce efficiencies and voluntary redundancy scheme were provided in paragraphs 3.10 and 3.11 with the second scheme resulting in an additional contribution of £0.240m of efficiencies to the overall target. The overall projected position for 2014/15 was summarised in the report.
Section 5 detailed the risks and assumptions and in section 6 the undermarked reserves were detailed. Taking into account amounts needed to be used from the unearmarked reserves and the current projected outturn at month 7, the projected balance on the contingency reserve at 31 March 2015 was £3.762m and this was summarised in appendix 4.
The HRA was projected to have an overall underspend of £0.083m and a projected closing balance at month 7 of £1.249m, which at 4.15% of total expenditure satisfied the prudent approach of ensuring a minimum level of 3%; appendix 5 detailed the reasons for significant variances.
On the issue of risks and assumptions, Councillor Richard Jones suggested that values could be included to allow Members to compare the risks month on month. He also raised concern that the budget headings, particularly for Social Services, changed each month which did not allow for easy comparison and added that where actions were required, further detail could be included. In response, the Corporate Finance Manager explained that work was being undertaken and the inclusion of figures for the risks and assumptions could be addressed for future reports. He added that the Social Services budget headings would be looked at in detail. The Chief Executive commented that, where possible, narrative about whether the risk was stable or not could be included. In response to a further query from Councillor Jones, he advised that MRP stood for Minimum Revenue Provision.
Councillor Robin Guest sought further detail on why some of the workforce efficiencies could not be achieved. The Chief Executive commented on the three major areas of review which included overall workforce reduction and the admin review. He provided details of the efficiencies that had been achieved and commented on the overall reduction of 40% for the admin review. He remarked on the work undertaken as part of the ‘Value for Money’ proposals.
Councillor Richard Jones referred to the appendix 1 and asked for further detail on the £0.144m variance in Disability Services and whether the vacancy saving of £0.292m in ... view the full minutes text for item 58