Issue - meetings
Revenue Budget Monitoring 2019/20 Month 4 and Capital Programme Monitoring 2019/20 Month 4 and Significant Variances (Out of County Placements, Children's Services and School Transport)
- Appendix A; Revenue Budget Monitoring 2019/20 (Month 4), item 42 PDF 755 KB
- Appendix B; Capital Programme 2019/20 (Month 4), item 42 PDF 490 KB
- Appendix C; Significant Variances Report, item 42 PDF 1008 KB
(a) That the Committee notes the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2019/20 Month 4 report and confirms that on this occasion there are no specific issues which it wishes to raise with Cabinet;
(b) That the Committee notes the Capital Programme 2019/20 Month 4 report and confirms that on this occasion there are no specific issues which it wishes to raise with Cabinet;
(c) That having reviewed to the Streetscene & Transportation portfolio financial pressures analysis, the Committee supports the ongoing work to mitigate those pressures and thanks all those involved for their hard work and commitment;
(d) That having reviewed the portfolio financial pressures analysis within Children’s Services and Out of County placements, the Committee supports the ongoing work to mitigate those pressures and thanks all those involved for their hard work and commitment;
(e) That the Committee supports a case being made to Welsh Government for assistance in meeting the high cost of residential care for children with complex needs whilst the Council develops more cost effective local placement options to respond to growing demand;
(f) That the officers be tasked with investigating ‘invest to save’ solutions to reducing overall costs within these areas of concern; and
(g) That the officers undertake analysis of the statistics for Flintshire’s higher recorded incidents of parental substance or alcohol misuse, parental mental ill health and domestic abuse and report back in due course.
The Corporate Finance Manager presented a report on the revenue budget monitoring position for the Council Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and an update on the Capital Programme of 2019/20 at month 4. As requested, a report on the significant variances in Out of County Placements, Children’s Services and School Transport was also shared.
Revenue Budget Monitoring
On the Council Fund, the projected year-end position - without new actions to reduce cost pressures and improve the yield on efficiency planning - was an operating deficit of £2.983m, which was a reduction of £0.118m from July. The projected balance for contingency reserves at year-end was £1.886m. The overspend areas for Out of County Placements, Children’s Services and School Transport were partially offset by an underspend in Central and Corporate Finance. A balanced outturn was projected for Social Services if Cabinet approved the recommended transfer of £0.250m to Adult Services from Resources & Regulated Services to meet changes in service demand. All areas of non-essential spend would continue to be reviewed to reduce the overall projected year-end overspend.
The projected 90% achievement rate on projected planned in-year efficiencies would increase to 91% if Cabinet agreed to re-phase the efficiency from the Aura Subsidy.
Following changes to the report format, an update on school pressures indicated the position on deficits in secondary schools which would be closely monitored.
On the HRA, in-year spend was projected to be £0.081m higher than budget, leaving a year-end balance of £1.242m which was above the recommended minimum level.
In welcoming the change of report format, Councillor Heesom questioned why the un-earmarked reserves for the Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) Approving Body and the Victim Contact Team were not under their portfolio areas. The Chief Executive explained that both had been included as pressures in the 2019/20 budget - as agreed by Members - and that these additional amounts would meet new legislative requirements and increase capacity to meet the needs of vulnerable young people. The Corporate Finance Manager confirmed that the amounts were allocated to Social Services from the Contingency Reserve in-year. Officers agreed to provide a future report on the costs involved with SuDS.
In response to Councillor Jones’ comments on the report format, it was clarified that the table set out the overall position and the narrative would focus on significant variances above an agreed level of £0.100m, with full details of all variances in the appendix. The Chief Officer (Social Services) spoke about minimising the use of agency workers in his portfolio which was often unavoidable.
The recommendations were moved by Councillor Wisinger and seconded by Councillor Heesom.
The revised programme included two approved sums carried forward from 2018/19 and a number of changes along with confirmed funding allocations. There were two requests for carry-forward into 2020/21 and additional allocations were mainly due to changes in existing programmes. Confirmation was awaited from Welsh Government (WG) on a grant funding bid in relation to the £0.350m pressure to address the ... view the full minutes text for item 42