Issue - meetings

Revenue Budget Monitoring Report 2019/20 (Month 9) and Capital Programme (Month 9)

Meeting: 13/02/2020 - Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 83)

83 Revenue Budget Monitoring Report 2019/20 (Month 9 ) and Capital Programme (Month 9) pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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(a)       That having considered the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2019/20 (Month 9) report, the Committee confirms that its concern at the pressure on secondary school budgets should be raised with the Cabinet; and


(b)       That having considered the Capital Programme 2019/20 (Month 9) report, there are no specific issues which the Committee wishes to be raised at Cabinet.


The Corporate Finance Manager and Principal Accountant 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 9 prior to consideration by Cabinet.


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 £1.666m.  This favourable movement of £0.226m from Month 8 was mainly due to a further reduction in pension contributions (discussed earlier in the meeting) and a VAT windfall of £0.130m.  Work was continuing to reduce the overall projected overspend position by year-end including some specific areas highlighted in the report.  The possibility of late grant awards could also contribute positively to the year-end position.  Clarity was awaited on the contribution from the additional funding announced by Welsh Government (WG) to support the delivery of frontline health and social care services this winter.


The achievement rate on planned in-year efficiencies was expected to remain at 91%.


The summary of earmarked reserves reported a projected closing balance of £9.6m.  The projected balance on Contingency Reserves at year-end was £3.203m taking into account the current projected overspend at this stage.


The projected position on the HRA was an overspend of £0.103m leaving a closing un-earmarked balance of £1.220m which was above the recommended minimum level.


Councillor Heesom expressed concerns about the pressures on school budgets, particularly at secondary level.  The Chief Executive said that the deteriorating deficit position of some schools was reflected as an open risk in the budget report due for consideration by Council and demonstrated the insufficiency of the funding formula model in Flintshire.  He spoke about the revised Licensed Deficit Protocol containing a series of robust actions and the impact on the Medium Term Financial Strategy.


Councillor Roberts said there were a number of contributing factors leading to a deficit budget situation, including the impact of pupil deprivation data.  He said that the issue was of grave concern and gave assurance that the Council was prioritising those in need of support.


Capital Programme


Changes to the revised programme were due to the introduction of various grant funding streams, the re-profiling of prudential borrowing on the Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) and re-profiling budget on the Childcare Offer Capital grant.  The summary position on capital expenditure at Month 9 showed a projected underspend of £4.372m on the Council Fund and a break-even position on the HRA.


Cabinet approval would be sought for carry-forward amounts totalling £4.034m for the period into 2020/21.  The use of the remaining Economic Stimulus grant funding was detailed for the identified schemes set out in the report.


Funding of approved schemes indicated a shortfall of 0.693m over the three year period which would be a first call on future capital receipts.


Councillor Jones referred to historic practice and said that carry-forward amounts should only be committed where contracts had already been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83