Issue - meetings

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2021/22 (Month 5)

Meeting: 14/10/2021 - Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 45)

45 Revenue Budget Monitoring 2021/22 (Month 5) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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That having considered the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2021/22 (Month 5) report, the Committee confirms that there are no specific issues to be raised with Cabinet.


The Corporate Finance Manager introduced the report on the 2021/22 Month 5 position for Revenue Budget Monitoring prior to consideration by Cabinet, which included the outcome of the review of service reserves and balances requested by the Committee in July.


The Finance Manager reported that on the Council Fund, the projected year-end position - without new actions to reduce cost pressures and/or improve the financial return on efficiency planning and cost control - was an operating surplus of £0.182m (excluding the impact of the pay award to be met from reserves), leaving a contingency reserve balance of £5.875m at year-end.  This favourable movement was mainly due to the allocation of Welsh Government (WG) Social Care Recovery Grant funding in Social Services and Out of County Placements.


Amongst the in-year risks, there was an improvement in Council Tax collection levels and demand for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme was being monitored as the end of the furlough scheme approached.


An update was given on the achievement of planned in-year efficiencies, earmarked and un-marked reserves, together with the emergency funding position which identified risks from changes to eligibility criteria.  The ongoing review of reserves and service balances had identified £0.585m to be recommended for release back into general Contingency Reserves.


On the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), a projected overspend of £0.633m would leave a closing un-earmarked balance of £3.839m, which was above the recommended guidelines on spend.


Councillor Paul Shotton asked about the impact of inflationary costs and Universal Credit changes upon the homelessness situation.  The Finance Manager said that the Housing Support Grant was amongst those subject to changes in eligibility and would be maximised to support individuals.


The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) advised that various pressures on the homelessness situation were being closely monitored in anticipation of further demand on the service.  Updates were regularly reported to the Community, Housing & Assets Overview & Scrutiny Committee.


In response to questions from Councillor Richard Jones, the Chief Executive said that distance controls were being phased out according to risk assessments and in consultation with Trade Unions, also that a number of services would incur ongoing costs after the Hardship Fund had ceased.  On the risk around pay awards, it was clarified that whilst the teachers’ in-year pay award was settled, negotiations for non-teachers’ pay at UK level remained open and were beyond the Council’s control.


In response to the questions, the Corporate Finance Manager reminded Members of the latest position on pay awards - reported verbally in the previous item - which would be updated for the next monthly report.  The Finance Manager agreed to include more detail in the Month 6 report on the risks arising from changes to the Hardship Fund.


The recommendation was moved and seconded by Councillors Paul Shotton and Geoff Collett.




That having considered the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2021/22 (Month 5) report, the Committee confirms that there are no specific issues to be raised with Cabinet.