Issue - meetings

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2022/23 (Month 5)

Meeting: 13/10/2022 - Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 38)

38 Revenue Budget Monitoring 2022/23 (Month 5) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:


That having considered the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2022/23 (month 5) report, the Committee confirms that there are no specific matters to be raised with Cabinet.


The Strategic Finance Manager presented a report on the 2022/23 month 5 position for the revenue budget monitoring for the Council Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA), prior to consideration by Cabinet.


On the Council Fund, the projected year-end position was an operating deficit of £0.680m (excluding the impact of the pay award which would need to be met from reserves, currently estimated to be £5.268m).  Following the final claim for Welsh Government (WG) Hardship Funding this month, any further Covid-19 related costs would be subject to the robust process before being met from the emergency ring-fenced fund.  An overview was given of significant variances from month 4 across portfolios and their impact on the projected outturn.  An update on in-year risks and emerging issues reported the current position on Council Tax income, the impact of pay awards along with continued high demand for the Benefits service and Out of County Placements which continued to be monitored closely.  All planned in-year efficiencies were expected to be achieved in 2022/23.  A review of earmarked reserves had resulted in £1.208m being released to the Contingency Reserve to increase the projected balance to £7.724m (excluding the impact of pay awards).


On the HRA, projected in-year expenditure of £3.308m higher than budget would leave a closing un-earmarked balance of £3.166m, which was above the recommended guidelines on spend.


In response to questions from the Chairman on the HRA, the Corporate Finance Manager advised that the in-year contribution for additional capital works related to an existing scheme in Leeswood.  He agreed that a separate response would be provided on the reasons behind the loss of income due to voids shown on Appendix 5.


On the same topics, the Chief Executive said that reference to the Leeswood scheme was included in the Cabinet report in July.  He gave assurance that extensive work was currently being carried out to reduce the number of voids, as reported to the Community, Housing & Assets Overview & Scrutiny Committee in September.


Councillor Bernie Attridge asked about reasons for the £0.077m variance in Resources & Regulated Services and whether this was linked to changes in arrangements for catering/cleaning at care homes.  The Strategic Finance Manager agreed to incorporate a response in the briefing paper being provided on the overspend for in-house residential care.  The Corporate Finance Manager provided clarification on the overall projected Council Tax surplus and the approach to projecting income on care packages.


In response to a question from Councillor Sam Swash on the Local Development Plan, officers explained the use of earmarked reserves where spend had exceeded the project reserves.


When asked by the Chairman about a further review of earmarked reserves, the Corporate Finance Manager advised that the rigorous review already undertaken to challenge reserves across the organisation had ensured that provision was retained for future liabilities, specific elements and elements of good management practice.


In response to further queries, officers noted the incorrect portfolio heading in Table 1 and would provide a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38