Agenda item

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2013/14 (Outturn) and Capital Programme 2013/14 (Outturn)


That the reports be noted.


Revenue Budget Monitoring 2013/14 (Outturn)


The Corporate Finance Manager introduced a report on the Council Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) outturn for 2013/14 (subject to audit) and the impact on the respective level of reserves at 31 March 2014, as endorsed by Cabinet and reflected in the Statement of Accounts reported to Audit Committee on 16 July 2014.


For the Council Fund, the final net in-year expenditure was £3.387m less than the budget, which was an increase of £0.235m reported at Month 12.  A contingency reserve balance of £5.328m was reported, as at 31 March 2014.  Details of all variances against the budget were shown in the report, along with a brief overview of the year.


An update on efficiencies advised that £4.213m had been achieved during the financial year, representing 79% of the target.  An overview was given of the latest position on non-standard inflation, as included in the report.  The latest position on unearmarked reserves reported the final level of contingency reserve as £5.328m as at 31 March 2014.


It was explained that this would be increased to £6.073m in 2014/15 due to the repayment of exit costs (associated with Phase 1 of the senior management review) to the reserve, as a result of these costs needing to be accounted for in 2013/14.  A sentence omitted from the report stated that the amount would be offset by projected costs of £0.696m incurred in 2014/15 associated with Organisational Change & Redesign and approved by delegated powers.


On the HRA, a net underspend of £0.229m was reported, leaving a closing balance of £1.662m at 31 March 2014, which was 5.81% of the total expenditure, exceeded the recommended minimum level of 3%.


In response to queries raised by Councillor Mike Peers on variances within the Council Fund and HRA, the Corporate Finance Manager agreed to circulate information on costs and the likely completion date of the investigation within Waste.  He would also liaise with Housing colleagues to respond with explanation on the sub-contractor overspend of £0.437m due to adverse weather conditions.  In relation to variances in Leisure Services, it was explained that additional resources had been agreed as part of the budget process for 2014/15 to address this and that any new variances would be included in monthly budget reporting as usual.


Councillor Peers said that no supporting information had been provided to explain why the £0.060m efficiency under the Flintshire Futures Assets Workstream (Facilities Management) had not been achieved.  The Head of ICT & Customer Services explained that some delays had occurred on the closure of the Connah’s Quay office following the opening of Flintshire Connects, however a full response would be provided to the Committee.


As a general comment, the Corporate Finance Manager referred to the level of detail in the report and suggested that a better approach may be for Members to share questions on specific service areas in advance of the meeting to enable a full response to be given.


The Chair referred to the increase in projected underspend on Primary School Services which was primarily due to reduced demand for Early Entitlement services and raised concerns about the future of Early Entitlement funding availability which was vital to playgroups.


Capital Programme 2013/14 (Outturn)


The Corporate Finance Manager introduced Capital Programme outturn information for 2013/14 (subject to audit) which had been approved by Cabinet on 15 July 2014.  Explanation on changes to each programme area which had taken place since Month 9 were reported, resulting in a decrease of £2.662m on the Council Fund, partially offset by an increase in the HRA of £0.748m.


A breakdown of the total outturn expenditure of £37.975m indicated that 95.23% of the budget had been spent across the whole programme.


A total rollover of £6.011m into 2014/15 had been approved by Cabinet to date, partially offset by the return of £0.181m to 2013/14, resulting in a net rollover total of £5.830m.  Most of the £0.181m had related to expenditure on Town Centre Regeneration incurred in 2013/14 rather than 2014/15 as previously anticipated.  Detail on further rollover at outturn of £1.904m was included in Appendix B to the report.


The final outturn position for capital receipts was £2.470m which reflected a decrease of £1.230m from the original budget, partially offset by the £0.038m of unallocated funding when the 2013/14 budget was set.


The Chair referred to the underspend on Primary Schools and said that these should have been priced correctly at the start or that efficiencies identified should be reallocated to the repairs and maintenance budget for schools.




That the reports be noted.

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