Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Resources and Transformation) attached.
The Committee received a report of the temporary Deputy Chief Executive (Resources and Transformation) that notified Members of the 2017/18 Budget Outturn position in relation to both Revenue and Capital Expenditure. The report also included the core financial statements relating to the year-end position including information on the balance sheet for completeness and in line with best practice.
The Accounts and Audit Regulations require that the Section 151 Officer of the Council must sign and date the un-audited Statement of Accounts (SOA) no later than 31 May 2018 for the 2017/18 financial year, that the Annual Governance Statement (AGS) accompanies the SAO and that the audited SOA, including the AGS, is approved by Members by 31 July 2018.
The Council’s year end accounts have been finalised and showed an increased underspend of £0.77m, against the original annual budget with the final position showing a change of £0.491m against the last monitoring report at the end of December 2017, when it was anticipated that the budget would underspend by £0.279m and of the £0.3m budgeted contribution from reserves, only £0.021m would be required. The final outturn position reported at this meeting, means that no contribution is required and that the £0.470m surplus would be transferred to the Council’s general reserve.
The main reasons for the underspend were set out in Table 1 of the report and included a reduction in planned expenditure of £0.094m, an increase in income of £0.468m, and increase in new Housing Benefits income of £0.119m and additional funding of £0.89m.
It was important to note that the 2017/18 revenue out-turn position is partly impacted upon by one-off occurrences and that their temporary nature should and would be considered in context when assessing their impact on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to ensure that the budget is sustainable in future years.
It was reported that the original budget for 2017/18 had included efficiency targets of £0.435m all of which had been achieved in the year.
In response to Member questions, officers gave additional detail on a number of different points within the report that included how major projects like the City Deal and the Leisure Strategy would impact on the budget, the underspends in relation to the building maintenance fund and replacement bin charges, how the Council deals with its balances on reserves and outstanding debtors, especially in relation to Business Rate Retention and S106/CIL monies, awarded to the Council.
Officers also agreed that a breakdown of the capital budgets rephased into 2018/19 (£0.402m), would be circulated to the Committee. Early concern was raised re: the 8.553m capital budget for 2018/19 in relation to capacity to deliver all those projects.
Members felt that the new reporting style did not provide them with the adequate information needed to help them to understand the capital budgets enough to be able to hold people to account. In response the Chief Executive explained that this was a high level out-turn report and that a more detailed delivery and performance report would be reported on a quarterly basis. Members also asked if more detailed explanations could be provided when reporting on projects.
1. That the report and appendices be noted;
2. That the final out-turn position of £0.770m underspend against the original revenue budget of £13,482m and the key variances be noted;
3. That the final out-turn position on the capital budget of £0.597 underspend against and annual budget of £2.774m be noted;
4. That the financing of the capital programme for 2017/18 and approval carry forward of £0.402m of capital re-phasing into 2018/19 as outlined in the report be noted;
5. That the end of year position on reserves as a result of the out-turn position and contributions to and withdrawals from these reserves as detailed within the Core Financial Statements within the report be noted.
6. That Committee receive the detail behind the £0.435m efficiency savings relevant to the targets.