Issue - meetings

Quarter 3 Financial Performance Report 2020-21

Meeting: 25/02/2021 - Council (Item 26)

26 Quarter 3 Financial Performance Report 2020-21 (Agenda item 12) pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of Councillor Philip Cowen, Executive Member Finance & Growth.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Cowen, the Executive Member for Finance & Growth presented the report.

 

In order to prepare a budget, a good understanding was needed in respect of the starting position and thus had to engage in the quarterly financial report process that kept everyone informed as the year progressed of how the Council was performing against previous budget projections.

 

Quarter 3 provided a much clearer picture in this regard and this year had to take into account, not only the original projections, but also the amended budget in the Autumn. Added to this, the implications of the fallout from the pandemic, reduced income, amended programmes, lockdowns, government grants and support packages the Council was left with a situation that looked very different from what had been anticipated.  

 

In financial management training one was always cautioned about ‘carry forwards’ in departmental budgets but this year things were different for reasons that had been explained in the report.  Therefore, in addition to noting the report, there were three recommendations to consider.  These had all been identified in paragraph 1.6 of the report and related to £15m for NNDR relief, the below budget NNDR levy and the NNDR S31 grants all in accordance with local government accounting rules. 

 

The revenue and capital accounts could be found in the tables at Appendix A of the report.  These contained the details and highlighted the significant variances between the original budgeted estimates and the position that the various portfolios now found themselves in. 

 

Given the affect of the pandemic on normal life, the Council had to spend more on some aspects of the revenue account such as legal fees whilst incurring costs relating to the closure of leisure facilities.  Similarly, capital projects had not progressed as swiftly as normal and some had stopped as a consequence of Covid; therefore, there was an underspend of approximately £1m. 

 

The recommendations were proposed and seconded, and following a show of hands it was:

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.           the income received from the NNDR and Council Tax income compensation scheme be carried forward in reserve to cover the deficits recognised in future years (as detailed in paragraph 1.6 of the report);

 

2.           the NNDR S31 grant for expanded retail relief and nursery reliefs received in 2020-21 is carried forward in reserve to cover the deficits recognised in 2021-22 from the lost income as a result of these NNDR reliefs (as detailed in paragraph 1.6 of the report); and

 

3.           the below budget NNDR levy payment at the end of the year is carried forward in reserve to cover the deficits recognised in future years from the lost income as a result of the pandemic (as detailed in paragraph 1.6 of the report).

 

 

 


Meeting: 01/02/2021 - Cabinet (Item 24)

24 Quarter 3 Financial Performance Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of Councillor Philip Cowen, Executive Member for Finance & Growth.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Finance and Growth introduced the report that provided information on the forecast full year financial position of the Council as at 31 December 2020.

 

He explained to Members that as a consequence of the current climate the report recommended to full Council that funds should be carried forward into the next financial year, which was an unusual step.

 

Councillor Hewett felt that it was critical at this point in time for the Council to err on the side of caution and whilst it was unusual in accounting purposes to carry forward budgets agreed that it should happen at this stage.  He also added his thanks to the Executive Member and the Finance team for reporting that the Council was in a robust position at the end of Quarter 3.

 

Councillor Birt added that whilst he fully recognised the difficult position for the Council to predict the future, he felt it should remain open and transparent as much as possible.  He went onto ask how information on the variances could be made public as he was yet to receive information on the Worksmart 2020 programme.  Councillor Hewett apologised and asked for Councillor Birt to send a request and would respond accordingly.

 

The Chairman added that it was important to clarify to members of the public, that Members set out projects with clear objectives and timescales to be achieved within the budget constraints.  Members would then allow the Officers to deliver the requirements which had been set out within reports and agreed at committees.  He felt it important to understand that it would take time and effort for everything to be open and transparent which would result in unnecessary reports to Members.  He added that the Worksmart project had been set out in an open report in October 2019 and Councillors Hewett, Sherwood and Claussen were part of the Member board to over see the project being delivered. 

 

Options

1)    That the report and appendix be noted and recommend to Full Council that:

a)    The income received from the NNDR and Council Tax income compensation scheme be carried forward in reserve to cover the deficits recognised in future years (as detailed in paragraph 1.6); and

 

b)    The NNDR S31 grant for expanded retail relief and nursery reliefs received in 2020-21 is carried forward in reserve to cover the deficits recognised in 2021-22 from the lost income as a result of these NNDR reliefs (as detailed in paragraph 1.6); and

 

c)    The below budget NNDR levy payment at the end of the year is carried forward in reserve to cover the deficits recognised in future years from the lost income as a result of the pandemic (as detailed in paragraph 1.6).

 

2)     Do nothing.

 

Reasons for Recommendation

To provide timely information to Members on the overall financial position of the Council, enabling resource re-allocation to priorities where necessary and to smooth the effects on the unusual collection fund deficits.

 

It was RESOLVED that Cabinet noted the report and appendix;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24