Agenda item

Financial Performance Quarter 1 2012-13 (Agenda item 8)

Report of Michael Wassell, Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of Finance presented the report that provided information on the forecast full year financial position of the Council as at 30 June 2012.

 

The report had been split into three sections – Revenue budget, Capital budget and Treasury update and each section was explained in detail.

 

Referring to the recommendation highlighted within table 3 on page 34 of the agenda, the Overview & Scrutiny Commission Chairman had noted the very generous Capita contribution of £30k but was surprised that Capita was asking for most of it back for improvements to its IT systems.  Members were informed that this was extra money that Capita was putting back into the authority to improve Breckland Council’s IT systems.  The Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services explained that these improvements were in relation to Ocella that had not been updated for some time.

 

Referring to the amount for property land and buildings for 2013-14 under table 2, Capital Financing Requirement, the Overview & Scrutiny Commission Chairman asked how the Council knew that it was going to spend such an amount in this particular year.  The Assistant Director of Finance advised that the authority had already committed this capital funding amount from the Capital Programme but the return was unknown.

 

The Executive Member for Performance & Business Development felt the chart highlighting the five year efficiency gap looked quite daunting – there were a great deal of unknowns and, without doubt,  a lot more work still to be done in the next five years.

 

The Chairman agreed and knew that this had been a very unsettling time for staff and he conveyed his thanks to all concerned for riding the storm with the Council that was, at the moment, trying to solve an irresolvable problem.  He asked Members to bear in mind that part of the efficiencies achieved had included a windfall which he felt was not a safe source of income and should not be relied on to build the Council’s services. With this in mind he said that he was a great believer in spending what he had and not what he might have tomorrow. The Assistant Director of Finance said that he was confident that this amount of income would continue.

 

The Chief Executive advised that the Council had achieved about a third of the 2012/13 efficiency target and pointed out that further savings had been made since the chart had been produced.  The Corporate Management Team tracked these figures monthly; the mind-set being to deliver against the monies already there and not take account of the windfall.

 

The Opposition Leader queried the comments that had been made within table 4 on page 34 of the report in relation to the drop in rental income and mentioned the fact that he knew of other landlords in the Thetford area that charged much less in rent.  The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development stated that the Council charged rents at the District Valuers valuation.  Council lettings were 94% let and it was not paying business rates on any empty properties.

 

The Chairman reminded Members that the Council did offer incentives to new tenants, such as rent free periods.

 

Options

 

1)     To note the report and approve the virements highlighted in the appendix as detailed within table 3 at section 1 and the virement as highlighted at section 2.

 

2)     To note the report and not approve the virements highlighted in the appendix as detailed within table 3 at section 1 and the virement at as highlighted at section 2.

 

Reasons

 

To provide timely information to Members on the overall finances of the Council and to make the best use of resources available.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)     the virements detailed in Table 3 at Section 1 of the appendix be approved; and

 

2)     the sum as shown in Section 2 of the Capital Budget be carried over to 2013/14.

Supporting documents: