Agenda item

Quarter 2 Financial Performance Report 2020-21

To receive a report from Councillor Phillip Cowen,Executive Member for Finance and Growth.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Finance and Growth was pleased to present the report that provided information on the forecast of the full year financial position of the Council as of 30 September 2020.

 

He explained that there would be a balanced budget at the end of the financial year with a contingency of £139k.  The forecast out-turn showed a spend of £14,4942k (99%) against the budget at this stage of the year, with the larger projects continuing well at this stage, despite the pandemic pressures.  It was requested that £90k be carried forward as projects would run into future years. 

 

He went onto explain that as there was reduced income through low interest rates and timing delays to loans provided to third party organisations. 

 

The Executive Member for Contracts and Assets praised the financial performance of the Council and thanked the Finance Team for delivering the Q2 performance report.

 

Councillor Jermy said that the Government had provided financial support for the housing and homelessness and asked if the Council continued to receive this funding.  The Executive Member for Health and Housing said that the Housing Team continued to work with those requiring temporary accommodation and thanked the Housing Team for their hard work through challenging times.  The Chief Accountant confirmed that the Council continued to receive funding and that following the recent spending review announcement further funding would be provided for Rough Sleeping.

 

Councillor Morton was impressed to hear that the Council was in a good financial position and asked once the grants had been issued would a balanced budget still remain.  The Executive Member for Finance and Growth was confident the Council would be in a strong financial position.  The Chief Accountant added that any grants from the Government were received before they were issued, however the Council was expected to return £1.5m back to the Government for grants where the businesses did not claim (often because they were national companies unable to claim due to State Aid rules). 

 

Councillor Atterwill asked if he could be informed as to who the third-party organisations were that short term loans had been provided to.  In addition, he asked if the Night Shelter in Thetford would be receiving additional funding and how it was dealing with the COVID pandemic and social distancing rules.

The Chief Accountant informed that the third-party information would be shared with Councillor Atterwill. 

The Executive Member for Health and Housing said she would ask for a full report and respond with how the Council was supporting the Night Shelter.

 

Councillor Eagle asked why the Council was expected to return £1.5m back to the Government.  The Chief Accountant informed Members that Councils were provided with funding based on estimates, and for that particular scheme there had not been the full take up and some businesses did not claim (often because they were national companies unable to claim due to State Aid rules).

 

Councillor Martin added his thanks to the Council and Finance Team for the support provided to the community facilities, such as village halls, and appreciated their assistance on the matter.

 

Options

1)   That the report and appendix be noted.

2)   Do nothing.

 

Reasons for Recommendation(s)

To provide timely information to Members on the overall financial position of the Council, enabling resource re-allocation to priorities where necessary.

 

RESOLVED that:

1)    The report and appendix be noted; and

 

2)    £90,000 from the Inclusive Growth reserve be released to fund the 2-year fixed term climate role as detailed in paragraph 1.6 of the report.

 

Supporting documents: