Agenda item

Quarter 3 Financial Performance Report 2020-21

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

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; and,

 

Recommend to FULL COUNCIL:

 

1)    That 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)    That the NNDR S31 grant for expanded retail relief and nursery reliefs received in 2020-21 be 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).

 

3)    That the below budget NNDR levy payment at the end of the year be 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).

 

Supporting documents: