Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)
Cabinet received a report from the Chief Finance Officer which provided summary information regarding the provisional outturn for 2020/21, including treasury management. It also set out information regarding the carry forward of capital slippage and other matters for Members’ consideration.
The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:
The Council has a legal requirement to ensure that its expenditure is fully funded and to produce accounts in accordance with proper accounting practice. In addition, the Prudential Indicators are a statutory requirement linked to the budgetary framework. For these aspects, therefore, there are no alternative options for Cabinet to consider. Members are being asked to endorse certain actions taken by the Chief Finance Officer, and Cabinet should consider whether it has sufficient information to do so or whether it requires any further justification.
The report requests Cabinet to consider a number of revenue overspending, capital slippage and other budget adjustment matters. The framework for considering these is set out in the report but basically Cabinet may:
· Endorse any number of the items / requests, in full or part.
· Refuse various requests and if commitments have already been incurred, require alternative funding options to be identified. Cabinet should note, however, that this may impact on other areas of service delivery.
· Request further information regarding them, if appropriate.
The Officer preferred options are as set out in the recommendations, on the assumption that Members continue to support their previously approved spending plans.
Although the Council’s financial position appears relatively healthy with a surplus against the revised budget and an overall increase in the level of reserves held, the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy suggests a structural budget gap in 2022/23 onwards of approximately £2.183M raising to £4.668M.
Work has commenced to support opportunities to address the underlying structural deficit, by:
· Increasing and diversifying income
· Improving productivity and securing efficiencies via new ways of working (e.g., Outcomes Based Resourcing)
· Developing alternative ways to achieve priority outcomes (e.g., partnership).
However, if these are not successful and the deficit is not closed, then balances will be required to make up the difference.
The Chief Finance Officer confirmed that he would provide further details with regard to possible time limits on ring-fenced grants to Cabinet members.
Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Lewis: -
“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”
Councillors then voted:-
(1) That the provisional outturn for 2020/21 be endorsed, including the transfers to and from Reserves and Balances actioned by the Chief Finance Officer as set out in 6.1 and Appendix 5 of the report.
(2) That Cabinet approves the treatment of year end overspends and endorse the do-nothing approach in-light of the current pandemic situation.
(3) That the requests for capital slippage and the adjustments to reflect accelerated capital spending on projects as set out at Appendices 6 and 7 to the report be endorsed, with the Capital Programme being updated accordingly.
(4) That the Annual Treasury Management report and Prudential Indicators as set out at Appendix 2 to the report be noted and referred on to Council for information.
Officer responsible for effecting the decision:
Chief Finance Officer
Reasons for making the decision:
The Outturn and Statement of Accounts report on all the financial resources generated and/or used by the Council in providing services or undertaking other activities under the Policy Framework.
Publication date: 20/09/2021
Date of decision: 14/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 14/09/2021 - Cabinet
Effective from: 28/09/2021