Report of the County Treasurer (CT/20/48) highlighting the outturn position for 2019/2020, attached.
(Councillors Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst, Greenslade, Hannaford and Hook attended remotely in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/20/48) which provided the Outturn position for 2019/2020, the Report being circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.
The Cabinet noted that Members had received regular budget monitoring reports throughout 2019/20 in which budget pressures and risks had been identified, the most significant relating to Adult Services and Children’s Services that had been forecasting an overspend of £6.2 millions and £6.0 millions respectively.
As set out in the Report, the final Outturn was slightly better than anticipated, making it possible to make a £3 million contribution to the Budget Management Reserve and £1 million to the Transformation Reserve as well as the usual contribution to the Business Rates Risk Reserve of the Business Rates Pooling gain.
The Dedicated Schools Grant had been under significant pressure due to Government underfunding of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Service. The year-end position was a shortfall of £19.8 millions and as reported previously the sum was held in a negative reserve on the Balance Sheet. This was outlined in full at paragraph 5.2 and in the Earmarked Reserves table on page 12 of the Report.
The overall authority position, excluding the SEND underfunding and after transfers to and from Reserves, was a small underspending of £33,000. Detailed explanations of the final financial position for each service area were given in section 2 of the Report, but high level details included:
· Adult Care and Health Services - an overall net overspend of just under £5.7millions, after a carry forward request of £731,000 which related to the Better Care Fund and was explained in section 3 of the Report;
· Children’s Services – an overspend of £4.4 millions;
· Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity – an overall underspend of just over £1 millions, after taking into account grants and contributions carry forward, and other carry forward request (detailed on page 17);
· Corporate Services – an overspend of just over £1.1 millions after taking into account grants and contributions carry forward, and any other carry forward requests (shown on page 18); and
· Highways and Traffic Management - an overspend of £1.4 millions generated from safety defect repairs and income targets within highways network management, although partially offset by reduced winter service activities and underspends on street lighting energy savings from LED conversions.
The Report further outlined the position with the Better Care Fund, General Balances and Earmarked Reserves and other relevant issues such as interest receivable, the Council Tax Support Partnership budget, the Covid19 Pandemic which was still causing considerable financial uncertainty and the Brexit Preparation Grant which remained unspent.
In conclusion, in spite ... view the full minutes text for item 519
Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/45) on the Revenue and Capital Budget Outturn position for 2018/2019. The Report is attached as a supplement.
(Councillors Connett, Hannaford and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/45) circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 on the outturn position for 2017/2018.
The Cabinet noted that Members had received regular budget monitoring reports throughout 2018/19 in which budget pressures and risks had been identified, the most significant relating to Children’s Services, with overspending steadily increasing to £12.0 millions at month ten (January 2019). With a package of measures proposed, Cabinet (in November 2019) agreed the proposed measures to offset the overspending. In March 2019, the overall position was back in balance and the year-end position now forecast to break-even.
The overspending in Children’s services was £9.8 millions and the overall authority position, after transfers to and from Reserves, was a small underspend of £63,000. Detailed explanations of the final financial position for each service area were given in section two of this Report, but high level details included:
· Adult Care and Health Services - overall net underspend of £686,000 after taking into account carry forward requests;
· Children’s Services - overspend of £9.8 millions;
· Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity - overall underspend of £1.7 millions after taking into account grants and contributions carry forward and other carry forward requests;
· Corporate Services - overall underspend of £590,000 after taking into account grants and contributions carry forward and any other carry forward requests; and
· Highways and Traffic Management - underspend of £2.4 millions generated, largely through a focus on long-term preventative works that had been funded from the capital programme.
The Report further outlined the position with the Better Care Fund, General Balances and Earmarked Reserves.
Cabinet also noted that the Council along with the other Devon authorities, was selected by Government to join its Business Rate Pilot for that year. This enabled £11.6 millions to be made available for invest to save initiatives within Children’s Services. These would be implemented over a four-year timescale and whilst £11.5 millions remained unspent, it had been transferred to a dedicated Earmarked Reserve for future years.
The change to the Minimum Revenue Provision policy agreed by County Council in February had, as planned, delivered a saving of just under £4 millions. Also, a review of the Balance Sheet enabled just under £3 millions to be released from the Financial Instruments Account to the revenue account. This, along with the late notification by Government of its intention to release the Business Rates Levy surplus in 2018/19 enabled £8.2 millions to be added to the Budget Management Reserve.
The mild and storm-free winter meant that the Bellwin emergency budget was not required and £250,000 had been used to create a Climate Change Emergency Reserve and the balance added to the Emergency Reserve to enhance resilience to future events. Details of the overall Reserves position were contained in section five of this ... view the full minutes text for item 346
Report of the County Treasurer(CT/16/46) on the Revenue and Capital Outturn for 2015/16, attached.
(Councillors Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst, Greenslade, Julian, Owen and Westlake attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/16/46) on the revenue and capital budget outturn for 2015/16.
Members acknowledged that strong, effective, financial and budgetary management had again enabled spending to be contained within budgets, whilst also allowing for the carrying forward of unspent grants and budgets. An overall underspend had been achieved on the revenue budget in spite of the significant financial challenges that the Council had continued to face during the financial year in question, particularly in relation to children’s social work and child protection enabling a contribution to reserves to be made.
The Cabinet had received regular budget monitoring reports throughout 2015/16 in which budget pressures and risks had been identified and Members now noted that, at year-end, there was a small revenue underspending of £35,000 after transfers to Reserves. Members acknowledged the impact of the change to the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy that would apply to both 2015/16 and 2016/17 where, as anticipated in the Medium Term Financial Strategy, £11,900,000 had been transferred to the Budget Management Reserve for application in 2017/18 to help to protect services. Capital expenditure had also been closely maintained to minimise slippage during the course of the year, while continuing to improve the Council’s infrastructure and property portfolio.
The Report contained a detailed breakdown of the position within specific service areas and other funding items outlining any over- and under-spendings and the reasons therefor: in summary, People’s Services had ended the year with a net overspend of £9,816,000, Place and Corporate Services showed net underspending of £2,464,000 and £2,416,000 respectively while Public Health was net break even.
Members paid tribute once again to the County Treasurer and staff across all services who had been instrumental in bringing expenditure in under budget for the twenty fifth year in succession; the resulting outturn was highly satisfactory given the continuing significant pressures on services and economic difficulties faced by Council’s during the year.
Further, and while acknowledging that in 2016/17 the budget for People’s Services had been increased by nearly £16,200,000 in recognition of the increase in demand faced by the caring services, the Cabinet Member for Resources & Asset Management reiterated the need for that service to stay within the increased budget and that there was no repeat in 2016/17 of the overspending in children’s services or in any other service area.
The Cabinet noted comments expressed by Members, including those attending under Standing Order 25 on the detail of the outturn and while there was a general consensus that the Council and its Officers deserved the plaudits for again bringing in the budget under target some concerns were also expressed at the apparent failure to achieve budget targets for the former library service and the opportunity presented through underspendings potentially to invest more resources in highway management and parking enforcement. The impact of in-year reductions on public health services and ... view the full minutes text for item 37