Report of the County Treasurer outlining the Budget Position at Month 4, (CT/21/70), attached.
(a) that the month 4 budget monitoring forecast position be noted; and
(b) that progress on the delivery of the Dedicated Schools Grant Management Plan also be noted.
(Councillors Dewhirst, Hannaford and Wrigley attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered Report of the County Treasurer (CT/21/70) outlining the budget monitoring position at Month 4, 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.
At Month 4 it had been estimated that budgets would overspend by £7.3 millions and the Dedicated Schools Grant projected deficit, relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) was forecast to be £33.1 millions. In line with Department of Education guidance the deficit would not be dealt with this financial year, but carried forward to future years.
The Report then outlined the budget position in terms of service areas.
Adult Care and Health services had been forecast to overspend by £5.4 millions which included £3.7 millions of budgeted savings.
Children’s services were forecasting an overspend of £6.8 millions. However, the figure did not include the projected deficit of £33.1 millions on Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). At the end of 2020/21 the DSG reported a cumulative deficit of £48.9 millions. When combined with the current year forecast the deficit was expected to be £82.1 millions by the end of 2021/22.
In Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste, the service was forecasting an underspend of £214,000 which was the result of additional income within the Engineering, Design Group.
Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity (COPHEP) were forecasting an underspend of £330,000, Corporate Services an underspend of £794,000 and non-service items, which included capital financing charges and business rates pooling gain, were forecast to underspend by £1.9 millions. This position did not include the forecast impact of the 2021/22 pay award.
The approved capital programme for the Council was £212.3 millions and the year-end forecast at Month 4 was £201.6 millions of which £166.3 millions had been externally funded. Slippage was forecast at £10.7 millions and was mainly attributable to scheme variations and programme delays in Planning, Transportation and Environment, reflecting the complexity of the major schemes within this service area. Also, material and labour price increases were being experienced which were starting to detrimentally impact the delivery costs and tender prices being returned within the capital
Corporate debt stood at £2.9 millions, being just over 1.3% of the annual value of invoices, against the annual target of 1.9%.
In terms of Covid-19 funding, to date the Council had been in direct receipt of 11 different pandemic related grants with a confirmed value of just under £36 millions. In addition, the County Council had been able to carry forward £25.6 millions of funding received last year relating to, in the main, the Contain Outbreak Management Funding, Test and Trace Funding and the Covid support Grant.
The Report concluded that whilst it was very early in the financial year and much would inevitably change, it was important to note the significant pressures in both Adult Care and Health and Children’s Services and the ... view the full minutes text for item 34