Report of the Director of Finance (Designate), (DF/21/01) outlining the Budget Monitoring Position at Month 6, attached.
(a) that the month 6 budget monitoring forecast position be noted;
(b) that progress on the delivery of the Dedicated Schools Grant Management Plan be noted; and
(c) that the main points from the Spending Review 2021 also be noted.
(Councillors Connett, Hannaford, Whitton and Wrigley attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Finance (Designate), (DF/21/01) outlining the Budget Monitoring Position at Month 6, 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 6 it was estimated that budgets would overspend by just over £7 million, a reduction of £300,000 from month 4. The Dedicated Schools Grant projected deficit, relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), was forecast to be £36 million, however, in line with the Department of Education guidance the deficit would not be dealt with this financial year but carried forward to future years.
The Government had continued to provide a number of grant funding streams this year to help support Local Authorities during the pandemic. The confirmed additional funding the Council was expected to receive directly this financial year was currently £36.6 million, in addition to the £25.6 million carried forward from 2020/21.
Adult Care and Health services were forecast to overspend by £5.2 million, a reduction of £237,000 from month 4. Children’s services were forecasting an overspend of £7.3 million, an increase of £500,000 from month 4, but the figure did not include the projected deficit of £36 million on Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This was held in an adjustment account on the balance sheet. The guidance outlined in a Statutory Instrument meant that the deficit did not have a negative impact on the assessment of the Councils financial sustainability. At the end of 2020/21 the DSG reported a cumulative deficit of £48.9 million which was carried forward and when combined with the current year forecast the deficit was expected to be £84.9 million 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 £1.2 million. The transport fleet had incurred lower fuel and maintenance costs than budgeted, the County Hall travel plan remained on hold following the pandemic and a number of programmes (Communities) had faced significant delays.
Corporate Services were forecasting an underspend of £684,000 where pressures within Legal and Human Resources were being more than offset by the forecast underspends within Digital Transformation and Business support.
The approved capital programme for the Council was £217.8 million. The year-end forecast at month 6 was £191.3 million of which £26.5 million had been externally funded. Slippage was forecast at £16.7 million. The main areas of net slippage could be attributed to scheme variations and programme delays in Planning, Transportation and Environment, which reflected the complexity of the major schemes within this service area.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presented the Spending Review on the 27th October which saw a return to a multi-year ... view the full minutes text for item 69