Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/106) on the budget monitoring position at month 6, attached.
(Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Greenslade and Hannaford attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/106) on 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.
The Report highlighted that the total projected overspend at month 6 was £5.3 millions which was £1 million more than the £4.3 millions forecast at month 4. This assumed that planned contributions to reserves of £8 millions were not made this financial year; without this adjustment the overspend on General Fund services would be £13.3 millions.
Also, the Dedicated Schools Grant funding shortfall relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) had increased by £2.9 millions to £18.7 millions. As in month 4 it was proposed this was not dealt with this financial year but was carried forward to future years, the proposal being outlined in full in section 3 of the Report.
Adult Care and Health Services were forecast to overspend by £6.7 millions which included £890,000 of management actions yet to be delivered but which were still considered achievable.
Children’s Services were forecasting an overspending of £6.6 millions (excluding the projected funding shortfall on SEND as outlined above). The Report gave a further breakdown on Children’s Social Care, placements, Atkinson Secure Children’s home, Education and Learning and SEND.
Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste was forecasting an underspend of £402,000 at month 6, a reduction of £138,000 from month 4. Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity (COPHEP) were forecasting a small underspend of £4,000, Corporate Services an overspend of £2.3 millions (a reduction of £548,000 from month 4), Digital Transformation and Business Support an overspend of £300,000 and County Solicitor and Human Resources were forecasting a pressure of £300,000, the majority of which related to delays in the implementation of the new payroll system.
Non-service items were forecast to underspend by £9.9 millions, to be achieved by not making the planned £3 millions transfer to the budget management reserve or the planned £5 millions contribution to the service transformation reserve this year.
The approved capital programme for the Council was £150.4 millions and the year-end forecast £124.8 millions, producing forecast slippage of £25.6 millions. The main areas of slippage were attributed to variations and programme delays in Planning and Transportation (£18.3 millions net slippage) which reflected the complexity of the major schemes.
In summary, the projected overspend had worsened slightly from month 4. Adult and Children’s Social Care continued to experience ongoing pressure along with the School’s Transport service. The funding shortfall within the Dedicated School’s Grant SEND High Needs Block continued to be a concern both for the current year and into the future.
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability (including carbon impact), risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the County Treasurers Report and/or referred to above having been considered:
it was MOVED by Councillor McInnes, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and
RESOLVED that the budget monitoring forecast position at month 6 be noted.