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Agenda item

Revenue Outturn & Joint Committees Annual Return for the Financial Year Ended 31 March 2017

Joint Report of the Corporate Director of Resources / Treasurer to the Joint Committee and the Corporate Director of Regeneration and Local Services.

 

Minutes:

The Joint Committee considered a Joint Report of the Corporate Director of Resources / Treasurer to the Joint Committee and the Corporate Director of Regeneration and Local Services which sought approval of the Joint Committees Return, with the report also including details of the financial outturn position against approved budgets for 2016/17 (for copy see file of minutes).

 

The Head of Finance and Transactional Services referred Members to the financial outturn position for 2016/17, advising that the final outturn position was broadly in line with the provisional outturn position, with a minor decrease in the overall net income for the year.  Details of significant variances were contained within the report and duly noted.  Members were reminded that in terms of capital works, while the canopies had been completed, some works had carried over into the next financial year, as set out at paragraph 9 of the report.  The report also included details of the updated position in terms of reserves and balances held and it was added that the Major Capital Works reserve was maintained in line with agreed policy. 

 

With reference to the Joint Return, it was highlighted that this was a statutory return and once agreed and signed by the Chairman, Treasurer and Clerk it would be submitted to the Joint Committee’s External Auditors accordingly.  Members were also asked to note the balance sheet was attached at Appendix 2 of the report.

 

Councillor K Thompson noted that the report set out a healthy financial position, however asked as regards the amount required to be in reserves to cover the cost of cremator replacement.  The Head of Finance and Transactional Services noted that Members may recall that the scheme of works carried out at Durham Crematorium included elements other than cremator replacement, such as building extensions and car park works, and that it was felt that the level in reserves was approaching the amount required to cover cremator replacement, estimated to be approximately £1 million.

 

The Head of Finance and Transactional Services added that he would prepare a strategy paper for the September meeting outlining the position in terms of fees and charges.  He noted that for this year, the Joint Committee had agreed not to increase its fees as Mountsett Crematorium was to undertake improvement works, reciprocating Mountsett Crematorium Joint Committee’s decision not to increase their fees while Durham had undertaken improvement works.  The Head of Finance and Transactional Services explained that, in the context of the fees at Durham and Mountsett being the lowest in the North East, Members may wish to look at the options in terms of fees and charges, perhaps with more dividend for each of the constituent Authorities.  He added that with the Strategy Paper would provide Members an opportunity to look at this, in the context of the Service Asset Management Plan (SAMP), prior to budget setting in January 2018.

 

Councillor P Jopling asked what differences existed between cremator equipment and mercury abatement equipment. 

The Head of Finance and Transactional Services explained that the current cremators at Durham Crematorium were fitted with mercury abatement equipment, and this meant they were not subject to paying into CAMEO (Crematoria Abatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation), a system akin to landfill diversion/landfill tax whereby those not abating mercury emissions would pay an amount into the scheme per cremation.

 

The Chairman noted she would be very interested in a strategy paper as described by the Head of Finance and Transactional Services, and looked forward to the Joint Committee receiving the report at its September meeting.

 

Resolved:

 

(i)         That the revenue and capital outturn position as at 31 March 2017, including the year-end position with regards reserves and balances of the Joint Committee, together with the Balance Sheet as at 31 March          2017 be noted.

(ii)        That Section 1 - Annual Governance Statement 2016/17 of the Joint           Committees             Annual Return for the financial year ended 31 March   2017 be approved.

(iii)       That Section 2 - Accounting Statements 2015/16 of the Joint                         Committees Annual Return for the financial year ended 31 March 2017     be approved.

(iv)       That the Chairman, Treasurer and Clerk sign the Joint Committees Annual Return for the financial year ended 31 March 2017.

(v)        That a Strategy Paper be prepared for consideration by the Joint      Committee at its meeting in September 2017.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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