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Agenda item

Quarter 4, Revenue and Capital Outturn 2016/17 and Quarter 1, Forecast of Revenue and Capital Outturn 2017/18

Joint Report of the Corporate Director of Regeneration and Local Services and the Corporate Director of Resources – Presented by the Finance Manager, Resources.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the Principal Accountant, Resources, Paul Raine to speak to Members in relation to the Quarter 4, 2016/17 and Quarter 1, 2017/18 Revenue and Capital Outturn (for copy see file of minutes).

 

The Principal Accountant noted for the Quarter 4 2016/17 Revenue and Capital Outturn the areas that were reported upon were the General Fund Revenue Account and the Capital Programme for the RED Service. 

 

Members noted the service had reporting a outturn position with a cash limit underspend of £1.644 million against a revised annual General Fund Revenue Budget of £27.802 million, in comparison to the Quarter 3 estimated this represented a variance of £0.634 million.  Members noted the variances within the budget, with the detailed explanations as set out within Appendix 2 to the report.  The Committee were informed that the service grouping delivered the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) savings for 2016/17 of £1.118 million.

 

As regards the Capital Programme 2016/17, the Principal Accountant explained that the actual spend to date had been £39.914 million, against a revised budget of £36.581 million, and that some projects were implemented over a number of years and a breakdown of the major capital projects was given at Appendix 3 to the report.

 

The Chairman thanked the Principal Accountant and asked Members for their questions on the Outturn 2016/17 finance report.

 

Councillor P Howell asked for further details as regards the cash limit regime.  The Principal Accountant noted that in terms of budgets there were elements that budget managers could control, for example staff, and elements beyond their controls such as routine maintenance on buildings or capital charges.  The Principal Accountant added that by having a cash limit, this allowed for better spending in each year, preventing a rush to utilise budgets within each year, better for projects spanning over a few years.  It was suggested that a budget seminar is arranged for Members.

 

Mr T Batson asked whether there were some elements that were dictated by Central Government, within legislation.  The Chairman noted that it may be useful for a seminar in this regards and that this could be taken forward if sufficient interest is raised.

 

Councillor J Atkinson noted the position in terms of being under budget on employees and asked what pressures this presented upon those staff that remained.  The Principal Accountant noted that a number of staff that leave under early retirement and/or voluntary redundancy would not be replaced, however not all go at 31 March, though the saving is effective from 1 April.  He added that there would subsequently be fewer staff in post.

 

Councillor J Clare noted Appendix 2 had previously repeatedly had reference to an over spend on parking, however, it was not contained within this report.  Accordingly, he asked what the reason was for this.  The Principal Accountant noted that over the year there would be cautious estimates, and areas of concern would be identified, and that in some cases by the year end, those areas are in line with budgets.

 

The Chairman asked the Principal Accountant to speak in relation to Quarter 1, 2017/18.

 

The Principal Accountant noted for the Quarter 1 2017/18 Forecast of Revenue and Capital Outturn the areas that were reported upon were the General Fund Revenue Account and the Capital Programme for the RED Service. 

 

Members noted the service was reporting a cash limit underspend of £0.235 million against a revised General Fund Revenue Budget of £26.849 million.  Members noted the variances within the budget, with the detailed explanations as set out within Appendix 2 to the report.  The Committee were informed that the service grouping was forecast to make overall savings for 2017/18 of £0.929 million, against MTFP savings required amounting to £0.889 million.

 

As regards the Capital Programme 2017/18, the Principal Accountant noted a revised budget of £40.569, with the spend for the first three months being £7.766 million.  Members were reminded Members that the usual spend profile was such that there was greater spend at the year end, with a breakdown of the major capital projects being given at Appendix 3 to the report.

 

The Chairman thanked the Principal Accountant and asked Members for their questions on the Quarter 1 2017/18 finance report.

 

Councillor P Howell asked as regards the volatility of the capital programme, asking whether for £40 million for example, it would be £10 million per quarter.  The Principal Accountant noted that usually the largest spend would be within Quarter 4 in terms of capital.

 

Councillor J Clare noted a significant underspend in terms of Visit County Durham (VCD) and noted that this would be an issue to remember for the next meeting.  The Principal Accountant noted there had been a restructure within VCD and that while there was one restructure, it would be across 2 years, 2017/18 and 2018/19.  Councillor J Clare noted this, however, was concerned as regards the impact this could have on business of VCD.

 

Resolved:    

 

(i)           That the reports be noted.

(ii)          That Officers arrange for a seminar to be held for Members in relation to budgets.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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