The Committee considered a report of the Corporate Director of Resources, which provided details of the forecast outturn budget position for the Adult and Health Services (AHS) service grouping, highlighting major variances in comparison with the budget for the year, based on the position to the end of September 2021 (for copy see file of minutes).
J McMahon, Principal Accountant presented the report to Members and it was noted that the forecasts indicated a cash limit underspend of £2.350 million at the year-end against a revised revenue budget of £128.664 million, which represented a 1.8% underspend. In arriving at the cash limit position, Covid-19 related expenditure of £3.026 million offset by Covid-19 related savings of £4.013 million had been excluded. Covid-19 costs were being treated corporately and offset by Government funding so far as possible.
Based on the forecasts, the Cash Limit balance for Adults and Health Services as at 31 March 2022 would be £12.676 million and the capital budget for 2021/22 was £1.210 million. As at 30 September 2021 there had been capital expenditure incurred of £71,000.
Councillor Crute referred to the major area of additional cost in respect of to the £3.026 million for the additional financial support paid to providers which included targeted support being given to residential care homes, and he asked whether this was a trend that was likely to continue in the future. He referred to a policy to be agreed by parliament which would allow self-funders to access residential care homes for local authority rates and asked how this would impact the budget and occupancy. M Laing, Director of Integrated Community Services, County Durham Care Partnership, responded to advise that there would be additional pressure on the budget and it would increase pressures on occupancy levels and staffing. He advised that there were 800 self-funded customers that would be an be given access to care homes at local council rates and the impact on the budget was being assessed and was scheduled to be included in reports to Cabinet and County Council, but it was variable and of concern.
Councillor Kay referred to the recently refurbished Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Unit in Horden and queried whether there would be any impact to the one in Bishop Auckland. The Director of Public Health advised that it would remain open and an update on the Drug and Alcohol Service would be provided.
That the report be noted.