Agenda item

Forecast of Revenue and Capital Outturn 2022/23 - Period to 30 June 2022 and Update on Progress towards achieving MTFP(12) savings - Report of Corporate Director of Resources


The Cabinet considered a report of the Corporate Director of Resources that provided information on:


(a)the initial forecast revenue and capital outturn for 2022/23, based on the position to June 2022;


(b) the forecast for the council tax and business rates collection fund position at 31 March 2023, based on the position to 30 June 2022; and


(c)  details of the forecast use of and contributions to earmarked, cash limit and general reserves in 2022/23 and the estimated balances that would be held at 31 March 2023.


The report sought approval of the revised capital programme 2022/23, other budget adjustments and proposed sums treated as outside of the cash limit in year and provided Cabinet with an update on progress towards achieving MTFP(12) savings in 2022/23 (for copy of report, see file of minutes)


The Corporate Director of Resources informed the Cabinet that forecasts were dominated by the current rate of inflation. Pressures outlined in the report would impact and carry over till next year and into the Medium Term Financial Plan.


Councillor R Bell, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance commended officers for the comprehensive and thorough report. The Council were faced with significant inflationary pressures the likes of which had never been seen for 40 years largely related to the conflict in the Ukraine and the damage to the worldwide economy by Covid. These factors had created overspends across a range of areas particularly in relation to energy budgets and a higher than anticipated pay settlement. The Council would need to rely on reserves this year, however, this was not a sustainable long-term position. Covid inflationary pressures had been treated outside the cash limit. Overall, reserves were expected to fall to around £42m. There remained uncertainty around government settlement for the current and future years. The Deputy Leader of the Council informed Cabinet that he had called on government to contribute additional financial support next year and had recently written to the new Prime Minister and Chancellor regarding the significant financial strain on the County Council and across the local government sector.


Councillor M Wilkes commented that County Durham was a rural county with hundreds of villages spread across thousands of square miles but were not recognised as such by the Government. Councillor Wilkes could see at first hand significant improvements on the ground and the excellent work being undertaken in all services. However, the government would need to assist if the expectation was for Council’s to continue to provide essential and statutory services which residents required. The Council required an increase in government funding in-year and into the new financial year and the Council could not afford the usual delays around funding and the issues faced required an immediate response.



That the recommendations in the report be approved.

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