The Committee received a report of the Corporate Director of Resources (for copy see file of minutes) which had been agreed by Cabinet on 13 July 2022 and provided information with regards to:
(a) a summaryoftheCouncil’srevenueandcapitaloutturnpositionfor theGeneral Fundfor2021/22;
(b) thefinal outturnfortheCouncil’sCouncilTax andBusinessRatesCollection Fundfor2021/22;
(c) use ofandcontributionsto earmarked,cashlimitandgeneralreservesinyearand atyearendtogetherwith theclosingposition regardingbalancesheldat31 March 2022;and
(d) achievementofMediumTerm FinancialPlan(MTFP)(11) savingstargetsin 2021/22.
In response to queries from Mr Rudd regarding in year collections and whether reserve allocations were subject to the Audit function, the Head of Corporate Finance and Commercial Services summarised the three reserve categories, general reserves, cash limit reserves and earmarked reserves and advised that External Audit consider the reserve protocol as part of the final account assurances. He explained that council tax collections was larger by nature due to the precept and added that all debt collection had been suspended during the pandemic. The collection of business rates was significantly reduced due to government discount schemes for businesses and advised that recovery had resumed. It was noted that many authorities in the North East had changed their schemes resulting in a lower collection expectation, however Durham’s collection expectation rate was 99% and he was please to confirm that that target had always been met.
That the report be noted.