The purpose of the report is to provide an analysis of the financial position of the organisation at 31 March 2022.
Cabinet Portfolio Holder: Councillor Peter Butlin
Councillor Peter Butlin (Deputy Leader, Finance and Property) summarised the published report, noting that for the majority of 2021/22, the Council had continued to manage the impact of, and looked to start recovery from, the Covid-19 Pandemic. Other international, national and regional events had now combined with Covid-19 to create a volatile and unpredictable financial environment, making forecasting difficult throughout the year. The Council had concluded the year with a £10.5m underspend, after allowing for investment fund reprofiling of £7.1m, net Covid costs of £10.6m and movements into earmarked reserves of £9.0m, there was a net remaining underspend of £8.6m. However, this masked some significant variances at individual service level as set out in the report. In terms of the Capital outturn, the delivery of schemes had continued to be heavily impacted by the availability of labour and materials, which among other issues, had led to further reprofiling of the capital programme.
Councillor Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, noted that projected overspend in his portfolio area was due to demand for placements, which was intended to be addressed by the investment in Children’s Homes.
In response to a question from Councillor Roodhouse regarding delegated budgets, Councillor Butlin advised that work was taking place to ensure that expectations could be accurately managed.
1. Notes the net spend in 2021/22 and the consequent revenue underspend for the organisation at the end of the year;
2. Notes the explanations and mitigating actions for variations to budgets, and the implications on the Medium-Term Financial Strategy, as set out in Appendix A to the report;
3. Notes the capital spend in 2021/22 and its financing and the explanations for variations on individual projects set out in the report at paragraph 5.6 and Appendix B;
4. Approves the £3.473m carry forward of specific services’ revenue funding originally expected to be spent in 2021/22, to support the delivery of the Council Plan in 2022/23, as outlined in the report at paragraph 4.4 and Appendix D;
5. Approves the £6.958m carry forward of funding originally approved to be resourced from the Revenue Investment Funds in 2021/22 to support the delivery of the Council Plan in 2022/23, as outlined in the report at paragraph 4.8 and Appendix E;
6. Approves the reprofiling of the capital programme as set out in Annexes A to M to the report and require Corporate Board to give an enhanced focus to the accurate phasing of capital spend in 2022/23 and over the medium term; and
7. Notes the current reserves position for the organisation as set out in the report at Section 4 and Appendix N.