The item was introduced by Andy Felton (Assistant Director, Finance), who explained the report focused on four main areas: key business measures; the integrated delivery plan; finances; and organisational risk. He said various factors had created a lot of volatility, meaning there was currently a lot of uncertainty relating to areas that fell under the remit of the Committee. Among these were issues relating to cost of living, and this was reflected in the report. Despite this, performance was good and the majority of key business measures were on track to be delivered. Andy Felton highlighted the sections of the report where performance levels had been good, and where there were areas of challenge.
Members were told there were 55 actions relating to the integrated delivery plan. Of these, two per cent had been completed, five per cent had not yet been started, and 17 per cent showed levels of risk or compromise. These were highlighted in the report, and the reasons why they presented a risk were included.
Andy Felton said there was an underspend of £1.8million in the finance areas relating to the remit of the Committee. Most of the underspend related to the Enabling service, and this would be carried forward to the next financial year. Overall however the Council had an overspend, although capital spending was broadly on track. Two key strategic risks had been identified; these were the slowdown in the economy and increased inflation, and the associated impacts of cost of living; and service risks associated with the Fire and Rescue Service, relating to availability of on-call firefighters and capacity to deliver the protection plan.
Responding to a question raised by Councillor Phillips relating to schools going into deficit, Andy Felton said there had been a high level of overspend in relation to the schools’ high needs block. A number of schools had reported having deficit issues. However the Chancellor had recently announced additional resources of £2.3billion for the next financial year and the same amount for the following year, and it was anticipated that this would address the financial problems schools were having.
Members noted the contents of the report.