Issue - meetings

Financial Year 2023/24 - Quarter One Capital Budget Monitoring

Meeting: 12/09/2023 - Cabinet (Item 70)

70 Financial Year 2023/24 - Quarter One Capital Budget Monitoring

Report of the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive.

Supporting documents:


Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management, and Strategic Planning, presented a report which set out the Capital Programme for 2023/24 as at 30 June 2023 for the first quarterly budget monitoring period of the financial year. It included budget movements, revisions to the programme, and forecasts for how the programme would be financed.


It was stated that the current annual Capital Programme forecast as a result of adjustments and reprogramming stood at £189.376m, with total capital expenditure for the first quarter being approximately 14% at £26.047m. There was some impact from delays to implementation of the Evolve programme providing a new Enterprise Resource Planning system for the council, which was due to go live in November 2023. It was anticipated expenditure would increase in future quarters. 


Cllr Botterill also drew attention to proposals to invest an additional £10m investment for Highways and Transport, as a result of using Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding as part of the Trowbridge Leisure Centre project.


Cabinet noted the update and the proposals contained within the report. The Leader and Cllr Caroline Thomas, Cabinet Member for Highways, Street Scene, and Flooding, provided additional details on the additional funding for Highways in preventative and repair works, as well as Area Boards being able to comment on areas for improvement works once a planned timetable was prepared.


Cllr Pip Ridout, Chairman of the Financial Planning Task Group, stated that the spending profile for the Capital Programme had improved in recent years but could be improved further, and welcomed the use of CIL funding and associated increased investment in Highways.


Cllr Graham Wright, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, encouraged any information circulated to Area Boards to be at early stage to enable meaningful feedback. Cllr Thomas stated that Area Boards would be presented a planned schedule as soon as was practicable, noting it would not be a consultation, but the intent was to ensure local priorities received appropriate consideration.


Cllr Gordon King, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, welcomed improvements to the realistic estimates of capital expenditure, but raised concerns that only 14% had been expended in the first quarter. He supported the proposal for increased Highways investment and noted the scheduling of Area Board meetings across several months, for when it was time to circulate the proposed schedule of operations.


Cllr Jon Hubbard sought details of the forecast in relation to Education and Skills which was shown as £26.978m, and if this included money which was reprofiled or if such funds were deducted from the forecast. The Cabinet Member confirmed reprofiled funds were deducted, and referenced a full breakdown for the service area in Appendix B.


Cllr Hubbard asked about the proposed expansion to Abbeyfield School, which proposed to be delayed, and if it was currently at overcapacity. It was stated that in terms of trajectory it was anticipated it would still require expansion in future years, but not as soon, with reference to the School Places Strategy later on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70