Report of the Chief Executive.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Climate Change, MCI, Economic Development, Heritage, Arts, Tourism and Health & Wellbeing presented a report which provided detail about the final year end position for the financial year 2021/22 for the capital programme.
The Cabinet noted that the report included the movements from the original budget, final scheme slippage and funding of the programme. The report also provided an update on the significant programmes that have been delivered and those that have been reprogrammed to future years.
The Leader highlighted that the reported forecast position set out in the quarter three budget monitoring report presented to Cabinet on 1 February 2022 was that the Council would spend £163.823m on its Capital Programme in 2021/22. The final position for the year is a total spend of £111.130m with a request to Cabinet to roll forward £51.508m budget into future years.
Cllr Ian Thorn raised the possibility of a scrutiny opportunity to complement the work of officers in relation to the slippage of capital schemes. Cllr Thorn paid tribute to officers for the delivery of the Melksham Community Campus. In response, the Leader agreed that a more realistic delivery timetable was required for capital schemes although he understood the reasons for slippages. It was noted that Cabinet provides a level of scrutiny of the Stone Circle companies via regular reports from the Shareholder Group.
Cllr Gavin Grant commented on capital loans made to the Stone Circle companies in 2021/22 and acknowledged the challenges of property acquisition. He noted that the target was to acquire 72 units when in reality 37 properties were purchased during 2021/22. In response, the Leader and officers explained that house prices continued to increase which was difficult to assess at the start of the year. The financial parameters have been reassessed and modified to reflect the current market conditions and were approved by Cabinet as part of approving the Stone Circle companies annual business plan.
(1) Cabinet noted:
a) the additional capital budgets of £2.677m that have been added to the 2021/22 programme under Chief Finance Officer delegated powers
b) the underspend and subsequent removal of £2.868m capital budget for the Major Road Network schemes in line with grant received for business cases. Going forward schemes have been added to the programme as individual schemes.
c) the end of year underspend and subsequent removal of £0.178m for completing Local Growth Fund schemes and Wiltshire Online
d) the £0.816m costs that have been transferred to revenue as the capital schemes are not progressing, £0.809m for Boscombe Down and £0.007m prior year spend of feasibility work for a scheme not proceeding for HRA Council House Build programme.
e) The reprogramming of £79.361m budget from 2022/23 to future years.
(2) Cabinet approved:
f) the £51.508m of capital programme slippage to be rolled forward into future years
g) Transfer of £1.191m 2022/23 budget from the Boscombe Down scheme to a corporate budget to be used to manage expected inflation pressures on projects during 2022/23
Reason for Decision:
To inform effective decision making and ensure sound financial management as part of the Councils overall control environment.
To inform Cabinet on the final year end capital outturn position for the Council for the financial year 2021/22.