Agenda item

Financial Year 2023/24 - Quarter One Capital Budget Monitoring

Report of the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive.


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 the agenda.


Cllr Hubbard also sought details on new education provision in the north of the county, for children unable to attend mainstream or specialist schools, listed as Alternative Provision, and if this would be an addition to the programme. It was confirmed this would be a separate project line in the quarter two report.


Cllr Clare Cape asked if the investment in Highways included maintenance of pavements. Cllr Thomas stated there was some funding through the Department for Transport to assist with that work, and she would seek further information. Together with the Leader she noted the reduced effectiveness of weedkillers, as well the environmental impact if spraying was done routinely.


Cllr Botterill also clarified an addition to the proposals as set out in the report, to approve the application for or receipt of grant income as set out in the appendices.


At the conclusion of discussion, it was then,




Cabinet recommended to Full Council:

a)    The allocation of a £4.4m budget for Education provision in the North of the County to be funded by a mix of capital receipts, earmarked reserves and £1.7m of new borrowing.


Cabinet Approved:

b)   The allocation of £0.500m budget to be funded by CIL funding for the River Park programme;


c)    The allocation of £10m CIL funding for Trowbridge Leisure Centre to replace borrowing, with no change in total budget allocation;


d)   The allocation of £10m budget to Highways and Transport for increased investment to be funded from borrowing released from Trowbridge Leisure Centre; and


e)    The virement of budget on the Salisbury Central Car Park & Maltings of £0.250m from Millstream Approach Bridge to Coach Park Redevelopment Riverside;


f)     The grant income applied for and/or received as set out in Appendix C and Appendix D.


Cabinet Noted:

g)   The additional budgets added to the programme of £17.639m under Chief Finance Officer delegated powers;


h)   The removals of £0.396m budget in line with 2023/24 Grant award under Chief Finance Officer delegated powers;


i)     The budgets brought forward from future years into the 2023/24 programme totalling £13.876m under Chief Finance Officer delegated powers;


j)     The budgets reprogrammed from 2023/24 into future years totalling £69.998m under Chief Finance Officer delegated powers;


k)    Budget Movements between Schemes;


l)     The revised 2023/24 Capital Programme forecast as at quarter one of £189.376m;


m)  The capital spend as of 30 June 2023 of £26.047m; and


n)   The change in approach for Stone Circle Housing Company to set MRP aside from 2023/24 for the capital loan.


Reasons 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 financial position of the Council on the 2023/24 capital
programme as at quarter one (30 June 2023).

Supporting documents: