Report by Chief Executive Officers Alistair Cunningham and Terence Herbert
Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, introduced a report which (i) advised on the Budget Monitoring, Performance & Risk Management position 2019/20 Quarter 3 (31 December 2019) for the financial year 2019/20 with suggested actions as appropriate; (ii) Provided information about the position of the 2019/20 revenue and capital budgets as at quarter 3 (31 December 2019), including highlighting any budget changes; and (iii) provided an update on the progress against the stated aims in the Council’s Business Plan including measures from the corporate performance framework as well as the latest version of the Council’s strategic risk register as at the end of December 2019.
Cllr Jacobs explained that (i) the report brings together, regular reports on Budget Monitoring and Performance & Risk Management, combining key information to give a complete picture of financial and non-financial performance; (ii) forecasts indicated a general fund variance of £2.758m, being 0.8% of the Council’s net budget, and Directors and Heads of Service were identifying compensating actions to bring this back into a balanced year end position; (iii) the Dedicated Schools Grant coming under increased pressure in Wiltshire as it is across the country, with a current forecast for a £7.314m overspend, although mitigation plans are in place to address the overspend.
In response to comments and questions from Cllr Ian Thorn, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, about (i) recovery plans for those areas where large budget variances had been identified and (ii) the impact on services where compensating actions were necessary to bring the budget back in line, Cllr Jacobs confirmed that transformation of services continued and that services would not be impacted by the savings. Cllr Jacobs explained that the savings required equated to a very small percentage of the Council’s overall budget and he provided assurance that the savings were being managed and were achievable within existing and future structures.
1. To note:
a. that the budget is forecast to breakeven by the end of the financial year with the General Fund Quarter 3 projected year end outturn being an overspend risk of £2.758 million, before management actions are made.
b. the HRA Quarter 3 projected year end outturn is online.
c. the 2019/20 capital programme as at quarter 3 (31 December 2019) has been revised to a budget of £149.214 million (including requested additions).
d. outturns against the selected performance measures in relation to the Council’s Business Plan.
e. the scoring and commentary on the Strategic Risk Register.
2. Cabinet are asked to approve:
a. the budget virements in the revenue budget and capital programme, per Appendices C, D & E of the report.
b. a recommendation to Full Council to approve additions to the capital programme of £2.459 million.
Reason for Decision:
1. To inform effective decision making and ensure a sound control environment.
2. To inform Cabinet of the position of the 2019/20 budget as at Quarter 3 (31 December 2019), including highlighting any budget changes.
3. To inform Cabinet on Performance and Risk in the context of the financial position in relation to the Council’s stated aims in its Business Plan.