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Agenda item

Final Outturn 2020/21

Report of the Chief Executive.



Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, Commissioning, IT, Digital and Commercialisation presented the report which provided detail about the final year end position for financial year 2020/21 (31 March 2021) for revenue and capital.


Statements and questions were submitted by Sue McGill.  The Leader acknowledged that the questions had received written responses which had been published on the Council’s website prior to the meeting. There was no supplementary question.


Cllr Church explained that the figures detailed in the report included the final position for the Collection Fund and section 31 (s31) grant funding for Business Rates and an update on the Income Loss Compensation Scheme since the provisional position was reported to Cabinet on 1 June 2021. It was noted that this position allowed for the setting aside of a net additional £2.711m to earmarked reserves and £34.124m of s31 grant provided to the council to ensure no significant cashflow issues arose during the year following the additional reliefs that were given to support businesses net of a small adverse variance on the Business Rates levy into a specific earmarked reserve to fund the accounting deficit on the Collection Fund.


In addition, the report set out the year end position of the Capital Programme, the movements from the original budget set at the beginning of 2020/21 and sets out how the programme has been financed. It provides an update on the significant programmes that have been delivered and those that have been reprofiled to future years.


Cllr Laura Mayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, thanked the Education and Skills Team for the work undertaken to complete large planned maintenance projects despite the COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, the Team undertook 83 reactive and emergency works at schools during this time.


Cllr Pip Ridout, Chair of the Financial Planning Task Group, confirmed that the report had been considered by the Task Group at its meetings on 25 June 2021 and 7 July 2021. The Task Group were content with the responses received to questions asked and they would consider any issues surrounding Capital items at future meetings.


In response to questions from Cllr Ian Thorn about (i) Business rates deficit; (ii) Capital expenditure programme slippage; (iii) Delivery of the Campus programme; and (iv) Lackham College land purchase; Cllr Church, the Leader  and the Corporate Director Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (Section 151 Officer) confirmed (i) that this was technical accounting and the deficit was compensated for by s31 grants received from the Government for 2020/21 and 2021/22, although the long term deficit was unknown at this stage; (ii) The frequency of reprofiling capital schemes was increasing and therefore, approved schemes were receiving increased focus in relation to their deliverability within the approved timescales.  It was confirmed that Overview and Scrutiny would become involved in this process going forward; (iii) the Council’s commitment to the delivery of the Trowbridge Campus project. There was no commitment at this stage for other community Campuses due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19; and (iv) A written response would be provided on the detail of the question.


In response to questions from Cllr Gavin Grant about (i) support for businesses; (ii) vacant properties on the high street; (iii) Possible Council acquisition of empty retail units; Cllr Church and the Leader responded as follows (i) There was no impact on the technical nature of the account and the Council would support businesses where it was the appropriate to do so; (ii) This was an area subject to market forces, and the Council was unable to influence businesses decisions of this nature; (iii) Again, the Council was unable to influence businesses decisions in relation to maintaining empty premises, although the issues could be raised with John Glen MP and the County Council Network.




Cabinet noted:


a)    the final year end revenue budget outturn and capital outturn position and the final position for the Collection Fund for the financial year 2020/21;


b)    the additional capital budgets of £3.092m that have been added to the 2020/21 programme under Chief Finance Officer delegated powers


c)    the Grant amendment of (£0.026m) that has been removed from the 2020/21 programme under Chief Finance Officer delegated powers


d)    The reprofile of £1.3m of budgets from future years to 2020/21 as approved by Cabinet in December 2020 under Land Acquisition report.


e)    the underspend and subsequent removal of £0.025m capital budget for the Wiltshire Online scheme as a result of staff savings.


f)     the overspend of £0.006m on the Local Growth Fund scheme Chippenham Station Hub.


g)    the overspend of £0.009m on the Local Growth Fund schemes at Salisbury.

Cabinet approved:


h)    the transfer of £2.104m and £34.076m to the Collection Fund Volatility reserve;


i)      the net transfer of £0.435m to the Budget Equalisation reserve;


j)      the transfer of £0.172m to the Council Tax Hardship reserve;


k)    Cabinet are asked to approve £20.340m of capital programme slippage to be rolled forward into 2021/22.



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 revenue and capital outturn position for the Council for the financial year 2020/21.


To improve the Councils financial resilience by increasing the balance on the General Fund reserve now and setting aside funds in earmarked reserves to prudently assist in managing the Councils future pressures and budget gap.

Supporting documents:




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