Agenda item

QTR.4 FINANCE POSITION STATEMENT FOR 2020-21

The Director of Finance will submit a report (Document “DS”) which provides Members with an update on the forecast financial position of the Council for 2020-21.

 

It examines the latest spend against revenue and capital budgets and forecasts the financial position at the year end. It states the Council’s current balances and reserves and forecasts school balances for the year. 

 

Recommended –

 

That the Executive

 

(1)       Note the contents of this report

 

(2)       In light of there being no scheduled meetings of the Executive until June, authority be delegated to the Director of Finance in consultation with the Leader to allocate additional sums of money in relation to containing the outbreak as circumstances require. Funding to derive from Covid related Grants.

 

(3)       Request that Officers be asked to present proposals for utilising any un-committed Covid Grant funding to invest in the recovery of the District at the next Executive.

 

(4)       Approve the following capital expenditure schemes as outlined in section 16.7 to Doucment “DS”:

 

  • £3.25m for the removal of a dilapidated box culvert from a section of Bradford Beck. The scheme is to be funded by ERDF grant and Council match funding from the use of a budget already in the Capital Plan, CS0306a. (Strategic Transport Infrastructure Priorities) pending potential of WYCA Grant funding.
  • £0.19m for Thornton Road / Toller Lane Junction Improvements. The scheme seeks temporary short term funding to secure the purchase of properties that can be successfully acquired by agreement in advance of full scheme funding through the West Yorkshire Transport Fund.

 

Overview and Scrutiny Committee: Corporate

           

(Andrew Cross - 07870 386523)

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Director of Finance submitted a report (Document “DS”) which provided Members with an update on the forecast financial position of the Council for 2020-21.

 

It examined the latest spend against revenue and capital budgets and forecasted the financial position at the year end. It stated the Council’s current balances and reserves and forecasted school balances for the year. 

 

The Director of Finance stated that despite the pandemic, the Council had mitigated its impacts and the budget was on target for 2020/21, with a projected underspend of £0.2m, however, there were overspends reported within Children’s Services, primarily as a consequence of the use of additional agency staff and an increase in the numbers of looked after children, and in the Department of Place as a result of the increased costs in waste services.

 

A significant loss was reported as a result of the Council’s inability to generate income during the pandemic, however, Government support had covered the Council’s deficit overall.

 

The Leader welcomed that the Council’s finances would come in on budget, despite the challenges over the past year, however, this Council along with many others were already in a weakened state prior to the pandemic, as a consequence of the Government’s austerity measures. In this context Bradford had taken the step to ensure that economic recovery would be a key area of focus and activity post pandemic, and resources would be deployed accordingly.

 

A Councillor representing the main opposition group was present at the meeting and stated that additional Government funding had been crucial in making the Council’s books balance, and this should be welcomed.  In the context of the budget deficit faced by Hanson School, he suggested that notwithstanding the complexities facing the School, a radical approach was now required by the Council in order to salvage the situation.

 

In response the Education and Skills Portfolio Holder stressed that there were a whole host of reasons for the financial position the School found itself in, however, the main area of focus was around raising educational standards and putting measures in place to turn the School around.  To this end the Head and Governing Body had done some sterling work, despite the pressures facing the School and he was hopeful that this improvement journey would continue, as well as inroads being made to reduce the deficit.

 

The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder stated that in the area of Adult Social Care we were still awaiting the Green Paper on the future funding of this sector, and that without this matter being resolved, issues in this sector would remain.

 

In the area of Children’s Social Care, the Portfolio Holder explained that the increased use of agency staff was crucial in maintaining service provision and ensuring children were safeguarded. The increase in the numbers of Looked After Children, a situation mirrored nationally, had resulted in a huge funding gap, which the Local Government Association had identified to Government.  He went on to thank staff for their sterling efforts in ensuring children in our District were kept safe.

 

The Leader acknowledged the structural funding issues in both the Adult and Children’s social care sector and that Government would be lobbied accordingly.

 

Resolved -

 

(1)       That the report be noted.

 

(2)       In light of there being no scheduled meetings of the Executive until June, authority be delegated to the Director of Finance in consultation with the Leader to allocate additional sums of money in relation to containing the outbreak as circumstances require. Funding to derive from Covid related Grants.

 

(3)       Request that Officers be asked to present proposals for utilising any un-committed Covid Grant funding to invest in the recovery of the District at the next Executive.

 

(4)       Approve the following capital expenditure schemes as outlined in section 16.7 to Document “DS”:

 

  • £3.25m for the removal of a dilapidated box culvert from a section of Bradford Beck. The scheme is to be funded by ERDF grant and Council match funding from the use of a budget already in the Capital Plan, CS0306a. (Strategic Transport Infrastructure Priorities) pending potential receipt of WYCA Grant funding.
  • £0.19m for Thornton Road / Toller Lane Junction Improvements. The scheme requires temporary short term funding to secure the purchase of properties that can be successfully acquired by agreement in advance of full scheme funding through the West Yorkshire Transport Fund.

 

ACTION: Director of Finance.

 

Overview and Scrutiny Committee: Corporate   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents: