The Executive Director, Finance and Resources presented the report which gave the Council’s financial position for Revenue and Capital for the period April 2018 to December 2018. A number of areas were highlighted, including:
· A positive variance of £157K was projected.
· Details of the variances were broken down into the Council’s Strategic Purposes.
· The projected shortfall in planning applications and the impact this had on other areas, New Homes Bonus, Council Tax and the cost of Mott MacDonald.
· Help me live my life independently - Additional income received within the Lifeline service due to the contract with Cannock Chase District Council was a major contribution to the savings.
· The majority of savings in respect of the Provide Good things for me to see, do and visit related to Leisure and Cultural services.
· Enabling – there was a projected underspend which related to Customer Services centre due to a one off business rate refund and salary vacancies.
· Corporate Financing – two main factors related to this, including the discount for the advanced payment of Pension Contributions and a small budget saving relating to borrowing costs.
The Executive Director, Finance and Resources drew Members attention to the Capital budgets and an underspend of £2.243m. Again, she went through the variances in line with the Council’s strategic purposes and in particular the vehicle replacement budget, as there was delays on the vehicle replacement programme. The Head of Environmental Services ensured that the vehicles were at the end of their life before replacing and therefore may last longer than originally anticipated.
A number of items were also highlighted which related to the Capital budget Help me live my life independently, in particular Energy Efficiency installations and discretionary home repairs assistance which was due to a lack of applications received.
Explanation as to the reason for the virements within the recommendations were given and these related to the Disabled Facilities Grant and the combined Footpath and Cycle network project, which was part of a wider Worcestershire County Council scheme.
The Executive Director, Finance and Resources went on to provide Members with the details in respect of the increase in Capital budget for the Dolphin Centre. Members were reminded that the sports hall had been closed due to a number of health, safety and security issues. In addition approval had been given in July 2018 to continue with the demolition of the site following Members consideration of alternative hall provision through BAM. Following the decision to demolish the site MACE formally tendered for the woks, including demolition and the associated car park works.
In total seven contractors provided a submission for the works and the successful tender in terms of price and quality was at a value of £1.050m. This was £346k more than the current budget allocation of £734k which was based on previously estimated costs. The increase could be put down to a number of reasons including, disaggregation of the contract following the delay in the project, additional scaffolding and duration of demolition period ... view the full minutes text for item 84