Agenda item - Worcestershire Regulatory Services Revenue Monitoring April - March 2020 and Annual Return 2019/2020

Agenda item

Worcestershire Regulatory Services Revenue Monitoring April - March 2020 and Annual Return 2019/2020


The Financial Services Manager, Bromsgrove District Council (BDC), introduced the report and in doing so highlighted the Recommendations, as detailed on page 53 of the main agenda report; and drew Members’ attention to recommendation 1.2 – to approve £20k transfer to WRS reserves to purchase a dog warden van.


The Financial Services Manager, BDC further drew Members’ attention to the final outturn of £57k, which represented 1.9% of the actual budget, detailed on page 54 of the main agenda report.


WRS Managers had set themselves an income budget of £490k for 2019/2020, unfortunately due to the loss of one of the stray dog contracts, which had generated around £60k worth of income, there was an income shortfall of £48k against budget.  But still a fantastic performance from WRS again this year, as WRS still managed to outturn a surplus at the year end. 


Councillor A. Kent, BDC, queried the County – Exit Fee and Worcs Works Well, as detailed on page 65 of the main agenda report; and if the figure should still be shown in ‘Earmarked Reserves. . 


In response the Head of Regulatory Services explained that when Worcestershire County Council departed from the partnership in 2016, they were required to pay an amount which covered the cost to partners in facilitating its exit and also a contribution to cover the costs of any redundancies or anything else it might incur looking forward.  So the figure of £173k was agreed.  The transfer out figure of £42,500 was in relation to the settlement of an employee tribunal for WRS.  WRS had received advice from an external commercial solicitor, who had advised senior officers that the amount was a reasonable ending for the six partners.


Therefore it was agreed by the partner officers of the Board to use the reserves held by the service rather than asking partner authorities to pay the settlement costs.


The Head of Regulatory Services continued and further explained that it had been agreed at previous Board meetings that the funds would be held as a reserve for the service, should the income model be petered out and the service was in a position where it was not meeting its budget target.  Members of the Board had previously agreed that this reserve would be used as a buffer against such an eventuality.


So if WRS hit a sudden year where there was a major downturn in income the six partner authorities would not be faced with having to find tens of thousands of pounds to cover the gap for the service. 


It also created that thinking space potentially for officers to look at how these services might be delivered differently if it did get to the point where such decisions had to be made.  So it was there in the event of emergencies and to give the six partner authorities that level of protection from anything going wrong with the service and its delivery. 

At this point in time, that was why it is there, this had been agreed historically, but clearly if Members wanted to look at investing any of that into particular pieces of work or one activity; then that was something that officers could take away and discuss and bring back to the Board.          


The Community Environmental Health and Trading Standards Manager informed the Board that Worcestershire Works Well was a free accreditation scheme to support businesses to improve the health and well-being of their employees.  The accreditation scheme was run by Worcestershire County Council but WRS delivered the expertise in terms of working with them on health and safety and nutrition in the workplace.       




a)    the final financial position for the period April – March 2020 be noted;


b)    £20k transfer to Worcestershire Regulatory Services reserves to purchase a dog warden van, be approved; and


c)    that the 2019/202 refund of £37k to the participating Councils be approved, as follows:-



Refund from 2019/20


Bromsgrove District Council  


Malvern Hills District Council


Redditch Borough Council


Worcester City Council  


Wychavon District Council


Wyre Forest District Council





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