Agenda item - Recommendations from the Cabinet (to follow)

Agenda item

Recommendations from the Cabinet (to follow)

To consider the recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 24th November 2021.


The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling presented a recommendation on the subject of the Financial Outturn report 2020/21.


Members were advised that a new style had been used to present the Financial Outturn report, which was designed to be informative and transparent about the effects of Covid on the Council’s income and costs.


During the year, the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted on the Council’s financial position.  The Council was anticipating that some areas of income, especially income from leisure service and car parking, would take a while to recover.

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling would not be applying the Budgetary 10% guideline on these figures and would review the position going forward.


The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling commented that, given the impact of the pandemic, the authority had done well to achieve an end of year balancing figure of £228,736, which the Council proposed to cover from the Covid Grant. The biggest hit to Council income came from loss of car parking and amounted to £512,000. With additional Waste Management costs of £339,000, the total overspend on Environmental Services was £690,000.  This was partially offset by a saving of £245,000 in corporate financing, as the authority was unable to proceed with the Council’s Capital programme and made savings on interest costs. Leisure services were also impacted, although costs had been partially offset by Sport England grant funding. Development Control had an overspend of £270,000 caused by unexpected costs arising from the loss of a planning appeal. Without those costs, the Council would have been close to breaking even on the year.


The Council had received Covid grant funding from the Government to help manage the impact of the pandemic. In total, £948,695 Covid grant funding remained for the Council, which could be used to help balance the budget in 2021/22.


The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling Services concluded by thanking the Financial Services team, particularly the Executive Director of Resources, the Head of Financial and Customer Services and the Financial Services Manager for their hard work.  Particular reference was made to the work of the Financial Services team in the distribution of business grants to eligible local companies during the year.


During consideration of this item, reference was made by Members to the savings that had been achieved due to staff vacancies.  Concerns were raised that savings from vacancies occurred each year and questions were raised about whether these posts were required, with Members commenting that these savings could instead be invested in the delivery of frontline services.  The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling Services explained that the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted on vacancy levels.  Some staff had chosen to leave the Council’s employment, having reassessed their circumstances during the pandemic.  Members were also asked to note that there were issues with recruitment nationally, in terms of shortages of potential staff, particularly candidates with the right skills and experience.


RESOLVED that £228,736 be transferred from the General Covid Grant to the Council’s general fund to balance the outturn position for 2020/21.



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