Agenda item

Financial Monitoring Report Quarter 2 2018/19


Peter Molyneux, Senior Manager Corporate Finance, introduced the report of the Director of Finance and Investment which set out the Council’s revenue and capital monitoring position for 2018/19 Quarter 2. The report gave details of key issues within the environment theme, progress on the implementation of savings and income and debt. There was a current projected overspend of £900,000, the Environment element of this was £0.5m. This was an improvement for the Environment theme of £0.2m on Quarter 1. Delivery Services and Economic and Housing Growth forecast overspends made up the majority of this. The Quarter 2 capital report had recommended that Cabinet agreed the 2018/19 Capital Programme of £60.9 million which took account of re-profiling identified during 2018/19. Expenditure to date was £16.3 million.


With regard to the Capital Programme a Member queried why there was no funding available for Woodchurch Leisure Centre.


The Chair suggested the need for written responses to be provided on questions posed by Members.


Responding to comments from Members, Peter Molyneux stated with regard to the Capital Programme, senior managers would decide in each service area what their funding priorities were and these would then be assessed and put before the Cabinet for their agreement before ultimately going to the Budget Council for approval.


The Chair and Members suggested that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee should have sight of the criteria used in assessing capital programme bids. This could potentially be a piece of work for the Committee as to how the capital programme was developed.


In response to further comments Peter Molyneux elaborated on the £250,000 expenditure at the Williamson Art Gallery which included installation of roof blinds, spotlighting and some changes to the heating control systems.


Mark Smith, Interim Director for Highways and Streetscene, responding to comments on proposed savings relating to waste informed the meeting that after detailed negotiations with BIFFA potential efficiency savings could not be realised.


In respect of proposed savings at Woodchurch Leisure Centre, Andrew Elkington, Assistant Director of Community Services, stated that the proposal to bring in much more flexible hours of working had not been realised and the new Cabinet Member for Leisure and Recreation had asked for a review of the proposals with officers instructed to find alternative ways of finding the savings.


Peter Molyneux agreed to provide written responses in respect of a number of questions, including:


·  A breakdown of the £180,000 for the West Kirby Concourse / Guinea Gap Upgrade works.

·  The terms of the clawback condition on grants to properties made to bring poor condition housing stock back into use

·  How the council would manage the situation of PFI land transferred to Leasowe Leisure Centre when the PFI Trust was still in place.

·  The fund of £60,000 to restore empty homes and whether these were grants to bring empty properties back into occupation and the rationale for distributing these monies.


Mark Smith responded to comments on the £200,000 saving which had not been achieved, out of a savings target of £300,000, in respect of garden waste. This was for an additional £200,000 from increasing the take up of subscribers to the garden waste scheme. There was a whole communications / marketing plan around this to try and encourage new subscribers and also targeting people who had previously subscribed but who had since not renewed their subscription.


A Member commented upon this and expressed the view that it appeared that a lot of money was being spent on a campaign trying to chase subscribers and failing, including paying the Wirral Globe to place adverts when the Council had its own publication, Wirral View, which the Council had been told went to every household in the Borough.


Mark Smith agreed that he would circulate a written response to all Members of the Committee to provide more detail around communications / marketing plan that was put in place for the garden waste collection. He commented that the door-to-door survey being undertaken by the Communications / Marketing team was a targeted focussed survey on residents who had previously subscribed to the scheme.


In response to a question on £110,000 for the Hoylake Golf Depot, Peter Molyneux also agreed to provide further information on this.


A Member commented that Committee members would have an opportunity at the forthcoming budget proposals workshop to bring forward ideas as to how savings could be made.


Resolved – That the report be noted.

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