Agenda item

2021-22 Budget Monitoring for Quarter 2 (1 July - 30 September)


The Director of Resources introduced a report which set out the financial monitoring information for the Council as at quarter 2 (July - September) of 2021-22. The report provided Members with an overview of budget performance to enable the Committee to take ownership of the budgets and provide robust challenge and scrutiny to officers on the performance of those budgets.


The Committee was aware that the former Ministry for Housing, Local Government and Communities (now the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities DLUHC) had provided a conditional offer of Exceptional Financial Support (capitalisation directive) for 2021/22 of up to £10.7m. One of the conditions of that offer was that the Council would need to provide evidence from the assurance review of the authority’s financial position and its ability to meet any or all the identified budget gap without any additional borrowing. The review had concluded and the report had been received, and this would be considered at a briefing meeting on 15 November, with a response to be confirmed at a special meeting of the Committee on 30 November, 2021.


In light of this, the Director emphasised the vital importance of the Council having robust processes in place to manage and monitor the in-year financial position, to ensure it delivered a balanced position at the end of the year.


The projected year-end revenue outturn, recorded as part of Quarter 2 financial monitoring activity, represented a favourable variance against revenue budget of £0.496m. This improved forecast since quarter 1 reflected

the identification of mitigation for delayed savings options and mid-year reassessment of pressures. As any favourable variance had to contribute to the reduction in the value of the Exceptional Financial Support for 2021/22, the forecast year end position was a balanced budget.


This budget position included the utilisation of the Government’s Exceptional Financial Support (EFS) but it was not anticipated that the full amount would be required, following a review of new funding received and a reduction in pressures estimated in March. Additional Government Funding of £3m had been received that was not known about when the request for Exceptional Financial Support was submitted and this was offsetting the value of the original request.


Responding to comments from Members, the Director stated that there was a need for a longer term review of the printing service with directorates not spending as much on printing as they had previously. With regard to interims, the Director acknowledged that there were currently more interims in the Authority than the Council had previously had, this was because of current recruitment difficulties. This was being addressed in a campaign led by HR with more digital advertising gaining  a wider reach to recruit permanent staff and as soon as staff were recruited interims were let go.


On a motion by the Chair, seconded by Councillor Yvonne Nolan, it was -


Resolved – That this Committee,


(1)  notes the favourable forecast position presented at Quarter 2;


(2)  notes the forecast reduction in the requirement to utilise the Government’s Exceptional Financial Support (EFS);


(3)  approves the budget virement proposals detailed within each Directorate Area of the report;


(4)  notes the impact of funding and expenditure as a direct consequence of Covid-19, including the additional funding sources which have been identified, but as yet, not received.


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