Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change presented a report, the purpose of which, was to update Council on the mid-year review and half year position for Treasury Management activities and Treasury Management indicators for the current year, and to highlight compliance with the Council’s policies and practices.
In terms of the present situation, she reminded Members that Treasury Management is the management of the council's cash flows, borrowing and investment, and the associated risks that run parallel with this.
She explained that the Council is exposed to financial risks including the loss of invested funds and the revenue effect of changing interest rates.
The successful identification, monitoring and control of financial risk are therefore central to the Council’s prudent financial management.
The Treasury Management Strategy for 2022/2023 was approved by Council on the 23 February, the Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change added.
She was able to confirm, that the Council had complied with its legislative and regulatory requirements during the first 6 months of this year, with detail regarding its activity shown in Appendix A of the report.
The key points to note were:-
· Context in this period:
o Ongoing conflict in Ukraine;
o Period of increasing inflation and impact on the cost of living;
o Increased interest rates. Increased from 0.75% to 2.25% at end of September and for some time, more than previously;
· Long-term borrowing at the end of September was £99.94m. Little change over the period of the report.
· BCBC was unlikely to need to borrow this year but this will be kept under review.
· The Council does invest its monies and in doing so ensures the security of the funding, the liquidity and then the yield from that investment. Investments consist of monies received in advance of expenditure and use of balances and reserves.
· At the end of September 2022, the sum invested was £98m – with other Local Authorities, Government and money market funds
· BCBC do take advice from its advisers regularly with regards to where our monies are placed.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change, finally referred Council to Appendix A, which gave more details on the Treasury Management activity for this period.
A Member asked how long the Council’s current Treasury Management advisors had been in place and should they mis-advise the Authority are they then in any way liable for this.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change confirmed that the Council commissioned in this service, though the work was re-tendered on a regular basis. She added however, that there were very few such expert advisors for this field of work in the open market supporting local authorities, as it was such a specialist area. She further added, that the company would be covered if they gave un-sound or bad advice to a local authority such as BCBC.
The Member followed-up, by asking if the Council benchmarked the advisors performance in any way.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change replied that when the Council put its specification out to tender, it would ask for certain specialist information to be provided by the companies, so it could gauge and compare their expertise as financial advisors when it came to considering the award of the Contract. Companies such as this had to prove to local authorities that both the level and standard of advice meets the high level that is required. If this was not forthcoming, then the Council could challenge the advisor. She added that the current advisors had always given sound advice to date.
A Member asked if training could be given on the subject of Treasury management and borrowing/lending etc, for the benefit of new Members of the Authority.
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change advised that this had been given to Governance and Audit Committee members as part of the Council’s initial Member Development Programme, though it was scheduled to also be rolled out to all Councillors in the new year.
A Member asked the Cabinet Member – Resources how much interest the Council pays out per month or annually and conversely, how much it receives.
The Cabinet Member – Resources confirmed that he would provide this information outside of the meeting.
The Leader referred Members to Table 8 on page 24 of the report which gave details regarding interest expenditure and receipts, but he stressed this was at the time of the writing of the report and that these figures would probably change almost daily given the present economic climate.
RESOLVED: That Council noted it’s treasury management activities for 2022-23 for the period 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022 and the projected Treasury Management Indicators for 2022-23.
Publication date: 23/05/2023
Date of decision: 16/11/2022
Decided at meeting: 16/11/2022 - Council