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Contact: Mark Anthony Galvin Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008 (including whipping declarations)
Councillor C Webster declared an interest in Agenda items 3 and 4, due to her son being in receipt of Home to School Transport (Out of County Placement)
All Members of Cabinet and Corporate Management Board
The purpose of this report is to provide the Committee with an update on the Council’s financial position as at 31st December 2018.
By way of background, the Interim Head of Finance advised, that on 28 February 2018, Council approved a net revenue budget of £265.984 million for 2018-19, along with a capital programme for the year of £33.693 million, which has since been updated to take into account new approvals and slippage between financial years. As part of the Performance Management Framework, budget projections are reviewed regularly and reported to Cabinet on a quarterly basis. The delivery of agreed budget reductions is also kept under review and reported to Cabinet as part of this process.
Paragraph 4.1.1. of the report confirmed the Council’s net revenue budget and projected outturn for 2018-19, with Table 1 in this section of the report reflecting a comparison of budget against projected outturn at 31 December 2018.
The Interim Head of Finance then expanded upon some of the financial detail included in the Table for the benefit of Members.
Table 2 on page 6 of the report reflected once more in tabular format, some outstanding Prior Year Budget Reductions on a Directorate by Directorate basis.
Paragraph 4.2.5 of the report then showed the Budget Reductions for 2018-19, and these totalled £6.123m, broken down in Appendix 2 (of the report) and summarised in Table 3. The current position was a projected shortfall on the savings target of £379k, or 6.2% of the overall budget target.
Paragraph 4.3 of the report then gave some commentary on the financial position as at 31 December 2018, in the form of a summary for each main service area (Appendix 3 to the report) with comments on the most significant variances shown in this part of the report. This also gave a summary on Council Wide budgets.
The Interim Head of Finance then shared information with Members regarding the monitoring of the Capital Programme and the Review of Earmarked Reserves, with Table 4 in paragraph 4.5.2 showing movement on the latter to the end of Quarter 3.
Finally, she concluded her submission, by referring Members to data in Table 5 of the report, which showed the Net Appropriations to/from Earmarked Reserves to Quarter 3.
A Member felt that good progress had been made with regard to budget reductions in Quarter 3, particularly as the Communities Directorate had shown an improvement in savings from previously, of around 8%.
The Interim Head of Finance referred the Committee to the narrative that followed Table 2 in the report, areas where savings had been targeted but not met and these included Reductions to the Materials Recovery and Energy Centre (MREC) where there was a shortfall of £200k which was not likely to be met by year end.
The Interim Chief Executive advised that in terms of the saving earmarked, but not yet achieved with regards to Permitting Scheme for Road Works (£100k), this was due to delays in the approval process with Welsh Government ... view the full minutes text for item 106.
Councillor Hywel Williams – Deputy Leader
Gill Lewis - Interim Head of Finance
Mary Williams - Group Manager - Chief Accountant
The Interim Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to present to the Committee the draft Capital Strategy 2019-20 to 2028-29, including the Prudential Indicators (Appendix A to the report referred.)
By way of background, she advised that the control on Capital Expenditure is based on legislation. The Local Authorities(Capital Finance and Accounting) (Wales) Regulations, as amended, contain detailed provisions for the capital finance and accounting controls, including the rules on the use of capital receipts and what is to be treated as capital expenditure. They modify accounting practice in various ways to prevent adverse impacts on authorities’ revenue resources.
In December 2017, CIPFA published a new edition of the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities. The above revised Code has placed a requirement on local authorities to determine a Capital Strategy, to be approved by full Council, which will demonstrate that the authority takes capital expenditure and investment decisions in line with service objectives and properly takes account of stewardship, value for money, prudence, sustainability and affordability.
She advised that following approval of the Capital Strategy, any schemes for which external funding has been approved will be added to the Capital Programme once the funding has been accepted and included in the next capital programme report to Council.
She referred Members to the draft Capital Strategy and associated schedules which were contained in Appendix A of the report.
This, which would be the subject of reports to both Cabinet and Council in February, would confirm the Council’s compliance with the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities. It would set out certain guiding principles for capital decisions, as well as setting out a framework for the self-management of capital finance and examines key financial areas as shown in bullet point format in paragraph 4.4 of the report.
The Interim Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer added that the Strategy also reports on the delivery, affordability and risks associated with the long-term context in which capital expenditure and investment decisions are made.
Finally, she referred to the key aims and guiding principles of the Capital Strategy, giving a resume upon each of these also.
A Member referred to page 52 of the Appendix, half way down this page where it confirmed that the total value of Investment Properties was £4.360m as at 31 March 2018, which has generated a rental income of £438,000 per annum. She asked if this was gross or net income.
The Interim Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer advised that this was net income.
A Member referred to page 61 of the Appendix and Risk Management, where it listed three risks that the Council’s activities exposes itself to, ie Credit risk, Liquidity risk and Market risk. In relation to these, he asked what mitigations the Authority had in place to prepare itself for the outcome of Brexit.
The Interim Chief Executive confirmed that a Brexit Forum had been set-up within the Council, in ... view the full minutes text for item 107.
The Scrutiny Officer submitted a report on the above matter, in order to present:-
a) the items due to be considered at the Committee’s meeting to be held on 3 April 2019 and seek confirmation of the information required for the subsequent scheduled meeting, the date for which has yet to be confirmed.
b) a list of responses to comments, recommendations and requests for additional information from the previous meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee;
c) a list of potential Forward Work Programme items for formal prioritisation and allocation to each of the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees.
The report attached at Appendix A, feedback from recent meetings of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, whilst Appendix B detailed items to be considered at its next meeting the date for which had been provisionally set for 3 April 2019.
The Scrutiny Officer then referred Members to Appendix C of the report, which outlined topics prioritised and agreed by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee for each of the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees (SOSCs) Forward Work Programmes. Table 1 detailed the items for the next set of each of these, whilst Table 2 contained suggested topics for future meetings after this.
She also suggested that any such meetings scheduled for April and May 2019, could possibly be used as a series of Workshops in order to consider further items for the Committees’ Forward Work Programmes 2019/20.
RESOLVED: That the report and supporting information including that outlined above, be noted.
To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in
accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.