Agenda item

Budget Monitoring 2020-21 Quarter 1 Revenue Forecast


The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change presented a report, the purpose of which, was to provide Cabinet with an update on the Council’s revenue financial position as at 30 June 2020 and to seek approval for budget virements between £100k and £500k, as required by the Council’s Financial Procedure Rules.


She explained that this report was a little different from previous such quarterly reports, due to the challenges brought about by the Covid pandemic in the first 1st quarter of this year.


She reminded Cabinet that on 26 February 2020, Council approved a net revenue budget of £286.885m for 2020-21. As part of the Performance Management Framework, budget projections are reviewed regularly and reported to Cabinet quarterly.


The overall projected position at 30 June 2020, is a net over spend of £3.051 million, comprising £2.803 million net over spend on directorates and £248,000 net over spend on corporate budgets. Table 1 in the report referred. The projected position is based on:-


          Inclusion of reimbursed expenditure to date on COVID-19 spend from Welsh Government (WG).

• Exclusion of COVID-19 spend that is currently on hold with WG at the time of writing this report.

•Exclusion of COVID-19 spend that has not yet been claimed or incurred in quarters 2 to 4.

• Exclusion of support from WG for loss of income as the level of   support has not been confirmed.


The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change, then referred to the impact that Covid-19 had on the local authority in terms of expenditure, as detailed in paragraph 4.1.3 of the report. This had and would continue to remain in the future, with the result being that the Council were unable to deliver its full extent of savings as well as receiving reduced levels of income.


She added that the Council would need to review its priorities and budgets in light of the impact of the pandemic and re-focus these, in order to move towards a more stable recovery phase as we move out of lockdown.


Paragraph 4.1.5 of the report then gave details of the financial support given to the Council in certain key areas, in order to assist in mitigating some of the effects of the pandemic, whilst paragraph 4.1.6 showed in table format, Covid-19 expenditure claims for Quarter 1 which continued to be made to Welsh Government on a monthly basis. The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change added that claims had been made for a total of £3m and to date £2m had been received. Welsh Government had agreed however, to fund all welsh Councils 50% of the costs incurred in order for staff to work from home.


The Council had also submitted a claim for loss of income to Welsh Government for the first quarter of 2020-21. Welsh Government has committed a funding of £78m to mitigate against loss of income, but no agreement had been reached at this time on how this would be distributed. Bridgend’s estimate for the first quarter was shown in Table 3 of the report, £2.518m.


The next section of the report highlighted that Council Tax income collection rates are suffering as a result of the pandemic and that there was a significant increase in claims being made for Universal Credit.


The nest areas of the report highlighted information on Budget virements, Pay/Price inflation, Budget Reduction proposals and Prior Year budget reductions. She emphasised that £709k in reductions was still outstanding from previous years.


Paragraph 4.2.5 of the report then listed in bullet point format, the most significant budget reduction proposals unlikely to be achieved in full.


The Interim Chief Officer – Finance, performance and Change then concluded her report, by outlining the financial position of the Authority as at 30 June 2020, including the net impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s financial position, including on a Directorate by Directorate basis.


The Leader and Deputy leader in turn, highlighted the financial uncertainty the Authority has faced and continues to face going forward and hoped that the support from Welsh Government to this end, would continue in the future.


The Cabinet Member – Wellbeing and Future Generations, added her thanks to Welsh Government for the financial support has shown in paragraph 4.1.5 of the report, particularly in respect of the allocation of Business Grants.


RESOLVED:                       That Cabinet:


                                       noted the projected revenue position for 2020-21;

                                        recommended that Council approve the virements   between £100,000 and £500,000 as outlined in paragraph 4.1.11 of the report.


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