The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change sought agreement from Cabinet to present a report to Council for the approval of a revised capital programme for 2021-22 to 2030-31.
The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported that the Council on 24 February 2021 approved a Capital Strategy, incorporating the Prudential Indicators for 2021-22, along with a capital programme covering the period 2020-21 to 2030-31 as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS). The capital programme had been updated during the year with new schemes, amendments to existing funding packages and changes to delivery profiles. New grant awards, outcomes of tender processes and updates on existing schemes which need including within the capital programme had occurred since the programme was last approved by Council on 19 January 2022.
The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change informed Cabinet that a capital programme covering the period 2021-22 to 2031-2032 will be presented to Cabinet and Council, on 22 and 23 February 2022 respectively, as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022-23 to 2025-26, alongside the proposed Capital Strategy for 2022-23 to 2031-32. She stated that there exist a number of financial pressures arising as a result of current market conditions, impacted by the pandemic and Brexit.
The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change reported that the capital programme for 2021-22 to 2030-31 approved by Council in January 2002 is £212,439m, of which £118.094m is met from the Council’s resources, including capital receipts, revenue contributions from earmarked reserves and borrowing, with the remaining £94.345m coming from external resources, including General Capital Grant. She informed Cabinet that the following new schemes now need including in the capital programme, some of which are wholly or partly grant funded, along with others which need amending:
The Deputy Leader in commending the revised capital programme commented on the impact of Brexit and Covid on the Council and to the cost of living which had seen an increase in prices submitted by tenderers in tendering for schemes. He highlighted the example of the recent tender of two pedestrian crossings where the sum tendered was 2.5 times the anticipated cost. He welcomed the funding of the Cardiff Capital Region which would see the Cardiff Capital Region Metro Plus and Ewenny Road Industrial Estate come to fruition. The Leader commented on the importance of the funding from the Cardiff Capital Region, without which, the schemes could not happen.
The Cabinet Member Communities highlighted the importance to residents of the funding for the adoption of Ynyslas, Porthcawl. He asked for an explanation of the additional investment in ICT equipment for schools. The Corporate Director Education and Family Support explained that the funding had come from the Welsh Government’s Hwb Infrastructure Grant and the funding could be carried over if not spent in this financial year. The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations queried the nature of the ICT equipment to be purchased. The Corporate Director Education and Family Support informed Cabinet that resources had been mobilised for equipment for learners that are digitally excluded. Her stated that equipment is purchased from the Welsh Government’s catalogue and schools identify the nature of the ICT equipment to purchase, which is generic in nature which allows for support from ICT.
The Leader referred to the proposal for the provision of additional accommodation at Heronsbridge Special School which is necessary to meet the shortfall in pupil accommodation to support learners with complex needs and is a prudent investment. He stated that despite work being progressed for a replacement special school for Heronsbridge, the additional accommodation is needed in the short term sooner. The Corporate Director Education and Family Support stated that learners with complex needs will benefit from 3 specialist facilities and there is a need in the short term to increase capacity to avoid leaners from having to travel.
The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations questioned the reason for the delay in the Children’s Hub at Brynmenyn. The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing stated that an application will be made to secure capital funding from the Regional Integrated Fund, which would delay the project to Spring 2023.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet agreed that the revised Capital Programme at Appendix A to the report, be submitted to Council for approval.