The Finance Manager reported on the projected financial performance for the crematorium for 2021/ 2022 and to obtain approval from the Joint Committee for the proposed budget and fees and charges for 2022/23 set out in Appendix One.
She stated that the 2021/22 revenue budget was approved by the Joint Committee at its meeting on the 5th of March 2021 and she outlined a comparison of the budget against projected spend as at the 31st of January 2022. When the budget was set, there was an anticipated budget deficit of £451,000, the projected outturn as at the end of January is a surplus of £148,000.
The Finance Manager reported on the main variances which are a £48,000 overspend on employees due to two additional crematorium technicians being employed for the full financial year, offset by an underspend of £2,000 on other employee costs, a £78,000 underspend on premises made up of underspends on planned maintenance of £75,000 and minor and underspends on business rates and grounds maintenance, a £26,000 overspend on supplies, services and transport, the majority of which is due to increase spend on items for resale and a £495,000 underspend on planned capital maintenance.
The underspend on the flower court extension is due to the project being delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The underspend on site lighting relates to retention payment to be made in 2022/23 . Both projects are included in the capital budget for 2022/23 .
Income is higher than budgeted resulting from an increased number of cremations and receipt to the Welsh Government COVID-19 hardship fund.
The 2022/23 proposed budget showed a deficit of £232,000. All 2021/22 non-employee budgets have been reviewed and any necessary adjustments have been made to meet expected expenditure for 2022/23. Employee budgets have been adjusted to reflect salary increments and an increase in National Insurance due to the social care levy where applicable, although no allowance has been made for a pay award.
The Joint Committee was informed of the planned capital maintenance spending requirements, with four schemes detailed budgeted at £665,000 and will be met from the capital financing costs budget. The income budgets have been prepared assuming a general increase in fees of 5.4% and are based on the usual levels of activity and the 2022/23 proposed fees table outlined. The effect on the accumulated balance of the proposed budget for 2022/23 is shown, with an accumulated balance of £2.815 million. The balance of reserves as at the 31st of March 2022 is considered a sufficient level to maintain and protect the service in light of unknown demands or emergencies.
Capital expenditure for 2022-2023 will not require any loan charge or contribution from constituent authorities and will be directly funded from revenue contributions and the accumulated surplus from the previous year.
RESOLVED: That the Joint Committee:
Approved the increase in fees and charges with effect from the 1st of April 2022 outlined in Appendix One.