Decision Maker: Executive Board
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
As part of the Council’s closure of its 2022/23 accounts consideration to be given to the earmarking of reserves for the purposes stated in the report to be received at Executive Board.
The Chief Officer Financial Services submitted a report presenting details on the financial health of the Authority in respect of both the General Fund revenue budget and the Housing Revenue Account, as at the financial outturn position for 2022/23. The report also sought several related approvals from the Board.
The Executive Member extended her thanks to the Chief Officer, Financial Services and her team for the work that had been undertaken throughout the year, given the range of extremely challenging circumstances that continued to be faced.
As referenced within the report it was highlighted that at the financial outturn position for 2022/23 there was an overspend of £12.4m on the Authority’s General Fund services, with the recommendation that the Strategic Contingency Reserve be used to balance that overspend.
Responding to an enquiry, it was noted that HRA reserves would be used to balance the 2022/23 HRA overspend.
Again, responding to a Member’s enquiry, the Board received an update and assurances upon the range of ongoing actions being taken to mitigate the significant financial pressures that continued to be faced across the Children and Families directorate, with reference being made to the significant levels of demand being experienced and the fact that this remained a national issue, with dialogue continuing with Government on such matters.
(a) That it be noted that at the outturn position for 2022/23, the Authority’s General Fund services show an overspend of £12.4m and that the Housing Revenue Account shows a net overspend of £6.8m;
(b) That it be noted that during the year where an overspend was projected, directorates, including the Housing Revenue Account, were required to present action plans to mitigate their reported pressures in line with the Revenue Principles agreed by Executive Board in 2019, with it also being noted that savings actions identified are included within the reported overspend position;
(c) That it be noted that increased inflation and impacts of the rising cost of living, including the agreed 2022/23 pay award, have been incorporated into the reported outturn position;
(d) That the use of £12.4m Strategic Contingency Reserve to balance the General Fund overspend, be approved;
(e) That the use of Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Reserves to balance the HRA overspend of £6.8m, be approved;
(f) That the updated planned use of flexible use of capital receipts, specifically the additional planned use in 2022/23 of £0.8m, as shown at paragraph 3.12.1 of the submitted report, be approved;
(g) That the creation of earmarked reserves, as detailed at Appendix 5 to the submitted report, be agreed, and that approval be given to delegate their release to the Chief Officer, Financial Services;
(h) That the following injections into the Capital Programme, as detailed at Appendix 6A(iii) of the submitted report, be approved:-
· £13,529.9k of Capital Receipt injections, primarily in relation to the East Leeds Orbital Road and District Heating Phase 3 schemes;
· £1,967.0k of Departmental Borrowing injections, primarily to provide matched funding for a Local Authority Housing Fund scheme; and
· £26,600.7k of external contributions, primarily relating to:
o £9,524.6k Leeds Station Sustainable Travel Gateway (Network Rail);
o £5,918.7k HRA Schemes (Local Authority Housing Fund);
o £5,400.0k A653 Beeston to Tingley (West Yorkshire Combined Authority);
o £2,267.4k of external contributions for works on School schemes;
o £1,492.9k of external contributions for works on Highways schemes;
o £680.0k Armley Mills (Art Council England); and
o £1,317.1k of other external contributions.
(i) That the additional Capital Receipts Incentive Scheme (CRIS) allocations to Wards and Community Committees for the period October 2022 to March 2023 of £0.3m, be noted;
(j) That it be noted that the Chief Officer, Financial Services will be responsible for the implementation of the resolutions detailed above following the conclusion of the associated “Call In” period.
Reason Key: Financial Impact>£500K;
Portfolio Holder: The Executive Member for the Resources Portfolio
Contact: Victoria Bradshaw, Chief Officer - Financial Services Email: Victoria.Bradshaw@leeds.gov.uk.
Report author: Victoria Bradshaw
Publication date: 29/06/2023
Date of decision: 21/06/2023
Decided at meeting: 21/06/2023 - Executive Board
Effective from: 01/07/2023