To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Financial Services) providing an update on the financial health of the Authority in respect of both the General Fund revenue budget and the Housing Revenue Account, as at month 4 of the 2022/23 financial year.
The Chief Officer (Financial Services) submitted a report providing an update on the financial health of the Authority in respect of both the General Fund revenue budget and the Housing Revenue Account, as at month 4 of the 2022/23 financial year.
Prior to the meeting Board Members had been provided with supplementary information in the form of an updated Appendix 3 to the submitted report.
By way of introduction to the report, the Executive Member for Resources provided an overview of the key information within it, which included reference to the fact that an overspend of £12.1m was projected for the Authority’s General Fund services, as at month 4 of 2022/23.
Regarding a recent Government announcement relating to a cut in energy bills for non-domestic customers including public sector organisations, a Member requested that further detail be provided to Executive Members on the implications of this announcement for the Council, once it was known. Also, it was requested that further information be provided to Executive Members regarding the implications for the Council in relation to the pay award, should there be any further developments on such matters in advance of the next scheduled Executive Board meeting. In response, it was undertaken that Executive Members would continue to be briefed on relevant matters, as appropriate.
Responding to specific enquiries, the Board received further information on the actions being taken and progress being made by directorates in response to their respective budgetary pressures. Members also received an update on the current position regarding targeted savings in terms of procurement, how the current financial situation was impacting upon those targets, and the actions which were being taken in mitigation.
With regard to service reviews being undertaken by directorates, a Member highlighted the benefit of a consistent approach being taken towards the presentation of such individual reviews, whilst a Member reiterated the importance for the Board to be made aware of details regarding ‘Business As Usual’ plans also.
(a) That the contents of the submitted report, including the updated appendix 3, as referenced above, be noted;
(b) That it be noted that as at Month 4 (July) of the 2022/23 financial year the Authority’s General Fund services are forecasting an overspend of £12.1m and that the Housing Revenue Account is forecasting an overspend of £3.1m;
(c) That where an overspend is projected, it be noted that directorates, including the Housing Revenue Account, will be required to present action plans to mitigate their reported pressures, in line with the Revenue Principles as agreed by Executive Board in 2019, with it also being noted that these proposals are to be received at the October 2022 Executive Board;
(d) That it be noted that known increased inflation and known impacts of the rising cost of living, including the 2022/23 pay offer, have been incorporated into the submitted reported financial position, with it also being noted that these pressures will continue to be assessed, with the latest position being incorporated into future reports to be received by Executive Board.