Venue: The Paralympic Room, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF
Contact: Craig Saunders; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 November, 2019.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 November, 2019, be approved as a correct record.
To consider the attached report and appendix.
Contact Officer: Simon Wasteney , email@example.com
The Committee received the Quarterly Financial Digest for the period to 1 April to 31 December 2019, which represented the position after the first 9 months of the 2019-20 financial year. The digest was attached as Appendix 1 to the Committee report, and Members referred to it during discussions.
As at the end of December 2019, the Council was reporting a net overspend against budgets of £1.595m. While a number of risks and issues had been identified and their impact was being monitored and managed, it was anticipated that after allowing for lower financing costs there would be forecast overspend of £1.067m for the financial year. The year to date forecast position currently assumed some use of reserves to offset agency costs for planning where there were unusual pressures. The use of further reserves would be assessed during the year.
The overspend would be met from higher retained Business Rates generated through the Government’s business retention system and Business Rate Pooling Pilot which Bucks authorities signed up for in 2019/20. The Forecast expected gain from Business Rates Retention had been estimated at £4.05m and balance of this gain (£2.983m) would be added to the Retained Business Rate Reserve.
The main change reported for Q3 related to an increased shortfall of Garden Waste Income of £0.5m, offset by other net budgetary improvements detailed in Section 3.15 of the Committee report.
There were a number of exceptional factors in 2019/20 for the Council, with the transition to the single unitary council in April 2020. Whilst every effort was being made to deliver to the current year’s approved budget and remained focused on continuity of service delivery, the decision had made a significant impact on the cost of service delivery. Furthermore, the decision had created significant uncertainty over the direction of work programmes and uncertainty for staff which had impacted on the financial picture for 2019/20.
The forecast level of unallocated balances for the financial year was reported as £2.344m. This was marginally higher than the Council’s assessed minimum and was due to the financial outturn for 2018/19 being better than forecast. In addition to unallocated balances, the Council also holds Earmarked reserves. These are held for legitimate reasons and the use of earmarked reserves is an essential part of sound financial planning.
Detail of significant cost pressures and efficiencies for the period to date and impacting on the forecast year end position include:
· Net savings against budget in relation to transitional relief for business rates (£113,009) for the Waterside car park.
· Budget savings arising as a result of the delay in implementation of the taxi token scheme (£25,020).
· Within the Economic Development Portfolio, the net overspend to date was made up of net £42,040 increased income offset by £28,043 increased agency spending and £63,096 higher accommodation costs.
· Within the environment and leisure portfolio, an overspend on staff of £156,107 relates to the use of agency staff working on planning enforcement whilst work processes were being reviewed to realise service improvements. Additionally, ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
Finance and Services Scrutiny Committee
The Chairman thanked everyone present for attending the last ever meeting of the AVDC’s Finance and Services Scrutiny Committee. He also thanked Members for their participation in the working of the Committee over a number of years, and thanked Officers for the support and advice that they had provided.