(a) The transfer of the General Fund revenue outturn of £16k
underspend to the General Reserve
(b) That capital budgets of £30.898m be carried forward to
2020/21 to fund ongoing capital schemes
Councillor Williamson, Deputy Leader and the Executive Member for Financial Sustainability, submitted a report on the underspend of £16K on General Fund revenue outturn, and on financing arrangements for the 2019/20 Capital Outturn.
Councillor Williamson said the General Fund underspend was a good indication that the Council’s financial management throughout the year had been strong, and in this report he proposed that the £16K underspend be transferred to the General Reserve.
Councillor Williamson drew Members’ attention to the main areas of variance, which were an underspend in the total net cost of services; additional income achieved in corporate budgets; and a significant contribution to reserves.
In relation to the funding sources, he referred Members to the breakdown provided in the report. He drew Members’ attention in particular to the Non-Domestic Rating Section 31 income, which was a major contributor to additional funding, due to timing differences between when the council set its budget and statutory returns submitted to government, which determined funding for the year. He said there had also been growth in business rates income due to the fact that the Council was part of a 75% Business Rate Retention pilot, for which the predicted budget was for no gain since other participating authorities’ performance could not be predicted with confidence. This was a one-off situation, as East Herts was not in the pool for 2020/21.
In terms of Capital Outturn, there had been a significant degree of slippage in progressing projects in line with initial expectations, resulting in an underspend of £30.91m. The majority of this amount, £19.03m, related to the construction of the new Northgate End Car Park, which had commenced in 2020/21.
Councillor Williamson said the recommendation he proposed in the report was that £30.898m of budgets be carried forward to the 2020/21 capital programme in relation to schemes that had either been re-timetabled for that year, or schemes which were started during 2019/20 but could not be completed at March 2020. He thanked the Interim Head of Strategic Finance and Property Services for the excellent work he and his team had done.
Councillor Pope asked how the Executive could be sure the money would be spent on the projects for which it had been earmarked.
Councillor Williamson said the money would be used for the purposes for which it had been intended.
Councillor Pope referred to the use of the priority reserve and asked what the money had been spent on. The Interim Head of Strategic Finance and Property Services said whilst he did not have details of the expenditure to hand, he would provide a full analysis to be circulated to Members in the next Bulletin.
Councillor Williamson proposed and Councillor McAndrew seconded, a motion to support the recommendations in the report. The motion was put to the meeting, and a vote taken. It was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that (A) the transfer of the General Fund revenue outturn of £16k underspend to the General Reserve be approved; and
(B) capital budgets of £30.898m ... view the full minutes text for item 70