The Head of Strategic Finance and Property and the Head of Communications, Strategy and Policy submitted a report in respect of finance and performance monitoring for East Herts Council for 2019/20 as at 30 September 2019.
The Financial Services Manager stated that the net revenue budget for 2019/20 was £10.268m as detailed in table 1 of the report submitted. The forecast outturn as at 30th September 2019 was a year-end underspend of £37k. Members were advised that the revised capital budget for 2019/20 was £78.319m, of which £62.787m was to be carried forward to future years.
Councillor L Corpe commented on the areas where there had been overspends in relation to the budget. Councillor M Pope referred to underspend in the revenues and benefits budget. Members were assured that service levels had been unaffected.
Councillor M Pope also referred to a drop in revenue of £183k for Planning and Building Control. He also commented on the New Homes Bonus in the context of the costs incurred by Planning and Building Control relating to a site in Little Hadham.
Councillor S Bull commented on the potential impact of the turnover of staff in Planning and Building Control. The Finance Business Partner commented on the costs associated with a greater use of agency staff in Development Management.
Members were advised that the full detail in respect of the capital budget was detailed in Essential Reference Paper ‘B’ and a breakdown of debts outstanding as at 30 September 2019. Councillor M Pope undertook to email the Head of Housing and Health in respect of the number of households living in temporary accommodation.
Members commented on the continued red status of the missed waste collections as detailed on page 55 of the report. Members considered whether the Committee could look at this issue in the context of the wider performance of the Council’s new waste contract.
Members also noted that fly tipping could be looked at as well if this was considered to be appropriate. Councillor L Corpe referred to the increase in the recycling rate to 55.37%, which was 2.1% higher than at this point last year and was one of the highest recorded percentages.
Councillor L Corpe moved and Councillor T Stowe seconded, a motion that Members receive the report and support the recommendations, now detailed. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, this motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that (A) the report be received;
(B) the projected revenue budget forecast underspend of £37k in 2019/20, as detailed in paragraph 2.1 of the report, be noted;
(C) the capital budget for 2019/20 of £78,319m, of which £62.787m is to be carried forward to future years, as detailed in paragraph 6.1 of the report, be noted; and
(D) it was agreed that £100k from the New Homes Bonus priority spend reserve be used to fund the planning costs relating to the recent Little Hadham planning application issues; and
(E) it was agreed that equalisation reserves be used to offset the Planning Service under achievement of income by £150k.