Decision Maker: Executive Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
The Executive Member (Resources), Councillor Peter Wilson, presented the report of the Chief Finance Officer.
The potential medium-term impact of Covid-19 on the council’s budget is a reduction in the retained business rates, council tax and increase in service demand, such as homelessness.
Councillor Martin Boardman queried the 2019/20 variance regarding Strawberry Fields Digital Office Park of £147,000. It was noted that this is a loss against a target budget. This was due to delays in the development of the access road on the adjacent site meaning that the office park opened five months later than originally budgeted. The centre did close for a time due to Covid-19, but has now reopened with some restrictions relaxed by the funding body. The hot desking section is not currently being used for hot desking due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor John Walker, queried whether the Tatton project ought to be put on hold. Councillor Peter Wilson highlighted the need for this project to continue for those residents within the area, particularly the new GP surgery.
The Executive Member (Resources), Councillor Peter Wilson proposed and the Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley seconded the unanimous Decision – that approval be given to the following:
1. To note the full year forecast position for the 2019/20 revenue budget and capital investment programme.
2. To note the slippage requests outlined in Appendix 2 of the report to finance expenditure on specific items or projects in 2020/21.
3. To note Request Executive Cabinet approval for the contribution of £63k from in-year revenue underspends to the Change Management Reserve to finance one-off redundancy and pension strain costs arising from transformation and shared service strategies. This will bring the reserve to £250k.
4. To note Executive Cabinet approval for the contribution of £100k from in-year revenue underspends to fund the revenue implications of future planning appeals. This will bring the reserve to £100k.
5. To note Executive Cabinet approval for the contribution of £100k from in-year revenue underspends to fund crucial works to the council’s CCTV operations centre.
6. To note Executive Cabinet approval for the contribution of £203k from in-year revenue underspends to increase the business rates retention reserve.
7. To note the 2019/20 outturn position on the Council's reserves outlined in Appendix 4.
8. To note the impact of the final capital expenditure outturn and the re-phasing of capital budgets to 2020/21 and approve the adjustments to the capital programme outlined in paragraph 61.
9. To request Council approval of the financing of the 2019/20 capital programme to maximise the use of funding resources available to the Council.
Report author: James Thomson
Publication date: 31/01/2021
Date of decision: 29/09/2020
Decided at meeting: 29/09/2020 - Council