Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring 2020-21
Decision Maker: Council, Executive Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
The Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Wilson, presented the report of the Chief Finance Officer.
The projected revenue outturn currently shows a forecast in line with the budget for 2020/21. The forecast of capital expenditure in 2020/21 is £21.713m.
The Council’s budget for 2020/21 included a savings target of £150k from management of the staffing establishment. The full savings of £150k has been achieved.
The budgeted net rental income from Market Walk and Market Walk Extension after taking account of financing costs in 2020/21 is £1.373m. Tenants which have agreed contract extensions and renewals, even with rent free periods, continue to pay business rates liabilities and the service charges.
Strawberry Fields was budgeted to break-even in 20/21 with income covering the running and borrowing costs of the facility. Income is expected to be £433k short of the budget in 2020/21 due to the number of vacant units and reduced take up during the Covid-19 period. It was confirmed in August 2020 that the eligibility criteria for the units can be widened until August 2022 resulting in a significant increase in interest in the offices and flexible working spaces.
Primrose Gardens continues to perform well with occupancy now at 97% that is higher than budgeted for. As such the project is forecast to underspend by £28k in 2020/21.
The impact of Covid-19 on the council’s budgets is varied and includes delays to recruitment and restructuring, reduction in income and additional expenditure. Two areas this may significantly affect the council’s finances is the impact on its business rates and council tax collection funds.
There are a number of different Covid-19 Grant Funding Support which the council administers on behalf of the Government. Councillor Wilson thanked the staff engaged in administering the wide range of grants at this time and this was supported by members.
Councillor Martin Boardman queried the lengths of time the different types of businesses can sign up for at Strawberry Fields and the measure the council is taking to promote the facility. This information will be confirmed by email following the meeting.
It was noted that the Market Walk tenant that fallen into administration had been located in the original section of Market Walk, rather than the new extension.
Members discussed the recent flooding at Ackhurst Lodge and expressed their sadness at the situation. A resolution will be found in partnership with Lancashire County Council. Members thanked the officers who have been working to resolve the issues.
In response to a query regarding Buckshaw Parkway the Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley, advised that the council are actively pursuing this project with partners, including Northern Rail.
The Deputy Leader, 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 2020/21 revenue budget and capital investment programme
2. To note the forecast position on the council's reserves
3. To approve the capital programme to be delivered in 2020/21 to 2022/23.
Report author: Neil Halton
Publication date: 15/02/2021
Date of decision: 26/01/2021
Decided at meeting: 26/01/2021 - Council