Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda item

Financial Outturn 2019/2020 and budget monitoring report April-June 2020

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Finance introduced the report and informed that there had been significant lobbying on behalf of councils to central government to ensure adequate funding was given to councils to cover their losses due to Covid-19, which were estimated at in excess of £10 billion across the sector by the LGA.

From March 2020 the council had identified significant adverse COVID-19 impacts on in year finances for both the General Fund and the HRA. Section 13 of this report set out some of those impacts where known and identified some mitigating action. Members were requested to review the Section 151’s assessment of the going concern report alongside this report.

COVID-19 had created the most challenging financial environment that the council has ever faced. She noted that it was a remarkable feat in these extremely financially challenging times that the outturn position, whilst overspent by £47.5K, was as low as this. She wished to put on record her thanks to the finance team for sound prudent  financial management.

The Cabinet Member informed that, due to the pressures of the year end process a detailed monitoring exercise had not been undertaken at this point in the year. However, the financial impact of COVID-19 had been closely monitored since March 2020, with the additional expenditure incurred and the forecast loss of income being reported to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on a monthly basis.

Finally, she highlighted that the emergency would have a major impact on the ability to deliver the budget in 2020/21, as the loss of income and additional costs were expected to exceed government grant received. Some very difficult choices would have to be made in the near future.

Members wished to emphasise the importance of lobbying central government to tackle the losses and extra expenditure being incurred at this time and the impact this will have on the ability of the council to deliver service in the future.

The Leader commended the work of the Finance Team in balancing the books to the extent that had been achieved, and thanked the Cabinet Member Finance for her contribution.

RESOLVED THAT

 

1.     the financial outturn performance position for the General Fund, summarised at Appendix 2 be received, and it be noted that whilst services have been delivered in 2019/20, there was an overspend of £47,518.56 against the approved budget which has been met from general balances (after carry forward requests).

Council be recommended to:

2.    Note £191,552 of carry forward at Appendix 5.

3.    Note the annual treasury management report at Appendix 7 and note the actual 2019/20 prudential and treasury indicators.

4.    Note the capital programme outturn position as detailed in Appendix 8 and approve the carry forward of unspent budgets into 2020/21 (section 7).

5.    Note the position in respect of Section 106 agreements and partnership funding agreements at Appendix 9 (section 9).

6.    Note the outturn position in respect of collection rates for council tax and non-domestic rates for 2019/20 in Appendix 10 (section 10).

7.    Note the outturn position in respect of collection rates for sundry debts for 2019/20 in Appendix 11 (section 11).

8.    Receive the financial outturn performance position for the Housing Revenue Account for 2019/20 in Appendices 12 to 13 (as detailed in Section 12) and approves the carry forward, virement and reclassification of budgets in 2020/21 as set out in paragraphs 12.8 to 12.10.

9.    Note the budget monitoring position to the end of June 2020 (section 13).

Supporting documents: