A report from the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services will be circulated as soon as possible. (Key decision – reference number 4548)
(8.25 – 8.30 pm)
Councillor Dino Lemonides (Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency) introduced the report of the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services (No.136) setting out the Council’s revenue budget monitoring position based on information to the end of November 2017.
1. That the revenue budget forecast reflected an improved outturn position of £4.0m overspend for 2017/18. This improved position was a result of a review of corporate items which had resulted in the application of corporate contingency items to specific overspends within Children’s Services and identification of further corporate budget items which were forecast to be available to deal with departmental overspends.
2. The continued budget pressures and mitigating actions as set out in section 5 of the report. The Council would continue to work towards a balanced position.
3. A typographical error in paragraph 5.2 of the report in respect of “traveller” and a correction to Appendix A2 of the report in respect of Regeneration and Environment, Commercial Services Parks which should record an adverse rather than favourable variation of £72k.
4. The pressures on the budget for Older People and Physical Disabilities as outlined in Appendix A4 of the report. Members noted that the service was projecting care purchasing overspends due to demand led services, especially within residential.
5. Within Children’s Services (Appendix A5 of the report referred) the overspend on SEN transport was noted, and the pressures faced by this demand led service. Officers were continuing to look at ways in which to reduce this as far as possible. Numbers of pupils requiring transport continued to increase. Members were advised of the developments currently progressing and under consideration for more specialist educational provision within the Borough in order to reduce the need for pupil placements out of Borough. Members noted that the Council worked closely with parents and carers in order to meet the needs of these pupils and to identify flexible ways in which to effectively deliver the required services. Whilst provision within the Borough would be maximised as far as possible, it would not be possible to meet the needs of all specialist educational provision and the need for some out Borough placements would continue.
6. The continued pressures on Children’s Services budgets and the need for increased Government funding allocations to enable the Council to adequately meet the identified requirements and statutory service provision.
Alternative Options Considered: Not applicable to this report.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to note
1. The £4.0m overspend revenue outturn projection.
2. That Cabinet Members would continue to work with Executive Directors to implement action plans to reduce the forecast overspend in 2017/18.
3. The mitigating actions proposed to date by Executive Directors of overspending departments as set out in Appendix A of the report.
Reason: To ensure that Members were aware of the projected budgetary position, including all major budget pressures and underspends which had contributed to the present monthly position and that were likely to affect the final outturn.
(Key decision – reference number 4548)