A report from the Executive Director – Resources is attached. (Key decision – reference number 5086)
Councillor Mary Maguire (Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Resources (No.189) setting out the Council’s revenue budget monitoring position based on information to the end of December 2019 for the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG).
1. That after the application of capital receipts for transformation purposes of £3.5m; the revenue budget forecast reflected an outturn position of £5.6m overspend for 2019/20 which would be funded using the Council’s reserves. This was an improvement of £0.1m on the £5.7m reported as at quarter 2.
2. The detailed savings and income generation figures since 2010 as summarised in paragraph 1.3 of the report.
3. That the Dedicated Schools Grant was forecasting an outturn position of a deficit of £4.9m. With the £0.4m surplus brought forward from 2018/19, the cumulative forecast deficit at year end was £4.5m and would be the first call on the 2020/21 grant allocation, therefore reducing the funding available for next year.
4. That the Housing Revenue Account was forecasting an underspend position of £0.1m for 2019/20 outturn.
5. The forecast projected departmental outturn variances as set out in Table 1 of the report. Executive Directors reporting pressures were working on mitigating actions and ongoing pressures would be considered as part of the Medium-Term Financial Plan.
6. The Pressures Challenge Board had been reconvened; and would be reviewing the most significant pressures reported.
7. The detailed departmental monitoring information, budget pressures and mitigating actions as set out in section 5 and the appendices of the report. Specific areas of pressure were highlighted to Members as outlined in the report. The most significant area of pressure continued to be in the Children’s and Adult Social Care services.
8. That Table 2 in the report set out the planned and proposed flexible use of capital receipts. The Government had extended this flexibility in use of capital receipts until 2021/22. Members reiterated their concerns over the continued lack of adequate Government funding to meet demands.
9. The detailed position regarding the Dedicated Schools Grant budgets as set out in section 5 and Appendix F of the report.
10. That the Housing Revenue Account projection for quarter 3 showed a forecasted £0.1m underspend for 2019/20 as set out in section 7 of the report.
11. That the General Fund pressures identified in this 3rd quarter were being considered in the budget setting process for 2020/21 (Minute No.5 below referred).
12. Members’ comment that the Council’s budget was well-managed and complied with all statutory and regulatory standards.
13. Members’ continued concern over the lack of sufficient funding to meet the demand for adult social care services and the difficult funding decisions that the Council was required to make. The need for long-term adequate funding for local authorities was highlighted.
14. Members expressed their thanks and appreciation to officers for the significant work undertaken and the regular monitoring reports which enabled Members to have a detailed oversight of the continuing financial pressures and provided a sound foundation on which to determine future budget setting decisions.
Alternative Options Considered: Not applicable to this report.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to note
1. The financial backdrop to the Council’s budget position (described in paragraphs 3.1 to 3.12 of the report).
2. The £5.6m overspend revenue outturn projection and the use of £3.2m of capital receipts to support organisation transformation.
3. That Cabinet Members would continue to work with Executive Directors to implement action plans to reduce the forecast overspend in 2019/20 and implement savings.
4. £1.5m of the overspend in respect of the company Independence and Wellbeing Enfield Ltd. (IWE) being met from contingency as set out in paragraph 5.14 of the report.
5. The position of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) as set out in paragraphs 5.62 to 5.66 of the report.
6. The position of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) as set out in section 7 of the report.
7. The planned flexible use of capital receipts for 2019/20 remains unchanged from the reported quarter 2 update (paragraph 5.58 and Appendix I of the report referred).
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 5086)