Agenda item

Budget Monitoring Report - Q1 2017/18


The Assistant Director (Corporate Services) provided Members with information on actual performance against the approved Revenue and Capital budgets for 2017/18, including known variances agreed or identified through budgetary control activity as well as updating Members on other key areas of financial performance that may impact on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy, Medium Term Financial Plan, HRA Business Plan or Financial Statements.


The Principal Accountant (General Fund) and the Principal Accountant (Housing & Exchequer) elaborated further on their respective fields outlined in the executive summary. Key points from the report were outlined to Members as follows:


·         At the end of Quarter One there is projected underspend on the General Fund for the year of £183,730

·       The most significant variance in the quarter was the acquisition of St John’s House           which is the Council’s third property purchase under the Commercial Property        Acquisition Strategy with an anticipated annual income of £160K

·       Other variances of note relate to business rates and the associated Section 31      Grants with a £140K variance for the Section 31 Grants and a £70K adverse            variance for Business Rates Income

·      As a result of   effective management of vacant posts combined with natural staff             movement around £129K of staffing savings were generated in quarter one

·      Total Working Balances brought forward from 2016/17 is £6,162,550 with the        Forecast Usable Working Balances Carry Forward at the end of the year (as       projected at 30 June 2017) at £3,083,380

·      The General Fund Capital Programme for the year is budgeted at £16.1m, with     spend to the end of quarter one of 0.5m. The budget includes a further £10m         allocated to a second tranche of commercial property acquisitions as agreed by Full   Council in June.    

·      The report includes a new section on Capital Resources that outlines the resources           available to fund capitals projects in the future. The balance of total General Fund         Capital Resources projected at year-end is £1,7m.

·      At the end of Quarter 1, income and expenditure  for the year remains balanced   within the Housing Revenue Account

·      The PV Panels were anticipated to be sold by August but the sale has not gone     through yet; an updated projection of the effect of this sale on FIT income expected     in 2017-18 will be provided for Quarter 2

·         The leftover funds from the grant from Kent Fire & Rescue Service towards expenditure relating to the replacement of a sprinkler system at Carl Ekman House has been rolled forward into this financial year to cover the cost of the capital works

·       The staffing budget for 2017/18 incorporates a target of £100K and for the first three         months to June 2017 the actual vacancy saving achieved was £91K

·       Working balances on the HRA at year end are projected to remain at £3m.

·       Spend to the end of quarter one on the Housing Capital Programme was £3.6m.

·       The council has had recent communication from Property Funds Managers in       response to the Grenfell Fire providing assurances of their arrangements for ensuring    fire safety in their portfolio.  This information will be shared with the committee     outside of the meeting. Kent Fire & Rescue Service have assured GBC that none of     its five ‘tower blocks’ have the same cladding and all are subject to regular Fire Risk      Assessments.


 Following Members question and comments the three finance officers explained that:


  • Information will be sought from colleagues in Housing as to why it took so long for the funds from Kent Fire & Rescue Service to be used at the Hive.
  • The Fleet Leisure site is covered by insurance but it is for debris removal only.  This would provide cover for clearing the site, removing debris and any demolition that was required to clear the site. GBC are currently seeking quotes from three demolition companies to satisfy the insurer; comments regarding the method adopted to infill the basement area of the site from Members will be relayed to the Property Services Team
  • With regard to Shared Services arrangements, the optimum location and employing authority for each shared service arrangement will be determined on a case by case basis.  In recent cases, staff have been TUPE transferred due to it being the best option for future delivery of the service.
  • As part of the budget there used to be 50k capital allocation to the Young Persons and Older Persons Champions, but the amount has been reduced to a revenue amount of 15k for each annually from 2017-18.


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