Agenda item

General Fund Budget Monitoring Q2


The Principal Accountant (General Fund) updated the Committee with information on actual performance against the approved Revenue and Capital budgets for 2021/22, including projected variances agreed or identified through budgetary control activity. Updated Members on other key areas of financial performance that may have an impact on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy, Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP), or Financial Statements and informed Members of a proposed in year addition to the Capital programme.


The Principal Accountant (General Fund) highlighted the following: -


  • There is an overall year-end projected favourable variance of around £235k
  • A recurring theme of the report is  Covid-19’s effect on the Council’s finances,
  • As Central Government Support for business and individuals begin to unwind, there will likely be an impact on the Council’s various income streams.
  • There is currently a net £250k projected underspend across staffing budgets particularly where turnover has increased this year compared to last year. 
  • Within the Communities Directorate, there is a projected net deficit with Parking Income of £27k. This is the combined impact of the overall projected income loss compared to the original budget of £222k, partly offset by the Government’s Sales, Fees and Charges Compensation Scheme for the period April – June 2021.
  • Elsewhere within the Communities Directorate, there are reserve movements relating to Street Lighting, Leisure Services and the Market. In each case, these are a continuation of schemes, which commenced in 2020/21, and are now underway in the current financial year.
  • Within the Corporate Services Directorate, there is a favourable variance of £81k. This is due to a combination of a reduced borrowing requirement than initially envisaged carried over from 2020/21, along with continuing low interest rates having a positive impact on the Council’s finances.
  • The summary position for year-end Working Balances is around £11.93m, which can be broken down into three elements:
    • The Minimum General Fund Working Balance of £2m
    • The General Fund Reserve of £3.25m
    • Usable Working Balances of around some £6.68m
  • The table in section 3.10.2 set out movements in General Fund reserves for the year and showed a net movement for the period of £8.6m, with projected year-end earmarked reserves amounting to £10.46m.
  • The Medium Term Financial Planning section on, sets out the financial environment in which the Council currently operates.  We are waiting information on the Local Government Pay Settlement in section and the Spending Review in both of which would impact the Council’s finances in due course.
  • The General Fund Capital programme is £57.3m, with current expenditure in 2021-22 being just under £8m. Updates on individual schemes were provided in the report.  


Following Members comments and questions, the Principal Accountant (General Fund) highlighted the following:


·       At Cabinet on Monday 8 November, the addition of the St George’s Creative Hub had been approved as an addition to the Capital Programme, funded through a combination of S106 contributions and existing balances. 

·       Following a question regarding homelessness in section 3.11.3 various grants have been received from Central Government funding for homelessness and homeless prevention.  The Council has statutory duties within these services and any additional expenditure over and above grant income levels, would have to be financed from General Fund balances.  With regard to a question on the  property in Wrotham Road the Principal Accountant (Housing & Exchequer) explained that the property was funded through external borrowing a lot more work had to be done to secure the property than planned.

·       The Chair explained that at an Operational Services Committee meeting he was given assurances that although waste collections had increased these had been maintained.


Resolved that Cabinet to approve the addition of the St Georges Creative Hub to the current year capital programme as set out in sections 4.2 and 4.3 of the report.



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