To receive a report from the Deputy Chief Executive (S151) presenting the revenue and capital outturn figures for the financial year 2019 / 2020.
The Group had before it, and NOTED, a report * from the Deputy Chief Executive (S151) presenting the revenue and capital outturn figures for the financial year 2019/20.
This report and been presented to the Cabinet on 9th July and the recommendations within it had been approved.
The Group Manager for Finance explained that this was a generic report detailing how spending for the 2019/2020 financial year had compared against budget. The effect of the pandemic upon these reports had been minimal since they concerned the previous year. However, details were provided regarding the 3 tranches of compensation received from the Government since lockdown totalling £994k as well as payments in respect of the job retention scheme and an expected amount in relation to the income protection guarantee.
Returning to the previous financial year it was explained that at the year end the closing position had shown a deficit of £232k across all services. This had been predicted to be £252k, therefore the final position had shown a small improvement. The shortfall had been met by Ear Marked Reserves.
The following was also noted within the report:
· For 2019/20 the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) had achieved a surplus of £608k. The Cabinet had approved a transfer to the HRA Reserves in order to bring this to zero.
· A number of capital projects had been funded during the year including works at the Lords Meadow Leisure Centre, including a gym refurbishment. Six new tipper vehicles had also been purchased.
· Underspends within the capital programme had been transferred to Ear Marked Reserves.
· There had been a drop in the return on investment relating to units purchased by the Council in Market Walk and Fore Street, Tiverton. This had been as a consequence of the recent pandemic.
Discussion took place regarding:
· It was confirmed that the percentage of Council Tax not collected was divided between all beneficiaries.
· The large variance between ‘budget’ and ‘actual’ in the Corporate Management area. Impairment loans in respect of the 3 Rivers Development Co.had been a large factor in this.
· CCTV initiatives budget – more detail was requested since two of the towns did not have CCTV. The Leader informed the Group that he had met with the Police and Crime Commissioner earlier in the year to discuss initiatives to expand CCTV provision within the district. He would ask the Cabinet Member for Community Well Being to chase this up.
· Additional employee costs in the Legal & Democratic Services area. It was explained that this was in relation to election costs.
· Why expenditure costs were showing in relation to Tiverton Town Hall and the Crediton Offices when both had been sold off.
· It was difficult to predict the extent of non-collection of Council Tax at the current time since the effects of the pandemic and people’s ability to pay would not be felt for some time yet. However, the current shortfall was not as significant as feared.
· Cost centre SH027, ‘Depreciation’, was showing a significant variance. It was explained that assets in relation to this cost centre were introduced at cost and then a revaluation process had had to take place in relation to the social housing element.
· Cost centre SH029 ‘Bad debt provision’: There had been a significant increase between the budget and the actual figure. It was explained that a reasonable provision had had to be recalculated as a result of lockdown.
· Businesses within Tiverton Town Centre were returning and the current situation was not as bad as originally feared.
· It was noted that there appeared to be a minor housing boom at the moment.
Note: (i) * Report previously circulated; copy attached to the signed minutes.
(ii) Cllr C Eginton declared a personal interest as he owned a business in Tiverton.