N Howcutt presented the Financial Outturn Report for 2018/19 and asked Committee if they had any questions.
Cllr Uttley asked for an explanation of positive slippage. N Howcutt advised that it was money slipping from 18/19 to 19/20 and that where you see brackets that is a credit so is either an underspend or a slippage into the future financial year.
Cllr Uttley mentioned that the verge hardening seems to be going well. N Howcutt replied that appendix C tells us the financial slippage and would be the best financial information to look at.
Cllr Uttley queried the zero spend on the demolition of Gadebridge Park greenkeeper shed in 2018/19 and yet a budgeted spend in 19/20. NH replied that there is slippage from a project that was previously thought ended. When funding is not spent we need to ask Members to approve moving the budget to the following year, if the project is still to progress.
Cllr Townsend questioned if this should go through the budget process. N Howcutt said that all budget set ups and changes are approved by cabinet and council but we do try to endeavour to keep changes to the approved budget to a minimum.
Cllr Birnie asked if the budget came from reserves. N Howcutt replied that it could be funded from multiple sources normally either e-profiling the Capital projects or use of reserves. The use of reserves is a last resort. Every quarterly cabinet report includes Capital and if additional funds are needed it will be highlighted to Members.
Cllr Townsend enquired if there was a reason that the outturn report can’t be aligned to the narrative report. N Howcutt confirmed that reconciling the 2 is not straight forward, and we will work on this for the future. The two reports are aimed at different audiences and with different expectations. The outturn report follows the quarterly reports structure reported to members and the narrative is at a much higher level focus.
The Chairman asked about the variance to budget on garages. N Howcutt mentioned that there is a Task and Finish Group looking at garages and as part of this group a stock condition survey is being undertaken to determine the need for investment and levels of demand. The project will look at where we need to invest or divest and it will be reported back to members in this calendar year.
The Chairman sought clarification on the unbudgeted costs for The Forum. N Howcutt advised this was for pigeon proofing, which had already been included in the build, but wasn’t effective. The works were undertaken at the same time as the improvements for the CCG relocation, which provided the opportunity to do the work and get value for money. Cllr Birnie highlighted that this had been through Cabinet.
Cllr Uttley asked how approval is sought for Line 78 budget slippage £1.09m. N Howcutt confirmed this slippage was from the original capital budget approved which is why we always show the total slippage.