Agenda item

Budget Monitoring Q3 report



The chair had received two request on rearranging the agenda items. It was agreed by the committee that the agenda items would be taken in the following order:

Item 6, 7, 10, 8, 9 and then item 11.



F Jump introduced the report, for recommendations that the committee note the financial position for the Council for 2020/21 as at quarter 3.

The report outlines the financial position for the Council for 2020/21 and in so quantifies the financial risk associated with service decisions, which are expected to be made for the financial year.


F Jump was happy to take questions from Members.


Cllr Adeleke said that as the report was prepared beforehand, are there any changes to the budget. He asked if there are any changes or effects on the current situation.


F Jump said no, there was nothing surprising in respect of the council’s budget; she added that there would be more of an impact on 2021-2022 budget. She added that she would be in a better position to comment next time.


Cllr England referred to the HRA – there’s a surplus due to COVID19 delays. To what extent is there cost and efficiency to when we do catch up? Because we will then have more cases. Has this been quantified at all?


F Williamson said that they had been doing some work to re-profile some of the project works, and they have had the opportunity to look at areas to address the building safety bill and the climate emergency. She said that Mark can give you an update on the work that they have been doing with the energy savings trust.

Whilst they haven’t been able to spend the allocated budget this year it has enabled them to look at these two critical areas. The budget has been re-profiled accordingly.


Cllr Mahmood in terms of COVID19 when do we expect Osborn’s and others to be back to full working shifts. He asked if we are still in under spend mode for the next three months.


F Williamson said in respect to the proposal we are following the Governments road map.

The Team have met with Osbornes today to plan and review the delivery of the next financial year.

The only work that remains completely suspended are Kitchens and bathrooms due to the length of time it takes and it can interrupt the water supplies. We need to maintain good hand hygiene and limit the amount of trades going in and out.

We are hoping that we are able to return to business as usual next year; this will be incorporated into the plans.

F Williamson confirmed that we are taking day-to-day repairs and its business and usual.



Cllr Mahmood asked what was in place to check Osborne for COVID19 so we can get them out to work.


F Williamson said that this week they have started Lateral flow testing on all of their staff. They will be required to have tests twice a week. This is to reduce any risks to the household that they are going into.


Cllr England referred to 5.7. The pressure of 140.000 arising due to higher than expected insurance costs, is there any way that the cost is noted or recorded that the rise is due to climate change issues that we are trying to tackle.


F Jump said that this had been raised before and it’s due to a number of reasons driving the cost. We do record in a lot of detail of what is causing the additional claims. The information is there and certainly, last year’s summer did have an impact on the claims.


Cllr Freedman said that our targets are slipping and just wanted to know any new ways of working?

He asked if we are in conversations with Osborne’s or other councils. Are we trying to do any creative out of the box solutions for our backlog for skilled tradesman?

He asked if we are we in discussions for virtual inspections or taking pictures of things that need repairing.


F Williamson said in terms of the performance for completing repairs in target, in Q3 it showed that we were operating below target, but there has been a steady improvement since the end of Q3 into the current quarter.

In respect of using photos, they have always used this as an opportunity to provide additional information for before and after details for the valuations.

We also use this in the private rented sector, as it has been quite difficult for them to undertake inspections in houses in multiple occupancies.

The COVID backlog with Osborne’s has now been completed and there has been a decrease in repairs that have been reported, we anticipate going forward that there will be an increase in repairs.


Cllr Freedman asked how confident are we that we have adapted to best practice?


F Williamson said that we are as confident as we can be. We do have officers that attend best practice working groups. They also work closely with House mark who have undertaken benchmarking throughout the pandemic. Dacorum receive a monthly report that benchmark their performance against other social housing landlords.

In the main we are performing in the top quartile in the majority of areas. F Williamson said that they have worked closely with the Unions to ensure safe practice for Osborne staff. They do adopt any best practice that is known to them.



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