Agenda item

Finance and Performance Management Q2 2022/23

Report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services


The Finance Business Officer presented the Group with the Council’s financial position in respect of revenue and capital as at 30 September 2022, advising members of the current financial climate, particularly inflationary increases expected to rise to 14% and the impact of the ‘cost of living’ on residents.


The Group were advised that there is a predicted net revenue budget efficiency of £0.831m for 2022/23, as a result of Business Rates Pool, additional investment income and additional new burden grants. The Group noted that £0.67m of this is proposed to be earmarked for additional cost pressures and that this position is likely to change as further variances are identified. The variances were highlighted in a table provided in the report.


In respect of Capital Monitoring the Finance Business Officer advised the Group that the original programme for 2022/23 was £14.611m, with £10.646m carrying forward and other adjustments of £1.679m giving a current budget of £27.178m. However, the projected outturn was reported to be around £19.2m, resulting in an estimated underspend of £4.98m. Primarily arising from:


·       The provision for support for Registered Housing Providers (not wholly committed at this stage)

·       Bingham Leisure Hub and Crematorium contingencies due to delays in both projects

·       Unused contingencies on Cotgrave Phase 2 development

·       Schemes for watercourse improvements, Disabled Facilities Grants, Hound Road and Edwalton Golf Course.


The Group noted that these are recommended to be re-phased into the 2023/24 Capital Programme.


The Finance Business Officer highlighted some of the pressures and uncertainties ahead, including the prime ministers budget announcements and the prediction that inflation could reach 14% later this year, giving significant risk to Council costs and the knock-on effect this may have on collection rates for Council Tax and Business Rates and on fees and charges. The Group noted that the impact of continued increases would be monitored closely.


In concluding the Finance Business Officer advised that the capital position is positive and there will be no need to externally borrow in this financial year.


Members asked specific questions relating to the delays on the Bingham Hub and Crematorium and asked what the delays were and would the contingency allowance for each project be spent. The Group were advised that delays were caused with labour shortages, material shortages and increased costs, with regards to contingency, this is provided for unexpected costs and will not necessarily be spent.


Members commented on S106 and CIL funding from developer contributions and are there plans for spending this in the Council budget and asked if there were any transformation projects or longer term plans expected in the Council’s Transformation Strategy.  The Service Manager – Finance advised that officers are currently working on how/where to spend S106 and CIL contributions.  With regards to the Council’s Transformation Strategy the Service Manager – Finance referred to the Budget Workshops scheduled for December which will provide some options.


The Communications and Customer Services Manager presented the Performance Monitoring report and a summary of the progress of tasks and measures falling within each theme of the Corporate Strategic Scorecard.


The Group were advised that performance in quarter 2 continues to show improvement which is particularly evident in the following indicators:


·       LIDEG02 Processing of planning applications: Major applications dealt with in 13 weeks or agreed period – current performance is 76.2%, well above the 70% target.

·       LIDEG40 Percentage of RBC owned industrial units occupied – occupation levels have increased and currently 2.74% above target.

·       LIFCS24 Percentage of housing and council tax benefit claims processed right first time – processing accuracy has increased to 98%.

·       LINS24 Number of affordable homes delivered – 149 homes have been completed up to the end of September. This is over the annual target of 200 homes and includes two sites with 100% affordable homes (East Leake and Radcliffe on Trent).

·       LINS35 Average number of weeks for all Home Search applicants to be rehoused through Choice Based Lettings – applicants have waited 35 weeks on average, well under the 52 weeks target.


The Communications and Customer Services Manager referred to Appendix G provided with the agenda report and highlighted some of the performance successes, including the reduction of household waste collected, noticeable increase of community centre usage partly due to the increase in marketing and the new digital booking system. The Group noted the AV system in the Council Chamber at the Arena and the new conference facility at Rushcliffe Country Park both with the potential of providing good income streams.


In reference to the Operational Scorecard, the Communications and Customer Services Manger highlighted the increase in the number of calls received at the contact centre being answered within the 60 seconds target, which showed a rise from 60% to 72%. The Group were advised that the number of customers calling were continuing to fall and contact centre officers were signposting customers to the Council’s online services where applicable.


The Group noted that although the Council was behind its target for bookings with increased communications and marketing there has been an increase in bookings in September and the trend is improving.


The Chairman asked a specific question in relation to Bridgford Field and whether this could be used for football parking to provide an income stream. The Communications and Customer Services Manager explained that the park is only used seasonally for cricket matches, Taste of Rushcliffe and Lark in the Park all summer events where damage to the grass and park usage is limited.


The Group asked whether the Council has any plans to introduce better digital access for customers using on-line facilities. The Communications and Customer Services Manager explained that currently the Council’s webpages were not adequately accessible and that there is no appetite for an App at present. It was noted that over the past couple of weeks customers calling the contact centre were being asked why they were not using the on-line facilities to provide officers a better understanding of the barriers preventing on-line usage and provide feedback for future improvements.


It was RESOLVED that the Group notes:


a)    The expected revenue budget efficiency for the year of £0.831m and proposals to earmark this for cost pressures (paragraph 4.1 of the report)

b)    The capital budget efficiencies of £4.98m including re-profiling of provisions totalling £1.965m of which £0.465m to 2023/24 and £1.5m to 2023/24 (paragraph 4.7 of the report)

c)     The expected outturn position for Special Expenses to be £61k above budget (paragraph 4.5 of the report)

d)    Considers whether scrutiny is required for identifies performance exceptions












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