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Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

Contents

1. Executive Summary

    2. General Fund

    3. Housing Revenue Account

    4. Outstanding Debt

    5. Establishment Monitoring

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    Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

1. Executive Summary

    The virement of ?100k from Contingencies, as approved by Executive, to reduce the budget variance in Operations has been actioned. The other approved virements, ?40k for Audit Fees and ?10k for North Denes caravan site clean up costs, will be actioned in August.

    The June Finance report contained a recommendation that a report be brought to the Executive to detail how additional savings could be found in the Operational Services in order to mitigate the predicted shortfall in 2006/07. The June report identified a shortfall of ?200k, of which ?100k was vired from Contingencies in July. The work that has been undertaken to come to this position is detailed in a report contained in Appendix B.

    The conclusion of this report is that the current budget reflects the true budget for the level of service being provided. In order to make savings there would either need to be a change in the way in which the services are delivered, or a reduction in the level of service provided. Both of these options are not short term solutions, and will require consultation, and evaluation, with a detailed business case being made for any proposals. Given this timescale, the Executive is recommended to vire a further ?100k from Contingencies.

    It is currently being projected that Car Parking income for this Financial Year will be ?190k below the annual budget due to decreased use of the facilities. The reason for this decreased use appears to be the high level of road works reducing the number of people coming into Lowestoft and increased numbers of free parking in various shopping outlets across the district.

    The total projected budget shortfall for the year is now ?310k being Operation budget variance ?100k

    Car Parking Income ?190k

    Mayhem Income ? 20k

    The balance left for all contingencies is ?215k

     A review of Services is underway to see what savings have been made and what future savings can be made, and this will be reported to a future meeting of the Executive.

There are no concerns with the HRA at this time.

    The current level of outstanding debt are within expectations.

    The Establishment and Workforce Planning Committee is running slightly below target (?21k in July). A review of the areas which are currently overspending is underway.

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Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

     2. General Fund

The table below details the current financial position for the General Fund.

     YTD YTD FULL YEAR ESTIMATED OVER/

    ACTUAL BUDGET BUDGET OUTTURN (UNDER)

    ?000s ?000s ?000s ?000s SPEND

    ?000s Community & 781 836 2,803 2,803 Operations (ex

    Benefits &

    Operations)

    Corporate 1,918 1,957 7,005 7,005 - Governance

    Regeneration and 523 953 3,767 3,787 20 Environment Other - - -876 -876 -

    SUB - TOTAL 3,222 3,746 12,699 12,719 20

    Operations 862 784 3,129 3,419 290

    Benefits 1,186 845 141 141 -

    Contingencies -4 -190 -250 -465 -215

    TOTAL 5,266 5,185 15,719 15,814 95

    stA complete breakdown of the detail relating to the month ended 31 July 2006

    is available on the Council’s intranet, WIRED.

    Within Regeneration and Environment the ?20k overspend relates to lost

    income in the Mayhem Play Area caused in part by the reduced parking

    adjacent to the East Point Pavilion.

    The table above separates out three areas of the Council’s expenditure.

    Firstly Operational areas have been separately identified. As previously

    reported it has been indicated that the Service Managers do not consider that

    the budgets are sufficient to deliver the current level of service. The variance

    identified was a gap of ?287k. The June Finance report contained a

    recommendation that a report be brought to the Executive to detail how

    additional savings could be found in the Operational Services in order to

    mitigate the predicted shortfall in 2006/07. The June report identified a

    shortfall of ?200k, of which ?100k was vired from Contingencies in July. The

    work that has been undertaken to come to this position is detailed in a report

    contained in Appendix B.

The conclusion of this report is that the current budget reflects the true budget

    for the level of service being provided. In order to make savings there would

    either need to be a change in the way in which the services are delivered, or a

    reduction in the level of service provided. Both of these options are not short

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Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

    term solutions, and will require consultation and evaluation, with a detailed business case being made for any proposals. Given this timescale, the Executive is recommended to vire a further ?100k from Contingencies.

    Additionally, within the Operational area Car Parking income is down on budget in the first four months by ?57k. Current built environment improvements to Lowestoft have had a serious effect on income. The Relief Road and Drainage works meet in the town centre, and the resulting traffic disruption has lead to a reduction in the use of the Council’s car parks. This is

    combined with a new free retail car park in Lowestoft which has also impacted negatively on income. In Beccles the Blyburgate car park currently shows a ?12k shortfall. This is due to additional free parking at a new supermarket in the area. Year end forecast is a potential ?190k loss on income. Additional statistics that will help identify those car parks that are under performing are currently being prepared.

    This ?190k plus the ?100k shortfall gives the ?290k reported above.

    Secondly Benefits has also been separately identified as the figures include an estimate of the monthly subsidy receivable from the Department for Work and Pensions. The current overspend is due to consultancy fees for work to be carried out in the Local Taxation Team to maximise performance. Part of this work is to identify areas where savings can be made to offset the cost of the consultancy fees. Future finance reports will update on the position with regard to these savings.

    The third area is Contingencies which is projected to save ?465k against a target of ?250k giving additional savings of ?215k. This will offset the overspending identified above, resulting in an overall overspend of ?95k at the year end.

    All the Services which are currently overspending have been asked to review their forecasts with a view to mitigating the overspends. All other service areas are being reviewed to identify further savings. Future reports will identify the outcome of these reviews.

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Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

3. Housing Revenue Account

The table below details the current financial position for the Housing Revenue

    Account.

     YTD YTD FULL YEAR ESTIMATED OVER/

    ACTUAL BUDGET BUDGET OUTTURN UNDER

    ?000s ?000s ?000s ?000s SPEND TOTAL 691 788 (36) (36) -

At this stage of the year no issues have been identified which would impact

    adversely or favourably on the out-turn.

Repairs Fund

     YTD YTD FULL YEAR ESTIMATED OVER/

    ACTUAL BUDGET BUDGET OUTTURN UNDER

    ?000s ?000s ?000s ?000s SPEND TOTAL 1,166 1,326 2,512 2,512 -

At this stage of the year no issues have been identified which would impact

    adversely or favourably on the out-turn.

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Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

4. Outstanding Debt

Levels of outstanding debt are now shown in graphical form. Overall there are

    no concerns with the current position with all areas at acceptable levels.

    Targets for Benefits are currently being established, and will be reported in the

    August monthly report.

    Actual 05/06

    Actual 06/07Sundry DebtTarget 06/07

    ?,800,000

    ?,700,000

    ?,600,000

    ?,500,000

    ?,400,000

    ?,300,000

    ?,200,000

    ?,100,000

    ?,000,000

    ?00,000

    ?00,000AprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJanFebMar

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Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

    Actual 05/06Housing RentsActual 06/07

    Target 06/07?00,000

    ?50,000

    ?00,000

    ?50,000

    ?00,000

    ?50,000

    AprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJanFebMar

    Actual 05/06BenefitsActual 06/07

    Target 06/07?,200,000

    ?,100,000

    ?,000,000

    ?00,000

    ?00,000

    ?00,000

    ?00,000

    ?00,000

    AprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJanFebMar

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Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

    Actual 05/06Council TaxActual 06/07Target 06/07

    ?0,000,000

    ?5,000,000

    ?0,000,000

    ?5,000,000

    ?0,000,000

    ?5,000,000

    ?0,000,000

    ?,000,000

    ?

    AprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJanFebMar

National Non-domestic RatesActual 05/06Actual 06/07Target 06/07

    ?0,000,000

    ?8,000,000

    ?6,000,000

    ?4,000,000

    ?2,000,000

    ?0,000,000

    ?,000,000

    ?,000,000

    ?,000,000

    ?,000,000

    ?

    AprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJanFebMar

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Monthly Finance Monitoring Report

     stYear to Date as at 31 July 2006

5. Establishment Monitoring

The Establishment and Workforce Planning Committee has been tasked by

    the Council as part of the budget setting process with saving ?429k. As at the

    end of July 2006, it is estimated that savings amounting to ?122k had been

    achieved. This is ?21k below target.

A review of cost centres which are overspending is underway. This will identify

    the reasons for the current position, whereupon action can be taken. This will

    be reported to the Establishment and Workforce Planning Committee in

    October.

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