Financial Position March 2019 - Report for the Year Ending 31st March 2019
Councillor Joyce Plummer, Portfolio Holder Resources, reported on the financial spending of the Council up to the end of March 2019 and the financial outturn position for the Accounting Year 2018/19. Members considered a table within the report, which set out the core financial details. Councillor Marlene Haworth enquired about the future plans for the Market Hall and a response was provided by the Leader of the Council, in which he referred to the both Market Hall and the wider retail offer in Accrington town centre, as well as national trends. Members considered the desirability of a cross-party approach to planning the future of Accrington town centre.
Approval of the report was not deemed a key decision.
Reason for Decision
The spend for the financial year to the end of March 2019 is £10,593,544 compared to a Budget of £11,074,538 giving a positive variance of £481,000 over the year.
Positive variances were achieved in most of the Council’s significant budget areas with only the Town Centre & Markets Budget and Regeneration & Property Services recording adverse variances of any notable size. Service level details are summarised as follows:
Food Safety reports that net expenditure will be £80,000 less than Budget by the year end. This is due to salary savings of £30,000, £27,000 of miscellaneous cost savings and additional extra income of £23,000.
Waste Services reports a positive variance for the financial year of £270,000. This is due to salary savings of £50,000, income up compared to Budget by £33,000 and miscellaneous savings of £84,000 plus other savings against budget of £103,000.
The Parks & Cemeteries Service reports an adverse variance of £10,000. This is due to a predicted shortfall on the Parks Budget of £49,000, stemming from £6,000 of increased staff costs, as well as £22,000 of lost income on football pitch hire over the year, £4,000 of reduced income from Lancashire County Council as well as £10,000 less income from tree work, along with £7,000 of additional miscellaneous costs. The Cemetery Service is predicting a net increase of income this year of £25,000 and £24,000 of savings on miscellaneous costs, less £10,000 of increased salary costs.
The Town Centre & Market Budget shows an overall adverse variance of £130,000. This is attributable to the continuing economic pressures limiting the generation of funds from the Market Hall in Accrington by £182,000 compared to Budget and other income down £10,000, offset by £13,000 of salary savings and £49,000 of miscellaneous additional savings.
Culture & Leisure Services
Culture and Leisure Services are indicating a positive variance of £47,000, stemming from savings across operational budgets.
Planning & Transportation
Planning & Transportation are predicting an adverse variance for the year of £3,000. This is due to a predicted shortfall in income compared to budget on Building Control of £65,000, additional staff cost in this area of £16,000 and £7,000 of additional miscellaneous cost. Elsewhere on the Budget there are £39,000 of staff savings and £41,000 of additional income and £5,000 of miscellaneous additional savings.
Regeneration & Property Services
Regeneration & Property Services reports a negative variance position for the year of £137,000, with income up by £93,000, offset by an extra £40,000 of salary costs and £95,000 of miscellaneous costs, plus £95,000 of additional emergency repairs and maintenance expenditure.
Policy & Corporate Governance
Policy & Corporate Governance reports a positive variance of £217,000. This is due to £303,000 of salary savings predicted for the year, less £107,000 of corporate savings, increased income above budget of £279,000, savings on pension expenditure of £79,000, less £155,000 of additional Housing Benefit spend and £182,000 of increased miscellaneous expenditure.
Non Service Items
The current estimate for the year is a positive variance of £148,000.
There were no alternative options considered or reasons proposed for rejection
Resolved – That Cabinet notes the report on the financial outturn position for the year ending 31st March 2019.