Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Tamoor Tariq left the room at 18:33
Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth, presented the report outlining the forecast financial position of the Council at the end of 2021/22 based on the information known at the end of the second quarter, 30th September 2021, and providing the mid-year Treasury Management Update. The report outlined the write off of bad debt, set out the position for both revenue and capital, and provided an analysis of the variances, both under and overspending.
In response to Members’ questions it was noted that investment into senior management was vital as identified through the LGA Peer Review to ensure the Council had the right vision and strategy for the borough and could bring staff along to improve services. The biggest risk was not finding the savings identified, and it was agreed that a strong focus was now on delivery, as aspects of the transformation plan not realising savings until the next financial year. Mitigations were being identified and brought forward as early as possible, for instance the empty properties report earlier in the agenda.
In terms of barriers to transformational change, it was noted that the organisation was very complex and wide-ranging, and some enablers of change were easier to fix than others. Cultural change, for example, took longer than IT improvements or management change. In response to Member’s question regarding capital spending, it was noted that these works were slow to begin with, with specifications, design, and planning applications needed before delivery. Some funding was time sensitive and these projects were prioritised, though it was noted that some timescales were unrealistic (i.e. decarbonisation projects, where an extension had been secured).
Councillor Nick Jones requested that detail on how the BGI directorate was meeting its stretch targets be sent outside the meeting and voiced the Conservative Group’s support for the Transformation Strategy. It was noted that full update would be brought to the next Cabinet meeting.
1. Noted the forecast overspend of £2.634m within the revenue budgets at quarter 2 and the need for Directorates to work with their finance support to identify mitigating actions to ensure services work within their budgets;
2. Noted the use of the Covid Outbreak Management Fund and departmental reserves in line with the criteria and one off departmental priorities;
3. Noted the position on the Dedicated Schools Grant, Collection Fund and the Housing Revenue Account;
4. Approved the write off of outstanding debts owed by the former Bury PCT totalling £247,004.57;
5. Approved the adjustments to the capital programme for new capital grants; and
6. Noted the Treasury Management Mid-Year Report.
Reasons for the decision:
To ensure the Council’s budgetary targets are achieved.
Other options considered and rejected:
This report is in accordance with the council’s financial procedure regulations.
Publication date: 18/11/2021
Date of decision: 17/11/2021
Decided at meeting: 17/11/2021 - Cabinet