Councillor O’Brien presented the Corporate Financial Monitoring Report to the Committee.
Following questions raised in relation to Link Asset Management, Capital Receipts and Council owned investment properties, Mike Woodhead, Chief Finance Officer gave an update:
Link Asset Management received £14,500 per annum for its services.
Capital receipts received:
· 2017/2018 - £2.3m – 43 mostly small pockets of land. Highest value £1.3m Dale Street.
· 2018/2019 - £1.2m – Highest value £0.5m – 3 Bridgefield Mews.
· 2019/2020 - £0.8m – Highest Value - £0.6m – Land at Fountain Place.
· Café Istanbul
· 43 – 45 Lever Street Manchester – 2016 purchase –£2.5m income yrs 1 to 3 - £71,000, £165,000 and £104,000
· Northern House, Huddersfield – Purchase £2.4m. Income £130,000pa
· Q Park, Bury - Purchase £2.3m. Income £94,000-£129,000pa
· St Anne’s commercial building Purchased 2015 income £60,000pa until 2018 when became vacant. Currently incurring utilities and insurance costs of £12,000pa.
Councillor Eamonn O’Brien the Cabinet Member for Finance and Housing and Mike Woodhead, Chief Finance Officer presented the Corporate Financial Monitoring Report, April to September 2019.
The report informed Members of the Council’s financial position for the period April 2019 – September 2019 and projects the estimated outturn at the end of 2019/2020.
Those present were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments and the following points were raised:
· Councillor N Jones asked whether the Council were planning on selling off Castle Leisure Centre or Ramsbottom Leisure Centre.
Councillor O’Brien explained that there was a review about to be undertaken in relation to the leisure centres and until that was completed no decisions would be made. There were currently no plans for closure. The day to day running of the facilities and how much investment was required was currently being considered for the review.
Councillor O’Brien stated that once the review had been completed a report would be brought to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
· Councillor N Jones asked what the timescale of the review was.
Councillor O’Brien stated that any financial targets would relate to the next financial year and not the current one.
· Councillor Walker asked at what point the Councillors would be involved.
It was explained that work needs to be carried out to put the review together and then consultation would commence.
· Councillor Harris referred to the use of reserves and asked whether this would be the case for this financial year.
Mike Woodhead explained that he hoped that there would be contributions made to the reserves for the financial year.
· Councillor Caserta referred to non-service specific and how the figures were calculated.
Mike Woodhead explained that the previous years’ figures would be used as a baseline figure.
· Councillor Caserta stated that the pupil premium of £450,000 - £500,000 used to be allocated directly to schools but was now allocated to the Local Authority. £145,000 of this had not been spent so had been put into the LAC fund. Councillor Caserta stated that this was unfair as it should be used within schools for LAC.
Mike Woodhead stated that he would ask for the information in relation to this issue and report back to the Committee.
· Councillor Caserta referred to the Radcliffe Regeneration scheme and asked what the budget was for the scheme and who signed off on the different aspects of it.
Councillor O’Brien stated that the figures were set out in the budget in February 2019. The Director of Economic Regeneration and Capital Growth was the Director with responsibility in this area.
· Councillor N Jones referred to houses being built on brownfield sites and asked how many had been built to date.
Councillor O’Brien explained that work was currently being carried out in relation to the sites. He would report back to the Committee at its January meeting.
It was agreed:
That the contents of the report be noted.