The Committee gave consideration to the report delivered by the Finance Manager as set out in pages 54-63, which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.
The Finance Manager outlined the report stating that it relates to the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).
With regards to the General Fund he advised that there is an overall reduction in outturn next expenditure against the revised budgets for 2014/2015 of £203,206. He also noted that income from business rates is better than expected.
He explained that the Section 31 grant for small business relief has helped with the NNDR business rates income. With regards to the HRA he advised the outturn position is £827,000 in surplus.
A Member questioned the figures with regards to the General Fund (primarily point 2 on page 55) and the Finance Manager advised that salaries were revised and that on top of that there were more savings made. However for completeness and clarity he advised he will send an email to all Members explaining the same.
A Member stated that it should be reported to Members when there is both an overspend and an underspend with the reasons why so that there is transparency. He made particular reference to page 60 and the HPDG Reserve budget against the revised estimate and the outturn and asked why there were such big changes. He noted the same issue with Management of Change stating the trend is not good and that Officers must advise as to why such variations exist. He voiced that under spending is just as bad as overspending.
The Finance Manager advised there are many reasons and some concern the level of activity within the authority and advised that he will discuss with him after the meeting.
The Member also questioned the delays in relation to the Capital programme asking whether there are sufficient resources so as to ensure that it will happen within the next financial year. He asked for the reasoning behind the backlogs and if there are issues present what solutions there are. The Chair advised all Members will get a written response via email.
A Member noted that on Page 60, the Grants Reserve illustrated a £10,000 under spend and the Finance Manager advised he would revert back to him via email with a response.
The Leader of the Council stated that the budget set, the monitoring or outturn was wrong. He suggested that a branch review of the budget, monitoring and the outturn needs to be conducted as one of the process (budget, monitoring or outturn) is not sufficiently robust. The Chair noted his comments.
RESOLVED: That Members
(1) Note the report and overall provisional outturn provisions for both the General Fund (as at Appendix 1 of the report) and the Housing Revenue Account 2014-15 (Appendix 2)
(2) Approve the requested revenue and capital carry forwards for both he General Fund and Housing Revenue Account (Appendix 3)
(3) Approve the transfer of £400,000 from the General fund Reserve to the Budget Equilibrium Reserve as at 31 March 2015.
(4) Approve the transfer of £200,000 from the General Fund Reserve to the Management of Change Reserve as at 31 March 2015.
Councillor Fahey voted against and Councillors Khong and Atwal abstained from voting.