Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Governance and the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Policy and Resources.
1. To note Key performance Indicator performance for Q1 2021/22 as detailed in the report and at annex 1.
2. To note the Budget Monitoring forecasts for Q1 2021/22 as detailed in the report and at annex 2.
The Executive Member for Corporate Policy and Resources, Councillor Lewanski, explained that the report outlined the Council’s performance up to the end of Quarter 1 of 2021/22.
Councillor Lewanski introduced the Key Performance Indicator report by noting that, out of the 10 KPIs, 2 were red rated. KPI2, which related to business rates collection, was red rated as a business rates relief recalculation led to a number of Q1 instalments being set back to 1 August. Rate collection had been recalculated for the remainder of the year and it was expected that collection would improve in future quarters. In addition, £166k had been held in suspense and, if factored into the Q1 total, the KPI would be within tolerance.
Councillor Lewanski explained that KPI10, which related to recycling, did not meet the target but noted that Q4 of 2020/21 was the best Q4 result recorded by the Council. Councillor Lewanski explained that an increase of 2,500 in net tonnage in paper and card was not enough to offset an increase in refuse and fly tipping, and the loss of garden waste tonnage due to the suspended service in Q1 of 2020/21. The Council remained committed to increasing the recycling performance and 500 additional flats had been added to the kerbside recycling service since April 2021. In June 2021, the monthly recycling rate exceeded 60% for the first time.
The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Harrison, explained that the report had been considered by the Committee at its meeting on 9 September 2021. The Committee had been pleased to note that the 60% recycling target had been reached for the first time in June. The Leader of the Council noted that the highest performing authority achieved a recycling rate of 64%, and that the future target of 65% by 2025 was in the right realm.
The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance and Governance, Councillor Schofield, outlined the Revenue Budget and Capital Programme performance for Quarter 1 of 2021/22.
The projected full year outturn for the Revenue Budget was £17.67m against a management budget of £17.696m. The Council was confident that income streams had started to be restored following the pandemic, but the main area of concern remained parking income. A very cautious approach had been taken in the forecasts, and therefore the predicted parking income loss was £1.7m against an income budget of £2.7m. Councillor Schofield explained that this shortfall could be funded on a one-off basis through drawing on £2m earmarked reserve that had been set aside last year in anticipation of the challenges.
Ongoing impacts of the pandemic on income streams would be accommodated within future budget-setting decisions. This would be addressed as a priority during budget-setting for 2022/23.
Councillor Schofield noted that while some expenditure was still being incurred to deliver the Council’s continued pandemic response, it was forecast to be funded within the grants made by Government. In 2020/21 the Council received 43 separate grants totalling over £52m, 80% of which had ... view the full minutes text for item 29
That the Committee:
(i) Note Key Performance Indicator (KPI) performance for Q1 2021/22 as detailed in the report and at Annex 1 and make any observations to the Executive;
(ii) Note the Budget Monitoring forecasts for Q1 2021/22 as detailed in the report and at Annex 2 and make any observations to the Executive.
The Committee received reports on the Council’s performance for the first quarter of 2021/22 including Key Performance Indictor (KPI) reporting, as well as revenue and budget monitoring. The reports were due to go to the Executive on 19 September 2021.
The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Policy and Resources, Councillor Lewanski, introduced the KPI report by noting that, out of the 10 KPIs, 2 were red rated:
· KPI2 which related to business rates collection.
· KPI10 which related to recycling.
Members discussed and asked questions on the following areas:
Recycling – It was noted that the target of 60% was a stretch target, although this was open to discussion. It was noted that the target remained 60% and that the Committee would be consulted on the setting of future targets later in the year. It was noted that the large increase in overall tonnage collected was disproportionately in favour of residual waste.
Business Rates – It was identified that the unallocated business rates in a suspense account had not yet been allocated due to the need to ascertain the correct payer. The Committee noted that, once allocated, the indicator would be within tolerance.
The Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Governance, Councillor Schofield, outlined the Revenue Budget and Capital Programme performance for Q1 2021/22. The projected full year outturn for the Revenue Budget was £17.67m against a management budget of £17.696m and there were no material variances to report. A cautious approach continued to be taken in relation to the Financial impacts of the pandemic; the main area of concern remained forecast income shortfalls compared to budget. The Capital Programme forecast was 60% below the approved Programme at £56.29m. This was due to forecast slippage of budgets to 2022/23 and a small net underspend.
During the discussion:
· It was noted that major concerns existed which related to COVID-19 income losses which were forecast for the year on a prudent basis at £2.3m, with offsetting government funding which had ended after Q1 of just under £0.5m. A £2.0m Earmarked Reserve had been set aside for these income losses in 2021/22.
· It was noted that this would be a serious challenge for the 2022/23 budget, requiring additional steps to re-establish income streams or to identify cost savings to offset them.
· In relation to Car Parking income, members confirmed that they expected long term decline with more people working from home, and reduced retail and leisure activity. In relation to Leisure Services, the fee due from the contracted Leisure Provider had been waived during the pandemic; the Interim Head of Paid Service noted that the provider had now put in a proposition for the management fee going forward that was due to be considered soon. It was noted that the impact of the pandemic on commercial income/rents at £40k was substantially less than the loss experienced by many other councils.
· Overall, it was identified that, despite being early in the 2021/22 budget cycle, it appeared there were some improvements to the income forecasts. ... view the full minutes text for item 28