To consider the Budget Forecast Outturn report for Quarter 1 2020/21.
RESOLVED to to approve the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme forecast outturn positions including the updated use of reserves and requested slippage for the Capital Programme.
Councillor Hargreaves summarised the report outlining the Budget Forecast Outturn report for Quarter 1 2020/21. The report detailed the financial performance of the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Capital Programme and Treasury Management and predicted a forecast for the end of the 2020/21 financial year. The drop in income from car parking and planning applications were highlighted. Additional spend was also noted in areas such as waste collection and building maintenance. He said the overall picture for the Outturn Forecast, primarily due to the income generated by investments, was good, although the situation could change before the financial year had ended.
.Councillor Lees praised Councillor Hargreaves, the Investment Board and officers for their work in improving the Council’s financial situation. She said she was particularly grateful that the Ward Initiative Fund had been reintroduced, which could be of a great help to those charities working through the impact of Covid-19.
In response to a question from Councillor Dean, the Leader said the Economic Development team had recruited a new member of staff, although not at the same level as the individual who had departed.
In response to a question from Councillor Dean regarding the workforce at Stansted Airport and the diversification of the local economy in light of the aviation industry’s recent struggles, Councillor Reeve said he had recently met with Councillor Coote and the Unite union, and the proposals that arose from the meeting were currently being digested. He said he was working with the Economic Development Officer to take this issue forward.
In response to a question from Councillor Evans regarding percentage variances, Councillor Hargreaves said it was not standard practice and there would be little value in including percentage changes in such reports as they could be misleading. He said Local Authority accounting differed greatly in comparison to company accounting.
RESOLVED to approve the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme forecast outturn positions including the updated use of reserves and requested slippage for the Capital Programme.