(Report of the Leader of the Council)
The Leader of the Council provided Cabinet with a performance update and financial Healthcheck. The report was considered by Corporate Scrutiny Committee at their meeting on 5th February 2020.
Endorsed the contents of this report.
(Moved by Councillor D Cook and seconded by Councillor R Pritchard)
Report of the Leader of the Council
The Report of the Leader of the Council which provided the Committee with a performance update and financial healthcheck was received.
The Leader of the Council introduced the report and updated the committee on a correction to the RAG status of the Corporate Debt Strategy metric from red to green.
The Leader of the Council apologised to members for the delay in circulating the Government response which he had received to the joint letter from himself and the Leader of the Opposition on universal credit. This response had now been circulated to all members.
The Executive Director, Finance highlighted the following items from the Quarterly Performance Report:
· income collection rates (Council tax, business rates and rents) were on target;
· the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account had a favourable variance against budget; and
· that the capital programme indicated that projects to the value of c.£13m would be deferred to 2020/21.
The Committee sought and received clarifications in the following areas:
· How changes from the Fairer Funding Review could affect Tamworth. The Leader responded that he had written to the local MP on this point and the damage it would do to the Council’s long term financial forecast and would be having a meeting shortly with him. The Leader had also responded to the Government’s consultation on the budget. The Leader agreed to feedback to members once responses had been received;
· The ICT Strategy and how the IT strategy would address the financial issue and workstreams. The Executive Director Organisation responded that accelerating the roll out of IT solutions could deliver savings and also contract changes (telephony and printers) were expected to deliver savings. In terms of whether disaster recovery should also be a workstream within the strategy, the Executive Director highlighted all the activities already in train in this regard, including business continuity plans for every critical service, and involvement in Staffordshire wide business continuity activities.
· Plans associated with the corporate investment strategy and when further capital would be invested. The Executive Director, Finance reported that £3.8m of the approximately £12m had been invested and was yielding approximately 4%, and that the plan was that a further £4m would be invested by March 2020, and depending on the funds invested in would be expected to deliver around 4%. This was expected to be followed by a further investment post March 2020 of approximately £4m. The Executive Director, Finance reported that these were long term investments and that whilst the fund value may go up or down, the objective was to deliver an income to support the Council’s delivery of services. The Executive Director confirmed that the yield figure when reported to the Committee was calculated against the original purchase price into the fund (and not the current value of the fund). It was also reported that the mitigation measures which were reported were for a period of 5 years and were as a result of accounting standard changes. Following the five year period revenue losses or gains after ... view the full minutes text for item 87