Agenda item


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The Assistant Director - Finance presented the report which was submitted to Cabinet on 2 August 2022 setting out in summary the revenue outturn for 2021/2022 for the Council. The report showed details of the major differences between actual costs/income compared to the revised estimates for 2021/2022 reported in February 2022 monitoring.


The accounts showed the Borough’s spend of £20,578,724, which is £70,294 more than the revised position following February’s monitoring for 2021/2022.


Throughout the year there was significant uncertainty and variation to budget as reported in the budget monitoring report, largely as a result of the financial impact of recovery from the pandemic on the local economy and related variation to demands on service. In addition to this, during the year concerns emerged of growing inflation and the Government’s Office for Budget Responsibility made forecasts of inflation up to 10% for 2022/23, widely impacting the cost of living for individuals and businesses.


The Council’s continuing strategy was to identify budget savings in year, as part of the monitoring process and at year end. Any savings were then transferred to the General Fund Reserve balance for use in future years. As a result consideration had been given to allocating specific funds to support the community and provide contingency for known and estimated inflationary increases to the Council. Appendix 2 of the report showed more detail.


The Outturn included additional transfers of £2,808,850 to earmarked reserves for continued operations in 2022/2023. The General Fund Reserve was increased to £8,983,760 at the start of 2022/2023 following the contribution from 2021/2022 surplus of £287,745.


The Assistant Director responded to questions as follows:

·         on the simplification of the report, to which she confirmed that the points made previously had been taken on board and changes were being made for later reports.

·         The points made on the transfers to balances at the year end which were considered prudent to carry thing forward with the developing pressures on finances, and in the Financial Plan looking forward in the year 2025/26 the General Fund would have to be used to balance the budget to assist in the prevention of cutting services.  The earmarked reserves were set aside for specific funds.

·         A question was raised on the reduced car parking income to which it was confirmed that the levels were due to covid and the recovery time, although they were improving now.

·         The new burdens fund had provided funding for the town centre initiatives during covid.

·         The detail of the overspend of £36,000 on the Norfolk High Street Fund would be looked into and members informed.

·         That the gap funding for future years was set out in the Financial Plan each year.


The Chair reminded the Committee that its role was to review that the process and policies been complied with, for example- have the reserves been handled in the way they should be within the structure, rules and process definitions.  He reminded members that the statutory levels of reserves required were set by CIPFA.


The Committee agreed that it would welcome a paper to give the committee a better understanding of Reserves.  It was confirmed that a paper was being developed for general reserves which would be added as an explanation or could be used for training purposes.  The Committee welcomed the short training sessions for members.


Reference was also made to the large sums of money which were paid to the internal drainage boards with no recompense from the Government which wasn’t considered fair.


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted that the Revenue budget was  being operated in accordance with the overall policies.


2)         That a training session be offered on Reserves.

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