Integrated Performance Report Q2
- Meeting of Finance and Performance Panel (Panel of the Scrutiny Committee), Wednesday 7 December 2022 6.00 pm (Item 5.)
The Integrated Performance Report Q2 will be considered by Cabinet on 14 December 2022. The Head of Financial Services will attend to present the report and answer questions.
The Panel is asked to consider the report and to agree any recommendations it wishes to make to Cabinet.
In the interests of time, the Chair asked that no introduction be given to the report and, instead, the Panel raised questions. The Head of Financial Services, the Management Accountancy Manager, and the Financial Accounting Manager answered those questions.
The Head of Financial Services was fairly confident about the Council’s assumption that the Leisure Management fee would be paid in full, as set out on page 18, given that it was being billed and paid on a monthly basis. He reported that there was some hesitation because utilities bills were not being paid with the same ease.
It was explained that the corporate risk register showed leisure services as red on the corporate risk register but that was do with particular issues, primarily related to staffing and recruitment. This issue was raised regularly with client officers and was causing some operational pressures.
It was advised that the adverse variance relating to court cost income described in the paragraph ‘Financial Services’ on page 19 was compatible with ‘successful arrears recovery’ because the Council took a proactive approach to arrears. Whilst it had budgeted for income being achieved through the courts for non-payment, that was being achieved without the need to go through the cost of going to court.
The Council was not currently compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS). PCIDSS compliance had proved a challenge for many councils but, with the new telephony contract, there was optimism that, from next financial year, it would be easier to achieve.
Slippage on the programme in Housing meant less borrowing on the HRA and that therefore less interest was charged. This was reported as an adverse variance on the revenue account but a favourable one on the capital account.
There was still uncertainty regarding variances with utility cost pressures. It was understood that the Council would not be getting Government support from March. £0.710 million remained the best estimate but had been through several different iterations given the volatility of the market. Looking at forward prices for next year was suggested by the Panel.
The efficiencies section at paragraph 8 showed that the larger savings were on track and the relevant officers were commended for that by the Panel.
‘General Minor Works’ is a large sum because it covers all repairs to Council homes. The Panel noted that, at £1.262 million, it was a large sum which represented 10% of the housing revenue repairs budget.
The slippage of the capital budget appeared to the Panel to be consistently one quarter of the budget and there was discussion as to the merits of planning for a lower capital programme. The Panel suggested that conversation might be had with the Head of Corporate Property about the matter.
The Panel asked for more detail on “Repairs to 2-4 Gloucester Street and 24-26 George Street” and whether a tenant was already arranged.
Dustcarts cost in the region of £200k and it was suggested that the size of the slippage of vehicle purchases might have related to that. The Panel asked for further information on this.
The Panel commended officers for bringing in the Oxpens Car Park with an underspend.
Information was requested about the slippage on Fire doors.
Members of the Panel expressed their view that terrorism ought not to be on the register as a red risk.
The Panel noted its concern about fire doors and commended officers for work on efficiencies but made no recommendations to Cabinet.
Information requested by the Panel:
· The slippage of £2.357 million on vehicle purchases in the General Fund.
· The slippage of £1.838 million on Fire Doors in the HRA.
- Integrated Performance Report Q2, item 5. PDF 767 KB
- Appendix A GF Sept 22, item 5. PDF 720 KB
- Appendix B HRA Sept 22 v2, item 5. PDF 484 KB
- Appendix C Capital Sept 22 v2, item 5. PDF 714 KB
- Appendix D KPI Sept 22 v2, item 5. PDF 494 KB