To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy enclosed)
Cabinet considered a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) which wasthe final Budget Monitoring Report to Cabinet for 2018/19 and set out the Council’s provisional year end results (provisional outturn).
The Cabinet Member for Finance reminded members that the
figures in the report were termed ‘provisional’ as they were subject to external audit by Grant Thornton. The Audit had commenced, and the Council had published its statutory draft Accounts last Friday in accordance with requirements. The Auditor would report to the Audit Committee at their meeting on 26 July.
Cabinet was aware of the context in which the 2018/19 budget had been delivered with this being the ninth financial year of significant funding reductions from central government.
Against this context, the key message for Cabinet was that the County Council had achieved a break even position. This was in relation to a net budget of £390million and a gross expenditure of around £540million. Given the demand pressures upon services, in particular, Children Looked After, which had been reported during the year, and by councils elsewhere in the country, this year end position was an achievement.
Cabinet asked that their thanks be recorded to all staff, especially those in the Finance Team, who had helped Cumbria County Council deliver a balanced budget this year. This was a tremendous achievement.
Cabinet was aware that the General Fund Balance target was increased from £10m to £15m to reflect the uncertainties of funding in the medium term and demand and cost pressures for services, particularly those of social care to the most vulnerable.
General Fund balances would allow the Council to manage financial risk in year, those extraordinary variations or unforeseen events, such as emergencies brought about by flooding.
The County Council would have to continue with its clear commitment in the Council Plan to secure financial sustainability in the medium term by continuing to transform services by being enterprising and efficient, continuing with digital transformation, working together with partners and communities, and focusing on prevention and early intervention.
The other key message in the report related to the Capital Programme, where Cumbria County Council had delivered a capital programme of £133million.
Cabinet was being asked to consider a re-profiling of approximately £13m of Capital expenditure originally planned for this year to future years, and this would then need approval from Council.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet
(1) Note the Revenue Budget at the provisional outturn for monitoring purposes of £389.814m as a result of the transfers from the Inflation and Contingency budget and agreed transfers from reserves (set out in Appendix 1).
(2) Note the provisional outturn Revenue Budget year end position of a balanced budget.
(3) Note progress in delivering the new savings for 2018/19 of £38.829m; a total of £35.587m (91.7%) of these 2018/19 savings were delivered by 31st March 2019.
(4) Note the General Reserve balance at 31st March 2019 of (£15.056m). This achieves the ambition set by Council in February 2019.
(5) Approve the addition of £1.880m ... view the full minutes text for item 15