Decision details

Financial Management 2019/20

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To provide Members with the latest financial monitoring information for the year relating to: the revenue budget, capital programme and income collection.


Key Decision identified as Financial Management 2019/20 in the Notice of Key Decisions published on 12 June 2019.


Reserved for Council.


Councillor L D Carter, Cabinet Member for Finance, Commercial Services and the Economy presented the report of the Assistant Director: Finance & Human Resources, Chief Finance Officer.


Cabinet Members noted that the net outturn position for 2019/20 was currently projected to be within budget at year end after applying funding from the Council’s contingency.  The centrally held contingency was available to meet funding pressures and any unforeseen costs with any balance remaining at year-end used to support the medium term service and financial planning strategy in future years.  The current projection was that £3.6m of the contingency would still be available at year-end.


This was a positive position as £6.1m savings were required to balance the 2019/20 budget although significant pressures were being experienced in a number of service areas.  The aim was to reduce the impact of those pressures and improve the overall position further during the remainder of the year.


Adult Social Care was currently projected to be £0.492m (or 1.2%) over budget and close monitoring and active budget management would continue throughout the year.  Children’s Safeguarding & Family Support continued to be a key area of focus and was currently projecting to be £1.598m (5.2%) over budget.  A cost improvement plan was in place which was actively monitored on a regular basis by senior managers and Cabinet Members. 


There were a number of variations from the approved budget, including some beneficial variances as set out in the report.  


The funding outlook for the medium term was still very uncertain with significant changes to the local government finance system due to be implemented from April 2020 but very little information available about what impact these changes would have on the Council.  However, using the limited information available, it was currently anticipated that the Council would need to identify around £25m further savings over the next 2 years (2020/21 – 2021/22)  on top of the £123m already delivered to the end of 2019/20.


A four-year programme to invest in, protect and care for the Borough was approved at Cabinet on 30 May 2019.  That report identified the Council’s strategic focus through to 2023 and a number of key investments were now put forward for approval which enabled delivery of the commitments made to the Community.  Details were set out in section 5.2 of the report.


The Capital programme totalled £70.18m which included all approvals since he budget was set. Projected spend was 92.25% of the budget allocation.  There were a number of new allocations and slippage which required approval and these were listed in Appendix 3 to the report.


The Income monitoring position was noted; income collection in relation to NNDR was ahead of target, while collection for Council Tax and Sales Ledger were slightly behind the target.  Total cash collected was over £3.5m greater than at the same point in the previous year.


Councillor Carter commended the efforts of the Chief Financial Officer and all Council teams delivering services to the people of Telford & Wrekin.  A number of Cabinet Members expressed concern over the uncertainties outlined in the report.




(a)       that it be noted that 2019/20 revenue spending is currently projected to be within budget and work will continue with SMT to sustain this position; and the use of the contingency detailed in section 5 of the report be approved;


(b)       to RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the investments listed in Section 5.2 of the report be approved and the Medium Term Financial Strategy is updated to reflect these;


(c)       the position in relation to capital spend be noted and to RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the changes to the capital programme detailed in Appendix 3 of the report be approved;.and


(d)       the collection rates for NNDR, council tax and sales ledger be noted.

Report author: Ken Clarke

Publication date: 24/07/2019

Date of decision: 11/07/2019

Decided at meeting: 11/07/2019 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: