Financial Performance Report 2022/23 Quarter 3
- Meeting of Finance and Management Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 1st February, 2023 2.00 pm (Item 40.)
To provide details of the Council’s Financial Performance at
the end of Quarter 3, 2022/23.
That the Quarter 3, 2022/23 Financial Performance be noted.
The Chair announced that the Financial Performance Report 2022/23 Quarter 3 would be considered first followed by 2022/24 Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy.
The Chief Finance Officer Elizabeth Griffiths introduced the Finance Performance Report for Quarter 3 2022/23. The results this year showed inflationary increases that are reflected in the budget next year.
The points raised were;
- Challenges faced by residents – cost of living, food, inflation and energy prices un-expectantly going up.
- Challenges faced by businesses – running costs including energy, fuel and inflation un-expectantly going up.
- Inflationary pressures that are built into the budget next year are being experienced this year.
- 2023/24 budget next year have increased expectations due to challenges in the year ahead.
- Staffing and departmental pressures due to loss of funding previously received from grants given over the Covid period.
- Unbudgeted items such as additional costs to cover member allowances, £20,000 on Council Tax leaflet and additional staffing costs in Democratic Services.
The Chair invited comments and questions from the committee.
The Councillors queried car parking and loss of income. The Chief Finance Officer explained that the revenue is based on fines. The car parking team had been reduced to 3 members of staff who focused on both on-street car parking and off-street. The County Council are due to take on-street back and the team can focus on off-street parking. There will be a review of Car Parking which is on the Executive Work Programme with a report to come back with recommendations.
A discussion took place regarding the use of forecasting when looking at the budget. The Chief Finance officer explained that factors such as unexpected pressures for example the cost of living crisis, inflationary pressures and rise of fuel costs had driven up the budget, which were shown in the current year’s figures. The Councillors had concerns that there had not been a forecast. The Chief Finance Officer explained the budget was the focus and where needed individual areas had variances to budget that could be addressed, this was raised and discussed but due to limited resources in staffing, work had to be prioritised.
The Councillors asked for a point of note and thanked the team for the table on page 12 and asked for percentage variances to be included going forward.
The Chief Finance Officer explained that the Finance team worked with each Service area to get the best estimate of every individual line in coming year’s budget and every factor was considered. Amendments were made through December and January resulting in almost weekly budget updates ahead of the final draft to Council in February.
The Committee discussed the following points;
- Review of Building Control and targets. – demand for services were low due to market share and the Council are in competition with the private sector.
- Agile working – costs incurred but this is an investment to generate a new revenue stream. Offices in Elmfield are being freed up for outside rental to generate income.
- There were some questions around inflation expectations and how this will affect staff and salaries they are as not RPI linked.
- Investment properties – we have an annual review of performance and expect an increase in this area in 2023/24. This is an item on the Work Programme.
- New Initiatives Programme –this is a one off not annually funded, unspent funds will roll over and there is still scope to use funds for up-coming projects.
- Request to publish Aged Debt figures going forward. This was agreed.
- Waste contract - trade waste and revenue, the Committee asked for report on Waste Service Review on the Executive Work Programme to be added to the Committee Work Programme for the next FMOS Meeting.
- Questions around the issue of premises registered as businesses such as holiday rentals who are still having their waste collected for free as if they were a Council Tax paying home.
The Councillors commended the Chief Finance Officer and her team for all their hard work particularly in difficult times with additional factors and economic pressures that have occurred without prior warning. The Chief Finance Officer acknowledged her thanks to her team and highlighted again the pressures facing the team in the coming months and year.
The Committee Resolved to
1. Note the Finance Performance Report 2022/23 Quarter 3 and it’s comments.