To report on the Medium Term Financial
Strategy (MTFS) financial position as at 31 March 2021
incorporating the revenue, capital, reserves and Covid-19 final
The Cabinet was provided with a report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) financial position as at 31 March 2021 incorporating the revenue, capital, reserves and Covid-19 final outturns.
The report before Members set out the 2020/21 year end out-turn financial position for the Council, by Cabinet Portfolio, within the context of the latest MTFS for 2021/22 to 2023/24, and provided an update on how any risks which were highlighted as part of the MTFS would continue to be managed into the new financial year.
The draft Statement of Accounts was due to be reviewed by the Audit Committee and presented to the Governance Committee for approval on 26 and 28 July 2021 respectively, in line with the planned inspection of the accounts by the Council’s external auditors which had already commenced. The final Statement of Accounts was planned to be reviewed by the Audit Committee and approved by Governance Committees in September alongside the Audit Findings Report which would be presented by the Council’s external auditors Grant Thornton.
With regard to the General Fund Revenue Position for 2020/21 appendices A to G to the report set out the final position for 2020/21 for revenue, capital, the reserves position, Covid-19, MTFS Savings, budget virements, reserve contribution requests, carry forward requests, and included explanations of key variances. Subject to the approval of the reserve contributions and carry forward requests detailed in Table 3 of Appendix A, the Council was (£105,000) ahead of the overall financial position reported in the latest MTFS for 2021/22 to 2023/24. The report detailed how each Cabinet Portfolio’s 2020/21 financial out-turn position impacted on their latest MTFS position.
The report also provided further detail in relation to the following items which the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive took Members through:
· Dedicated Schools Grant (paragraph 3.30)
· Core Council Revenue Covid-19 financial impact 2021/21-forecast outturn position (paragraph 3.33)
· Other Covid-19 related government funding (paragraph 3.48)
· Reserves Positions (paragraph 3.57)
· Business Rates and Council Tax positions 2020/21 (paragraph 3.69)
· 2020/21 Capital outturn position (paragraph 3.75)
· Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) RAG status of savings 2020/21 to 2022/23 (paragraph 3.79)
On receiving the report Members made a number of comments which in summary included the following points:
Ø In relation £99m received in Government Covid grants to support business, Council tax payers and lost income, Members recognised the excellent work done by Officers to ensure these grant monies were distributed as effectively as possible to where they were needed;
Ø The healthy position of the MTFS savings position was noted, but it was recognised how it became more difficult to achieve savings; and
Ø The Cabinet Member for Resources also provided an update on how some additional discretionary grants had been distributed in recent months.
(i) That the 2020/21 final position on the General Fund Revenue Accounts, as summarised in section 3 of the report and detailed in Appendices A to G, including endorsing the budget virements for the final quarter which were detailed at Appendix G and approving the creation of the specific reserves and the future year commitments detailed in Appendix A, Table 3 be approved;
(ii) That the £101,000 contribution to reserves within the Children, Education and Skills portfolio as outlined in paragraph 3.13 of the report be approved;
(iii) That the creation of a new reserve in the Stronger and Safer Communities portfolio and the £45,000 contribution as outlined in paragraph 3.26 of the report be approved;
(iv) That the £18,000 contribution to Apprenticeship Levy reserves within the Resources portfolio as outlined in paragraph 3.28 of the report be approved;
(v) That the Covid-19 forecast position across 2020/21 to 2023/24 as detailed in Appendices B and C and outlined in paragraphs 3.33 to 3.56 of the report be noted;
(vi) That the significant increase in children’s placement costs towards the end of 2020/21, as outlined in section 3.41 of the report and the consequences for this and future year updated budget forecasts be noted;
(vii) That the contribution of the uncommitted balance of Covid emergency funding and the Local Tax Income Guarantee grant to the Covid-19 reserve, as outlined in paragraphs 3.49 and 3.50 of the report be noted;
(viii) That the creation of a Contain Outbreak Management reserve and the contribution of £330,000 to that reserve as outlined in paragraph 3.54 of the report be approved;
(ix) That the £56,000 contribution to Education ICT reserves within the Resources portfolio as outlined in paragraphs 3.64 of the report be approved;
(x) That a contribution of £106,000 to a new reserve within the Resources portfolio as outlined in paragraph 3.65 of the report be approved;
(xi) That the contribution of any 2021/22 favourable variance to the existing Homelessness Reserves in the Stronger and Safer Communities portfolio per paragraph 3.68 of the report be approved;
(xii) That the funding allocations from the 2020/21 Business Rates windfall, as outlined at paragraphs 3.71 to 3.73 of the report, including the contribution of the balance of £5.506 million to the new business rates volatility reserve be approved;
(xiii) That the 2020/21 final position on the Capital Accounts and re-phasing proposals outlined in paragraphs 3.75 to 3.76 of the report and summarised in Appendix A, Table 4 with the re-phasing reasons detailed in Appendix E be approved;
(xiv) That bringing forward 2021/22 capital contingency funding for the Yorkswood North Solihull regeneration scheme per paragraph 3.78 of the report be approved; and
(xv) That the continuation of the Budget Strategy Group for the forthcoming year for the 2022/23 Budget Framework and MTFS for 2022/23 to 2024/25 as detailed in paragraph 3.82 of the report be endorsed.