Agenda item

2021/22 Provisional Revenue and Capital Outturn

The Lead Member for Resources, Mr L. Breckon CC, has been invited to attend for this item and items 11 and 12 below.



The Commission considered a report of the Director of Corporate Resources which set out the provisional revenue and capital outturn for 2021/22.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda item 10’ is filed with these minutes.


The Chairman welcomed Mr L. Breckon CC, Lead Member for Resources, who attended for this item.


Arising from discussion the following points were made:


(i)              Members raised concerns regarding the expected increased shortfall in the budget by 2025/26 and questioned if there was any realistic chance of fair funding coming to fruition to ease the pressures faced.  Members agreed this was not a situation of its making and many councils were suffering as a result.  Members were disappointed to hear that the fundamental government review of fair funding which the Council had pursued for some years was unlikely to happen.  Though a consultation on funding was expected to take place this summer, this was not expected to result in any meaningful changes that would benefit the Council.

(ii)             A member questioned whether there was anything the Council could do to improve the speed with which it adopted new roads.  The member suggested that promoters that funded large schemes would benefit from greater certainty on this issue, providing assurance that might encourage them to deliver the infrastructure required.   

(iii)           It was suggested that a review of underperforming assets with a view to disposal to help address the increased gap might be beneficial.  A member commented that some assets, such as Beaumanor Hall, were particularly costly and whilst the disposal of such an asset would not be the preferred approach, the financial circumstance might require this.  The Lead Member for Resources responded to confirm that the Council’s asset register was being regularly reviewed and action taken in respect of those considered to be consistently underperforming.  Beaumanor Hall would be considered as part of that ongoing process.  Members recognised that the Council might be required to consider sale and savings options which might be unpalatable given the financial pressures it faced.

(iv)           Members questioned the change in expectations regarding rising inflation, noting the forecast in February when the MTFS had been agreed was that this would be a short term issue.  The Director explained that this had aligned with the then prediction of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Commentary early in the year predicted inflation would spike and then fall rapidly to the Bank Of England target.  However, since then the forecast had changed to suggest inflation would spike much higher and stay higher for longer, the key impact being the war in the Ukraine.  Members commented that this was making an already challenging situation more difficult and again expressed disappointment at the lack of progress with fair funding which would help alleviate such issues.  A member commented that it was also unfortunate that the Council did not secure a level three County Deal which also might have helped address future funding pressures.

(v)            In response to questions raised, Members noted that another factor affecting the increased budget gap would be the possible increase in the national living wage from £10.50 to £11.50; a 10% increase on a budget of £200m equating to an extra £20m staff cost to the Council.  It was recognised that such factors were outside the Council’s control.


(vi)           Members raised concerns about the additional pressure inflation was putting on the capital programme and noted that the Council, whilst mindful of its statutory duties to provide road and school infrastructure, would be more heavily reliant on adequate developer funding being secured when planning permission was granted by local planning authorities.

(vii)         Members noted that a hybrid approach was currently being adopted regarding the building of new schools.  For large developments with a single developer this was best undertaken by the developer themselves.  They were incentivised to provide schools on a timely basis for the benefit of schemes overall.  However, for a collection of smaller developments or where there were multiple developers on site, such an approach could be problematic.  In such circumstances the Council often needed to build the required school or make provision for additional places on existing sites, but it was noted that there was often a shortfall in developer funding to cover the cost of this approach.  The Council was therefore seeking to put the onus on developers to provide, or to collaborate better with the Council to provide, schools/school places to ensure a more joined up and financially viable approach.  Members noted that Government Planning reforms were still awaited which might affect the future approach taken.

(viii)        A Member raised concerns about the slippage in costs for capital schemes and queried what impact this had on the Council’s revenue costs in terms of officer time spent etc.  The Director confirmed that such costs had been assessed and found, at that time, not to be significant.  However, the position was becoming more difficult, due to much higher construction inflation, and further mitigation was being considered, hence the proposal to allow funds to be invested in bank risk sharing schemes, as set out in another report to be considered by the Commission later on the agenda. 

(ix)           Proposed capital works at Romulus Court were queried given the Council was seeking to vacate a number of locality based sites.  Members noted that the term of the lease on this particular premises did not expire for some time and in any event, vacating the site would be costly, though the position was constantly being reviewed as appropriate.

(x)            A Member urged the Lead Member for Resources to consider the proceeds of any sale of the current records office being used to fund the new proposed relocation of the archive, collections and learning hub to the County Hall site.




That the provisional Revenue and Capital Outturn for 2021/22 be noted.


Supporting documents: