The Head of Library Services presented a report, the purpose of which was to update Members on the expenditure for Teesside Archives up to 31st December 2012, the projected outturn to 31st March 2013 and the proposed revenue budget for 2013-2014.
Appendix 1 to the report showed the revenue expenditure to the 31 December 2012. The committee was advised that due to a vacancy within the service, which had now been filled, there would be an under-spend on the staffing budget. Any amendments to the final outturn would be reflected in the final Q4 invoices and be reported to each authority.
Appendix 2 outlined the projected budget for 2013-2014. Due, primarily to increases in custodial premises costs, plus an anticipated 1% increase in staff salaries and a slight assumption for inflation, an increase of 2.4% (£4919) was recommended. The percentage increase would be shared across all four local authorities.
Members expressed a view that due to the current financial situation within local government and the cuts being made by each authority, the proposed budget should have been set with zero increase. Although only a small increase was suggested the decision being put to Members was late in the budget planning cycle and the suggestion was made that for the future, a business case should be brought to the attention of Members and officers for all authorities at an earlier stage in the planning process.
Officers explained that the largest part of the increase related to property costs which were largely outside of the control of the authorities, although discussions were presenting taking place around the future of custodial properties. Officers also outlined the difficulty in presenting information earlier and advised that year on year decreases over last two years had been made. Budget projections only could be made at an earlier stage. The suggestion was also made that authorities may wish to consider absorbing the increase through use of the expected rebate, although that would be a matter for each authority to consider separately.
Members agreed to keep the same date for the meeting next year, but requested that papers were circulated two weeks in advance of the meeting, and that Lead Officers meet regularly to discuss operational issues.
ORDERED as follows:
1. That the expenditure on the budget to 31 December 2012 and projected final outturn be noted.
2. That the proposed budget for 2013-2014 be approved, with Councils using their rebate for the current year to absorb the increase if required, and that a full review of the budget be undertaken for 2014-2015.
The recommendations were supported by the following reason:
To enable the budget for 2013-2014 to be set.