The Board considered a report by the Chief Finance Officer concerning the first review of the projected revenue outturn for 2015/2016.
The Accounting Service Manager (Strategic Resources) highlighted that overspend was predicted to be 1% of the total budget. He took Members through the report pointing out any significant under/overspends against each outcome area.
Members commented as follows:-
Under Outcome 1, Economic Development: Hemlington Grange - what was the latest position? The Accounting Service Manager said he would ascertain this and advise Members.
Under Outcome 5, Safeguarding and Childrens Care: Independent Fostering Agency Placements Budget - Was the pressure due to a reluctance to use in-house services? The Accounting Service Manager said this was part of the reason and he would advise Members of the exact detail.
Under Outcome 7, Commercial and Corporate Services: Extended Kerbside Recycling Contract with Biffa - The Board had understood that this would result in a saving, yet it is shown as a pressure - which was correct? The Accounting Services Manager understood that, going forward, there would be a saving, but there was not currently, as the existing contract continued. He would send a response on this to Members.
Under Outcome 7 Environment, Property and Corporate Services: Ayresome Industries - There were wider benefits to the local economy from the employment provided.
Under Outcome 7, Commercial and Corporate Services: Ayresome Industries - This could be run more effectively - they should concentrate on the excellent brushes that they produce.
Under Outcome 7, Commercial and Corporate Services: Leisure Services: Why were some staff in post in post from April when the Sports Village did not open until May? Had we paid staff for doing nothing? The Accounting Services Manager said that the staff were involved in preparations for the opening, but he would find out the latest position and report back to Members.
Under Outcome 7, Commercial and Corporate Services: When were the charges for the Municipal Golf Course last considered? They should be looked at again, given budget pressures? A Member who had previously been involved with this, said that the view had been taken to keep fees at a level that would maintain/increase numbers.
Under Outcome 9, Organisation and Governance: If the IT Service, which had recently returned to the Council was outsourced, would this save money? The Accounting Services Manager said that no decision had been taken about outsourcing and that the next steps were being considered.
Under Outcome 9, Organisation and Governance: Chief Executive and Executive Directors Budget - Did this include Assistant Directors? The Accounting Services Manager confirmed that Assistant Directors were not included in this budget.
The Chair asked about the recent announcement that Councils would be able to retain business rates within their area. The Accounting Service Manager said that this was not necessarily as positive as it sounded as the Council could gain in some respects and lose in others. The precise implications of this were being worked out by officers.
a) That the projected pressure against the 2015/2016 revenue budget of £1.142 million be noted.
b) That the approved virements, as detailed at Appendix C to the report, be noted.
c) That officers provide information to the Board on the queries raised.