A report by Suzanne Rolfe, Insights and Transformation Manager
1. To note the quarterly monitoring information for Q3 2021/22
2. F1: That Cabinet notes the forecast revenue position for 2021/22 as detailed in Table 1 after the proposed use of reserves
3. F2: That Cabinet approves the following reserves movements contained within table 2: -
I. That the Transformation Reserve is utilised to support contracts cost in 2021/22 as the PSPS contract value varies in between financial years where initial investment to improve services is required in the first 2 years of the contract, with a drawdown of £256,000 supporting this investment.
II. That the Capital Reserve is utilised to fund the Cremator Flue Replacement Capital Scheme at a cost of £60,000
4. F3: That Cabinet notes the following reserve movement and recommends approval to Council: -
I. That £729,000 of the COVID Budget Pressures Smoothing reserve is used to offset income pressures being experienced during the year, these relate to Car Parking, Leisure, Markets and Investment Returns.
II. Cabinet notes that the use of reserves will be reviewed again as part of the Q4 process and consideration given to any further adjustments required.
F4: That Cabinet approves the Cremator Flue Replacement Scheme at a cost of £60,000 be added to the Capital Programme
Portfolio Holders and Officer
REASON FOR DECISION
Councillor Jonathon Noble portfolio holder for Finance presented the report and advised In total there are 22 KPIs for Boston Borough Council. 11 are on or better than target, 1 is within tolerance, 8 are worse than target and 1 is not available. One measure is an annual measure so not yet due for reporting.
Performance on or better than target or within tolerance included the percentage of commercial rent received against agreed budget, number of properties improved through Council intervention, Percentage of cases opened at homelessness prevention stage (i.e. before they have become homeless), Percentage of homelessness cases that were opened at homelessness prevention stage that resulted in the customer not becoming homeless, number of families with children placed into B&B for more than 6 calendar weeks and time to process Council Tax Support new claims and time to process Housing Benefits new claims.
Performance worse than target in Q3 included the percentage of car parking income received against agreed budget - 85.51% against a target of 100%; car parking income remains below base line forecast level because of the impact of Covid-19, the number of verified rough sleepers – aspirational target of 0; the team managed to reduce the number of rough sleepers down to 2. One of these had recently been evicted from accommodation provided by the Council and the other is refusing to engage with the service, the percentage of Alliance workforce who said 'yes' when asked if they felt valued at work – 72% against a target of 84%, the percentage of ‘other’ planning applications determined within 8 weeks – 70% against a target of 75%; however, performance against the national government measure including time extensions was 89% against a target of 70% and the percentage of food premises inspections completed against the Food Standards Agency annual inspection plan – 93.51% against a target of 100%; COVID work has increased during this quarter owing to the introduction of plan B legislation by central government and the reactivation of the county emergency plan. Additional work has also been undertaken to ensure Boston’s Fishing fleet is compliant with new export requirements.
Project updates included, a joint project management framework was in place across Boston and East Lindsey Councils, including monthly reporting to SLT and quarterly reporting to Boston’s Cabinet and Scrutiny and East Lindsey’s Executive Board and Overview Committee. The Q3 update report is attached at Appendix B. 2 projects completed in Q3 – community testing and vaccination site support and the Housing IT system and 2 projects that would not be taken forward – the shop front and ‘pop up’ shop recovery projects.
Referencing risk management the portfolio holder advised that a strategic risk register is being drafted with Audit & Governance Committee with the workshop taking place on 18th March.
Finance reporting included notification that the revenue forecast showed a deficit position of £299k. Confirmation that the report proposed the use of the COVID reserve to offset income reductions of £729k and the use of the Transformation Reserve to smooth contract costs of £256k and the specific and general reserves of the Council are forecast to be £17.350m at 31 March 2022. The Capital spend at the end of Quarter 3 was £1.433m against a full year budget of £5.593m
OTHER OPTIONS OR ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED
Alternative reporting arrangements
RECORD OF ANY CONFLICT OF INTEREST
RECORD OF ANY DISPENSATION GRANTED