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Agenda item

1st Quarter Finance Update & Performance Monitoring Report 2023/24


The Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Arts introduced the report and stated that:


·  There was a £46,000 revenue overspend for quarter one, which was expected to reach £60,000 by the end of the financial year. The overspend had arisen mainly from the Council absorbing the increased services charges to the tenants at Love Food Lockmeadow, which had been higher than expected;


·  The Council had a net overspend of just over £300,000 for the financial year, and that an overspend of £800,000 was being offset by underspends elsewhere in the budget. Any underspends would be monitored to identify possible further savings;


·  Capital expenditure had been minimal, with the improvement works at Mote Park Leisure Centre likely to take place mainly in the next financial year;


·  The only key performance indicator that had not achieved its target was ‘Footfall at the Museum’, with it hoped that greater performance would be achieved across quarter two, as this included the holiday period. The Museum was developing a proactive marketing strategy to increase visitor numbers.


In response to questions, the Director of Finance, Resources and Business Improvement stated that the £60,000 overspend at Love Food Lockmeadow was small in comparison to the £1.5 million in income generated by Lockmeadow. The £23,000 overspend at Mote Park Leisure Centre was mostly due to utilities, with the Council contractually obliged to absorb any increase in utilities above the retail price index (RPI); a further overspend was a risk, but this had not been projected into the budget as additional utility cost increases could be less than the RPI. It was stated that the River Walk project was shown for the end of the financial year, as feasibility works had been conducted but external funding would be required to support its delivery. The project would be linked to the Town Centre Strategy.


In response to concerns on the provision of lighting, the Cabinet Member stated that there was a specific lighting project that had been developed by external consultants as part of the Town Centre Strategy. The Insight, Communities and Governance Manager confirmed that the project would need to be delivered by March 2025, following the receipt of the third and last year of UK Shared Prosperity Fund money in April 2024. The project team had been formed and was due to have its first meeting later in the week, to support the quick progression of the design and commissioning works.


The Committee noted the quarter one update provided. 


RESOLVED: That the following be noted


1.  The Revenue position as at the end of Quarter 1 for 2023/24, including the actions being taken or proposed to improve the position, where significant variances had been identified;


2.  The Capital position at the end of Quarter 1 for 2023/24;


3.  The Performance position as at the end of Quarter 1 for 2023/24, including the actions being taken or proposed to improve the position, where significant issues have been identified;


4.  The Recovery and Renewal Update, attached at Appendix 3 to the report; and


5.  The UK Shared Prosperity Fund update, attached at Appendix 3 to the report.

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