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3rd Quarter Revenue & Capital Budget Monitoring Report

Meeting: 27/03/2019 - Policy and Resources Committee (Item 195)

195 3rd Quarter Revenue & Capital Budget Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 62 KB

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Mr Mark Green, Director of Finance and Business Improvement, presented the item by first introducing Chris Hartgrove, Interim Head of Finance to the Committee.  Mr Green corrected the tables on p31 of the report by highlighting that whilst the net result was the same in all the tables the totals in the individual tables were not consistent.  The overall figures in the bottom two tables were the correct ones.  Crucially they showed a balanced budget for the year.


The officer drew the Committee’s attention to Development Control spending on staffing and informed the Committee that whilst it did not present a good picture in Quarter 3 this spend had been targeted at reducing the backlog of applications which had now been addressed.  The positive position in housing from previously significantly overspending to now within budget had been achieved through the approach of investing in, and housing people in, our properties.


Mr Green highlighted that the Capital programme, which was significantly underspent in the report for Quarter 3, was due to make up significant ground in Quarter 4 due to capital expenditure on Lenworth House, Union Street and Brunswick Street.  The Maidstone Property Holdings (MPH) element of the report was being presented to the Committee as part of the proper governance of the company.


The Committee praised the report, and requested an update on Planning Enforcement staffing and the usage of agency staffing in Planning.  Mr Cornall responded that there was a framework of planning consultancies in place to provide temporary resource for dealing with applications ensuring value for money and recruitment and retention was a key area of focus for planning.  An emailed response would be provided on Enforcement staffing.


In response to a question regarding the vacant youth apprenticeship posts Mr Green agreed to respond separately on the details of plans to fill the posts.


Comparisons were drawn between the operation and VAT requirements for MPH and Cobtree and whether VAT was an issue for MPH.  Mr Green responded that they were fundamentally different entities and would provide detail outside of the meeting, but VAT was not a concern.


In response to questioning Mr Cornall provided an update on the Mote Park improvements and the adventure zone.  The delivery of the adventure zone had been delayed until May due to difficulties with the groundworks, however other elements of the improvements would be opening sooner.


The Committee questioned why there were charges for refuse collection at the market and why there had been delays in the leisure centre profit share being paid to the Council.  Mr Green responded that the market was treated as a commercial customer for the waste service but it was an internal charge.  With regard to the leisure centre profits Mr Green informed the Committee that improved arrangements had been put in place for monitoring the arrangement such that the 2016 and 2017 payments had now come through and the 2018 payment could be expected more quickly.  It was also stated that this issue was unrelated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 195