Agenda item

Cobtree Manor Estate Financial Position


The Senior Finance Manager (Client) introduced his report summarising the financial position of the Cobtree Manor Estate as at 31 December 2020.  The report covered the Golf Course, Kent Life, the Manor Park and residential properties.  The report also included details of the proposed budgets for 2021/22.


Financial Position


The Senior Finance Manager (Client) advised the Committee that:


·  The figures set out in the summary totals included the value of invoices sent to the contractors providing services at the Estate, less the agreed contract reliefs.  It was assumed that these invoices would be paid, but ongoing issues relating to the closures due to COVID-19 meant that some invoices remained unpaid.  Discussions with the contractors to resolve these issues were ongoing and, in the meantime, the Officers were continuing to monitor the financial position to ensure that there were sufficient resources in place to meet ongoing commitments and restricting expenditure where possible to essential items only.


·  Other than the contract situation, there were no other significant issues with the budget.  Car park income had continued to recover strongly and was now exceeding the original target.  The year-end forecast showed an operational surplus of £29,000.  After taking into account investment income and the car park loan repayment, there was a break-even position compared to the projected deficit of £11,000, assuming payment of all outstanding invoices.


·  The value of the Charity’s investment in Charifund had recovered strongly and currently stood at £769,426, compared to the value of £679,274 in September 2020.  However, this was still considerably lower than the value of £930,938 in January 2020.  Further updates would be provided at future meetings of the Committee.


Budgets 2021/22


The Senior Finance Manager (Client) advised the Committee that:


·  The general approach to setting the budgets for 2021/22 was to increase running costs by the rate of inflation where applicable; increase contract income in line with the agreed schedules although this could be subject to change depending on the outcome of the discussions with the contractors; update insurance costs in line with estimated premium increases; and update recharges from the Borough Council following a review of the services provided.


·  The budgets reflected the new management arrangements for the Cobtree Manor Park which would come into effect from 1 April 2021.


·  The electronic gates had now been fitted which meant that the security budget was no longer required.  A small amount had been retained to cover maintenance costs, but the remainder had been transferred with some other savings to establish a one-off COVID Recovery Fund to provide for any COVID related costs that might be incurred that had not otherwise been budgeted for.


·  The repairs and maintenance budgets in the Park had been reviewed and adjusted and renamed as hard landscaping.  It also included the equipment purchase and maintenance budgets.


·  In overall terms, the projected surplus from operational activities for 2021/22 was £79,000 compared to the budgeted surplus of £14,000 for 2020/21.  After allowing for investment income and the repayment of the car park construction costs the overall net surplus reduced to £50,000.  However, this was subject to the contract situation being resolved and could change.


In response to questions, the Senior Finance Manager (Client) explained that in terms of Recharges, the draft charge for services provided by Parks and Leisure reflected the increase in time spent on matters relating to the Cobtree Manor Estate.


The Committee thanked the Senior Finance Manager (Client) and his team for their work in managing the accounts and also acknowledged the work of the Leisure Manager and the Cobtree Park Manager in containing expenditure.




1.  That the financial position of the Cobtree Manor Estate as at 31 December 2020 be noted.


2.  That the proposed budgets for 2021/22, as set out in the report of the Senior Finance Manager (Client), be approved.


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