Agenda item

1st Quarter Financial Update & Performance Monitoring Report 2022/23


Councillor Russell, the Lead Member for Leisure and Arts, introduced a report setting out the financial and performance position for the services reporting into the Committee as at 30 June 2022 (Quarter 1).  It was noted that:


·  In terms of the Revenue Budget, significant variances to budgeted income levels had emerged in certain areas during the first quarter of the year.  There was a projected overspend of £370,000 in respect of the Innovation Centre and Lockmeadow against budgets for the year.


·  Business rates were being incurred in respect of empty offices at the Innovation Centre, but new tenants were starting to move in.  Occupancy had been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


·  The Council was still supporting some Food Hall tenants at Lockmeadow through a difficult period of trading.  It was hoped that the position would improve during the Christmas period.


·  Although an overspend was predicted, a balanced budget was projected for the year, but the prospects for 2023/24 were very challenging.


·  There was a projected capital overspend of around £150,000 in relation to the Mote Park Visitor Centre due to contractual delays and delays in putting in services (water and electricity etc.).  This was partly offset by an underspend on the Mote Park Lake dam works.


·  Performance indicators showed that footfall in the town centre and unemployment rates were still failing to achieve targets, but the situation was gradually improving.


In response to questions, the Officers explained that:


·  With regard to the Mote Park Visitor Centre, practical completion of the building was expected in either late October 2022 or early November 2022.  The Visitor Centre was being constructed as a “shell and core” in readiness for the business operator who would fit out the kitchen etc.  It was anticipated that the facility would open to the public early in the New Year depending upon when these works were completed.  The estate services’ building, office facilities and public toilets would be ready at the end of October/early November 2022.


·  There were underspends in other areas of the Council which offset the projected overspend by this Committee.  If that position changed it would be necessary to look at other measures to bring the budget back into balance.  Additional provision of £1.3m had been made within the 2022/23 budget for the expected impact of higher inflation on the Council’s input costs and some service areas were performing better than budget.  The position would be monitored closely and, if, at any stage, it appeared that an overspend was likely, measures would need to be taken to prevent that happening.


·  In terms of trends in house prices, since the figures from the Office for National Statistics were usually three to four months out of line, the figures in the report did not align directly with Quarter 1.  However, no long-term change in trends had been identified yet; this would start to be seen throughout the year.  A graph with prices could be included in future showing the position over the last twelve months to enable comparisons to be made.


During the discussion, Members indicated that it would be useful for the Policy Advisory Committees to receive informal briefings on the preparation of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy in November 2022 and the detailed budget proposals in January 2023.




1.  That the Revenue position as at the end of Quarter 1 for 2022/23, including the actions being taken or proposed to improve the position, where significant variances have been identified, be noted.


2.  That the Capital position at the end of Quarter 1 be noted.


3.  That the Performance position as at Quarter 1 for 2022/23, including the actions being taken or proposed to improve the position, where significant issues have been identified, be noted.


Note:  Councillor Hastie entered the meeting at the start of this item (6.40 p.m.).  She said that she had no disclosures of interest or of lobbying.


Supporting documents: