6 March 2018


Third Quarter Budget Monitoring 2017/18


Final Decision-Maker

Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee

Lead Director

Director of Finance & Business Improvement

Lead Officer and Report Author

Mark Green – Director of Finance & Business Improvement (Lead Officer)


Paul Holland – Senior Finance Manager Client Accountancy (Report Author)



Wards affected



Executive Summary

This report provides the committee with an overview of the revenue and capital budgets and outturn for the third quarter of 2017/18, and highlights financial matters which may have a material impact on the Medium Term Financial Strategy or the Balance Sheet. It also includes an update on the capital programme for this committee.


As at the 31 December 2017, this Committee was showing an overall positive variance of £183,035.  The individual variances for each service area are detailed within Appendix 1.


The position for the Council as a whole at the end of the third quarter shows that there is currently an underspend but that the forecast for the end of the year shows this figure reducing. However there are still a number of underlying pressures across all the Committees that need to be addressed to ensure that this position is sustained to the end of the year.


This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   That the revenue position at the end of the third quarter and 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 the third quarter is noted.






Policy and Resources Committee

14 February 2018

Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee

6 March 2018

Third Quarter Budget Monitoring 2017/18




1.1     The Director of Finance & Business Improvement is the Responsible Financial Officer, and has overall responsibility for budgetary control and financial management.  However in practice, day to day budgetary control is delegated to service managers, with assistance and advice from their director and the finance section.


1.2     The Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2017/18 onwards was agreed by full Council on 1 March 2017.  This report advises and updates the Committee on the current position with regards to revenue and capital expenditure against the approved budgets within its remit. 





2.1     Attached at Appendix 1 is a table detailing the current budget and

expenditure position for this Committee’s services in relation to the third

quarter of 2017/18, to December 2017. The appendix details the net budget per cost centre for this Committee. Actual expenditure is shown to the end of December 2017 and includes accruals for goods and services received but not yet paid for.


2.2     The columns of the table in the Appendix show the following detail:


a)   The cost centre description;

b)   The value of the total budget for the year;

c)   The amount of the budget expected to be spent by the end of December 2017;

d)   The actual spend to that date;

e)   The variance between expected and actual spend;

f)    The forecast spend to year end; and

g)   The expected significant variances at 31 March 2018.


2.3     Appendix 1 shows that of a net annual expenditure budget of £5,024,900 it was expected that £2,693,416 would be spent up until the end of December. These totals include internal recharges.  At this point in time the budget is reporting an under spend of £183,085, and the current forecast indicates that the year-end position for this committee will decrease to an under spend of £48,000.  


2.4     Explanations for variances within individual cost centres which exceed or are expected to exceed £30,000 have been provided in accordance with the Council’s constitution.







Heritage, Culture & Leisure Committee

Positive Variance Q3


Adverse Variance Q3


Year End Forecast Variance £000

Leisure Centre – The budget includes utility costs savings from installation of solar panels that have not yet been realised. It is hoped that this issue will be resolved for 2018/19.




Parks & Open Spaces - Following a restructure this budget area now includes the grounds maintenance team. The variance is a combination of staff vacancies, an underspend on running costs and additional income above the budget. 




Playground Maintenance & Improvements – This variance is a consequence of reduced maintenance costs following the recent programme of play area capital works.




Bereavement Services - Income is currently ahead of budget, but the current surplus income is earmarked to fund the refurbishment of the toilets at the crematorium and to undertake some other minor works, so it is anticipated that the service will be on budget by the end of the financial year.




Market - The adverse variance has arisen from unachieved income in this area, with the most notable shortfall arising from the Tuesday market.  This is a continuation of the trend observed in previous years and nationally, which indicates this to be a declining sector. Officers are looking at alternative revenue generating opportunities.  The other contributor to the increased adverse variance is the service charge for 2017-18 which has increased by 25%.







3.        CAPITAL PROGRAMME                                                                                        

3.1     Service committees will now receive an update on their capital programme schemes. Policy and Resources Committee will continue to receive an overarching report for the whole programme.                                                                     

3.2     The capital programme was approved by Council on 1 March 2017.  Funding for the programme remains consistent with previous decisions of Council in that the majority of resources come from New Homes Bonus along with a small grants budget.                                                                                   

3.3     The current programme for this Committee is set out in Appendix 2 and shows the current budget and actual expenditure to the end of December. The current budget includes the approved budget plus any unused resources brought forward from 2016/17.                                                                     

3.4     The budget for Play Area Improvements will need to be re-profiled with budget brought forward from 2018/19 as the level of spend this year is higher than was initially forecast, but in overall terms the project remains within budget.                                                                                                   

3.5     The Mote Park Play Area and Improvement schemes are both being progressed, but the significant expenditure is now likely to be incurred in 2018/19.                     





4.1     In considering the current position on the revenue budget and the capital programme at the end of December 2017 the committee can choose to note those actions or it could choose to take further action.


4.2     The committee is requested to note the content of the report and agree on any necessary action to be taken in relation to the budget position. 



5.       RISK

5.1     This report is presented for information only and has no risk management implications.

5.2    The Council has produced a balanced budget for both capital and revenue expenditure and income for 2017/18. This budget is set against a backdrop of limited resources and a difficult economic climate. Regular and comprehensive monitoring of the type included in this report ensures early warning of significant issues that may place the Council at financial risk. This gives this committee the best opportunity to take actions to mitigate such risks.





6.1     This report is not expected to lead to any consultation.





7.1     The third quarter budget monitoring reports are being considered by the

relevant Service Committees in February and March 2018, including a full report to Policy and Resources committee on 14 February 2018.


7.2     Details of the actions taken by service committees to manage the pressures in their budgets will be reported to Policy and Resources Committee if appropriate.









Impact on Corporate Priorities

This report monitors actual activity against the revenue budget and other financial matters set by Council for the financial year.  The budget is set in accordance

with the Council’s Medium Term

Financial Strategy which is linked to the strategic plan and corporate priorities.

Director of Finance & Business Improvement

Risk Management

This has been addressed in section 5 of the report.

Director of Finance & Business Improvement


Financial implications are the focus of this report through high level budget monitoring. The process of budget monitoring ensures that

services can react quickly to

potential resource problems. The process ensures that the Council is not faced by corporate financial problems that may prejudice the delivery of strategic priorities.


Director of Finance & Business Improvement


The budget for staffing represents approximately 50% of the direct spend of the council and is carefully

monitored. Any issues in relation to employee costs will be raised in this and future monitoring reports.

Director of Finance & Business Improvement


The Council has a statutory

obligation to maintain a balanced budget and this monitoring process enables the committee to remain aware of issues and the process to be taken to maintain a balanced budget for the year.


 Keith Trowell, Interim Team Leader (Corporate Governance)

Privacy and Data Protection

No specific issues arise.



Director of Finance & Business Improvement


The budget ensures the focus of resources into areas of need as identified in the Council’s strategic priorities. This monitoring report ensures that the budget is delivering services to meet those needs.

Director of Finance & Business Improvement

Crime and Disorder

No specific issues arise.

Director of Finance & Business Improvement


No specific issues arise.

Director of Finance & Business Improvement




The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         Appendix 1: Third Quarter 2017/18  Revenue Monitoring – Heritage, Culture & Leisure

·         Appendix 2: Capital Programme – Heritage, Culture & Leisure