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Agenda Item No. 6

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 12th February 2014

 

Joint Report of the Director of Development Services and the Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1st April 2013 to 31st December 2013

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To bring to the attention of this Scrutiny Committee, the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st December 2013 regarding those revenue and capital budgets, which form this Committee’s remit.

Recommendation

It is recommended that :

1.         The position with regard to the 2013/14 Revenue and Capital Budgets are noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.         That Scrutiny Committee note the position with regard to the 2013/14 revenue and capital monitoring.

Background

2.             Cabinet on the 18th November 2013 (minute nos. C2076, C2074 and C2073 respectively) approved the amended Revenue, Capital and Housing Revenue Account Budgets for 2013/14.  Reports monitoring expenditure are brought to this Committee on a regular basis.

Relevant Issues and Options

 

Revenue

 

3.             The Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2013/14 are shown in the table below.  It is currently projected that services under this Committee will underspend at year end by £200k.

 

Housing & Public Protection   

Revenue Budget

 

Probable Outturn

Variance

(+ ) Favourable

(-) Adverse

 

£000

£000

£000

Public Sector Housing (HRA)

8,129

8,129

0

General Fund Housing

 

1,150

950

200

Private Sector Housing / Comm Safety

11,270

11,270

0

Public Protection

 

2,564

2,564

0

Youth Offending Service

 

653

653

0

TOTAL

 

23,766

23,566

200

 

4.             A graph and table setting out the variance between profiled budget and actual expenditure to date is attached at Appendix 1.

5.             Public Sector Housing (HRA) -The Housing Revenue Account is currently showing a favourable variance of £219k. The main reasons for the favourable variance are as follows: an underspend on premises costs (£52k) such as furniture and fittings at the sheltered schemes and Ty Iolo Hostel, further underspends on the Incentive to Move scheme budgets (£40k) and staff vacancies (£74k) particularly within the Housing Management Team. In addition, the Welfare Advice Team's expenditure to date is less than anticipated (£23k).  There is a further saving of (£11k) on anti-social behaviour support from external bodies.   Other savings of £19k to date over various headings have also contributed to the current underspend.  Based on the current budget position and the need to deal with Health and Safety issues such as asbestos management in the coming months, it is predicted that the HRA will outturn at £107k underspent.  Any underspends in the Housing Revenue Account  are ring-fenced, and as such, can be invested into the stock in coming years, improving the position of the HRA Business Plan.

6.             General Fund Housing - The Housing General Fund is currently showing a favourable variance of £304k.  The reason for this favourable variance is mainly due to the reduction in the number of homeless individuals requiring emergency accommodation due to a long term increased focus on prevention by the homeless team. This change of approach has been supported through an expansion of shared accommodation options within the private sector.  Again this success is to be welcomed, but it must be reiterated that the use of the private rented sector has significant risks, particularly as a result of the changes already introduced through Welfare Reform and the challenges posed by the Universal Credit. This could have an adverse effect on the availability of future private rental options if the Homeless client group is considered by Landlords to be a risk to guaranteed income or increased homelessness if landlords choose to only let to those in employment.  The Council has identified Welfare Reform as a significant risk and mitigation measures are already in place. Officers will continue to closely monitor the situation to keep any adverse effect to a minimum.  Due to the possible risks outlined above, it is projected that the budget will outturn at £200k underspent at year end.

7.             Public Protection - There is currently an £80k favourable variance against the profiled budget.  This is primarily due to the staff vacancies within the Division which have been held pending the outcome of the proposed collaboration project with Cardiff and Bridgend Councils. It is anticipated that this underspend could be in the region of £100k by year end, however, any underspend will be set aside to meet future liabilities.

8.             Other services are anticipated to outturn on target by year end. 

9.             Committee has previously requested an appropriate breakdown of the expenditure allocated against the General Management, Special Services, Central Support and Operational Buildings areas of the Housing Revenue Account.  This breakdown is attached in Appendix 2.

Capital

10.          Appendix 3 details financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st December 2013.

11.          Emergency Contingency Budget - A virement of £7k has been requested from the Housing Improvement Programme Emergency Contingency Budget to fund works relating to Parkland Walk Sewer Connection.

12.          For all schemes where it is evident that the full year's budget will not be spent during the year, the relevant officers are required to provide an explanation for the shortfall and this shall be taken to the earliest available Cabinet.

13.          Appendix 4 provides non-financial information on capital construction schemes with a budget of over £100k.   Where a budget shown in Appendix 3 is more than £100k but is made up of several schemes that individually are less than £100k, the scheme is not included in Appendix 4.

Variance between Actual Spend to date and Profiled Spend

14.          Cabinet have previously agreed that further information would be provided where schemes have a value of over £500k and show a variance of 20% or more between actual spend and the profile. The following scheme meets this criteria:-

15.          WHQS Works - As outlined in previous capital monitoring reports, there is always likely to be a variance in the WHQS expenditure as the extent of works required in a property is not known until the works commence. To December, works on roof renewals are behind profile.  The decision has been taken to delay roof renewals until 2014/15 because internal works have been prioritised in 2013/14 also due to risk of tenant dissatisfaction, roofing works have been avoided during winter months and alternative sources of funding are also being investigated for these works.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16.          As detailed in the body of the report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17.          There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

18.          There are no legal implications.

Crime and Disorder Implications

19.          There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

20.          There are no equal opportunity implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

21.          Effective monitoring assists in the provision of accurate and timely information to officers and Members and in particular allows services to better manage their resources.

Policy Framework and Budget

22.          Report is in accordance with the Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

23.          The appropriate Chief Officer has been consulted. This report does not require Ward Member consultation.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Carolyn Michael (Principal Accountant) (01446 709778)

 

Officers Consulted

Director of Development Services

Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas

Miles Punter