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Agenda Item No. 6

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) 18th July 2013

 

Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st May 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 May 2013 regarding those revenue and capital budgets, which form this Committee’s remit.

2.             To request amendments to the Capital Programme.

Recommendations

It is recommended that :-

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

2.             the proposed amendment to increase the Schools IT Loans budget to £200k (funded initially from the IT Fund, repayable by the schools) is endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

3.             the proposed amendment to reduce the Cashless Catering and Management Information System budget to £140k (carry forward £160k into 2014/15) is endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             That Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2013/14 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to this Scrutiny Committee.

2-3    To gain approval to make amendments to the Capital Programme.

Background

3.             Council on the 6th March 2013 (minute nos. 943 and 942 respectively) approved the Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2013/14. Reports monitoring expenditure are brought to this Committee on a regular basis.

Relevant Issues and Options

Revenue

4.             The Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2013/14 are shown in Appendix 1.

5.             Overall, the Education Budget is projected to balance as at the end of March 2014. Any savings identified between now and the end of the year will be available to re-direct into the School Investment Strategy or other reserves.

6.             Access and Inclusion - While the budget is currently projected to outturn on target, a major ongoing issue is the continued pressure to manage the children’s placements budget. Cabinet on 17th June 2013, approved the proposal to set up a jointly funded budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children.  The costs incurred are currently funded by Education and Social Services, with contributions from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) where Continuing Health Care is required.  The process for determining the allocation of costs to each funder can be difficult and time consuming, so it was felt that a joint budget would be a more efficient and effective means of financial management.  The budget for 2013/14 has been set at £3,150k, with a £2,830k (90%) contribution from Social Services and a £320k contribution from Education (10%).  UHB contributions, via Continuing Health Care arrangements, will continue unchanged.  The Access and Inclusion budget, shown in Appendix 1, includes a virement of £320k to reflect Education's contribution to the new jointly funded children’s placements budget, which sits within the Social Services budget. As previously stated, there will be great pressure on this budget as the year progresses; however, the current projected year end position for the joint budget is a breakeven position.

7.             Provision has been made within the budget for the annual cost of financing the School Investment Strategy of £600,000. This sum will be transferred to the School Investment Strategy Reserve.

8.             Education is projecting to transfer £176k to reserves as part of the Voluntary Early Retirement and Redundancy scheme.  This is made up of £273k received from schools to repay arrangements made in previous years and £97k required to finance new arrangements under the scheme.

9.             Schools - The delegated budget relating to schools is expected to balance as any under/over spend is carried forward by schools.

10.        Libraries - There is currently a £4k favourable variance against the profiled budget and the service is anticipating to outturn on target at year end.

11.        Youth Service - The service is currently breaking even against the profiled budget and is anticipated to outturn on target at year end.

12.        Lifelong Learning - The service is currently breaking even against the profiled budget and is anticipated to outturn on target at year end.

13.        Catering - There is currently a £8k favourable variance against the profiled budget.  This service is anticipated to outturn within budget, however the service can be affected by external factors such as snow closure and the requirement to meet WG nutritional guidelines.  The budget will be closely monitored and any variation reported to a future meeting.

Capital

14.        Appendix 2 details financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st May 2013.

15.        Members should be aware that Appendix 2 now includes approved slippage for unspent committed capital expenditure slipped from 2012/13 into 2013/14. This was approved by exercising the Managing Director's delegated emergency powers. Details of the slippage will be included in the Closing Report to be reported to Cabinet on 29th July 2013.

16.        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.

17.        Schools IT Loans - An annual budget of £150k is drawn upon by various primary and secondary schools each year in order to purchase new IT equipment via initial use of the Council's IT Fund, which is then repaid over a fixed period, typically three years. The arrangement saves the Authority money by avoiding the relatively high interest rates charged on external lease purchase agreements and, in addition, the equipment can be retained by the schools at the end of the repayment term rather than being returned to the leasing company. It is therefore proposed that Cabinet approve an annual increase of £50k, to £200k per annum on this budget, for the current and future years, in order to maximise use of this scheme.

18.        Cashless Catering and Management Information System - An allocation of £300k is in place for 2013/14 for the introduction of a fully integrated cashless catering operation in all primary and secondary schools which, amongst other efficiencies, should free up administration time spent on collecting school dinner money. The rollout over all schools, however, is likely to take longer than one year to complete so the client has requested that their budget be split between 2013/14 and 2014/15. It is therefore requested that £140k remains in 2013/14 but that the sum of £160k be carried forward into 2014/15 to complete the roll out.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

19.        As detailed in the body of the report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

20.        As detailed in the body of the report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

21.        There are no legal implications.

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.        There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

23.        There are no equal opportunity implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

24.        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

25.        The report is in accordance with the Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Background Papers

Appendix 3 - Projects over £100,000

 

Contact Officer

Carolyn Michael (Senior Group Accountant) (01446 709778)

 

Officers Consulted

Chief Learning and Skills Officer

Head of Strategic Planning and Performance

Operational Manager - Legal Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill