Agenda Item No.











The purpose of the report was to bring to the attention of the Scrutiny Committee the position in respect of the revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April 2012 to 31st August 2012 regarding the revenue and capital budgets which formed the Committee’s remit.


The report noted that there was currently an adverse variance of £26k on the Highways Maintenance and Engineering Design and Procurement profiled budget which was mainly due to a slight overspend on employee costs. The budget would continue to be monitored.  For Waste Management there was currently an £89k favourable variance with the underspend being mainly due to tonnages to landfill dropping as the food waste and co-mingled recycling programmes increased in popularity.  With regard to Grounds Maintenance the £63k adverse variance was attributed to an overspend on new machinery as new legislation had come into force for Hand Arm Vibration.  It was noted that Support services had a favourable variance of £48k existed which would be held for any cost pressures within Visible Services that may arise throughout the financial year.


With regard to the Economic Development and Leisure department, the Leisure Partnership agreement had been finalised on 1st August but there had been a shortfall in achieving the £1m efficiency savings target set for the year which equated to £333k in 4 months.  The budget for Economic Development and Leisure would be increased to reflect the change which would be compensated by a corresponding reduction in the Policy budget.  However, notwithstanding the above, there was also an adverse variance on Leisure Services of £255k which had been partly due to timing issues whereby some staff costs, such as those paid on timesheets, were paid a month in arrears and as such, when the centres had transferred an additional month was paid i.e. £55k.  Income received via direct debits on a monthly basis also partly covered a period in advance for a future month and likewise an adjustment had to be made to reduce income at the point of transfer (£95k).  This had led to an overspend of £105k arising as a result of the general uncertainty prior to the start of the contract leading to a reduction in income, an increase in staff costs and additional work undertaken due to the transfer.  The Head of Service advised that the figures shown were based on leisure service estimates and further work would be undertaken to clarify the position and any funding towards the adverse variance which would be addressed in the revised estimates to be reported to the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet in November/December 2012. 


For Planning and Transportation a favourable variance of £137k was reported which was predominately due to income from planning fees for major schemes which were being progressed in advance of profiled estimate.  Although it was noted that the timing of their receipt would impact on the budget variance. 


Members were concerned to note the significant adverse variance for Leisure Services but were advised that this should not recur in future years following the transfer of the management of the leisure centres to Parkwood.


Appendix 2 to the report detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st August 2012.  Members referred to the structural repairs of the Eastern Shelter public convenience block and queried the estimates reported. The Director subsequently advised that the estimates had been arrived at after comparing them with similar works that had been undertaken on the Western Shelter.


Reference was also made to the Pont y Werin and NCN88 - South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA) had approved the transfer of a grant of £17k for the National Cycle Network Route 88 budget to the Pont y Werin Cycleway budget.  Cabinet would therefore be required to approve the amendment to the Capital budget.


Whilst referring to Appendix 2 of the report, Members queried the reduction figure of £75k for energy and street lighting with the Director of Visible Services and Housing advising that this was in relation to the installation of LED lights. He confirmed that there was no recommendation at present to reduce street lighting but that he would be reporting in the New Year on suggestions for savings and ways to generate income.  In response to a query regarding the detail for a request for change of use under parks buildings and play equipment improvements (Appendix 2) the Director agreed to email the information to Members following the meeting.


Having considered the report, it was




(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2012/13 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.


(2)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to consider approving a virement from the Policy Budget to Economic Development and Leisure of £333,000.


(3)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to approve the proposed amendment to transfer £17,000 from NCN88 to the Pont y Werin capital scheme and to also increase the Pont y Werin scheme by a further £6,000 funded from SEWTA grant.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       That Scrutiny Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2012/13 revenue and capital monitoring.


(2)       To fund savings not achieved due to delay in transfer of leisure centres.


(3)       That Scrutiny and Cabinet approve the proposed amendment to the Capital Programme.








Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 9th October, 2012