Issue - meetings

Exempt Reports Under the Local Government Act 1972

Meeting: 01/12/2021 - Audit and Performance Committee (Item 4)

4 Finance and Performance Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To monitor the City Council’s financial position including revenue forecast outturn, revenue expenditure including key risks and opportunities, capital expenditure and HRA revenue and capital expenditure and reserves.


To monitor Quarter 2 performance results against the 2021/2022 business plans and to conduct a half-yearly overview of performance.


Additional documents:


4.1       The Committee received the Finance and Performance Monitoring Reports, which were introduced by Jake Bacchus.


Finance Monitoring Report


4.2       Jake Bacchus summarised the Finance Monitoring Report, noting it was the year mid-point report outlining the position for the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).


4.3       The Committee heard that at the end of September 2021, Westminster City Council had a forecast revenue overspend of £4.6 million, driven by lowered commercial waste income and parking income, although parking income was noted to be improving in comparison to its previous positions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic period.


4.4       Some of the overspend was also attributable to spending pressures, including reduction in funding for care leavers requiring increased spend in Children’s Services, as well as SEND transport and short breaks, mirroring the picture nationally.       


4.5       A £2.7 million revenue underspend was forecast for the HRA, mainly attributable to staffing and an imminent restructure.


4.6       The General Fund reported a £33 million capital underspend, reduced from £100 million in the previous year, and approximately £50 million in the year prior to the pandemic. The causes of the underspend included slippage in planned capital works and regeneration programmes.


4.7       The HRA reported a £26 million capital underspend, reduced from £68 million in the previous year.


4.8       Regarding the Spending Review, the Committee heard that Westminster City Council anticipated learning its settlement amount imminently, and the Finance and Resource team would prepare an update for the next Audit and Performance Committee meeting regarding this. It was believed that the increase in funding would be approximately 3% in real terms of Core Spending Power year-on-year, which was expected to be largely allocated to adult social care funding reform.


4.9       The Committee raised a query about the timing of the upcoming Business Support Function Review (BSFR). The Committee was informed by Jake Bacchus that more information would be available at the next Committee meeting as a decision had very recently been made and consequently the BSFR was being reworked.


4.10     The Committee queried the Adult Social Care underspend in the context of a reported increase in demand. Bernie Flaherty confirmed that the budget for Adult Social Care had been very volatile, that there had been a substantial increase in residential care demand, and that although there had been an increase in home care demand, this was not yet to expected levels. Bernie Flaherty explained that there had been changes in regulations concerning patient discharge, and that the health service had been better supporting patient discharge from hospital with grant funding, which had helped with Council care spend. She also explained that there had been significant savings made by reducing staffing in adult social care, including agency staffing.


4.11     The Committee asked about Temporary Accommodation (TA), concerning a review of the use of social housing stock which was void due to regeneration programmes. Debbie Jackson explained that some void social housing was let for TA on a case-by-case basis.


4.12     The Committee questioned the overspend for Westminster  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4