Agenda item

2023/24 Quarter 2 Forecast Revenue and Capital Outturn (Decision: 110685)


Councillor Snell introduced the report and explained that it sets out the estimated forecast revenue outturn position for 2023/24 for the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account (HRA), Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and Public Health Grant.


The quarter 2 general fund position is a forecast underspend of £1.512m including the current assumed capitalisation directive of £180.159m. This is an improvement of £0.476m on quarter 1.


The directorate position is forecast to overspend by £2.361m against a revised budget of £169.383m, equivalent to 1.4%. This is an improvement on the Q1 position and Directors continue to work hard to find mitigating measures to resolve the pressures on the 2023/24 budget.


An estimated underspend within the Treasury management function of £3.873m reduces the overall position to £1.512m less than the assumed general fund budgeted levels.

It is noted this projected underspend would reduce the planned capitalisation direction by £1.512m.

The financial accounts of the Council remain open from 2020/21 onwards and further issues could be identified which impact on the current position.


The current projected outturn for 2023/24 is a breakeven position for the Designated Schools Grant and Public Health.

The HRA is forecast to achieve an operating surplus of £0.817m for the year as set out in section 5 of the report.


The General Fund (GF) and HRA Capital Programme positions are set out in section 8. There is forecast slippage on the General Fund programme of £22.13m against a budgeted programme of £48m. Forecast slippage on the HRA capital programme is £12.59m against a budgeted programme of £44.04m


Since the last Outturn report in September a review has been undertaken of the capital programme to minimise borrowing for capital purposes and to implement a debt reduction strategy to comply with directions from DLUP and to ensure the capital programme is sustainable on future years budget and is focused on essential spending and delivery of statutory services. The proposed changes are included in appendix 7 and 8 and will be considered by Overview and Scrutiny in February.


The investment portfolio is undergoing valuation and assessment and a full report will be available in Quarter 3.

Expenditure controls remain in place and are reported to the Finance Recovery Board. Between January and August this year the number of spending requests steadily declined. The panels will continue to challenge spending across the Authority for the foreseeable future.


All forecast outturn positions are based on several assumptions such as interest rates and inflation holding at particular levels.



That Cabinet:

1.1.        Note and comment on the overall forecast general fund outturn position for

quarter 2 is an underspend of £1.512m.


1.2.        Note that directors with adverse variances will continue to review directorate budgets and identify mitigating actions to resolve the forecast pressure against the 2023/24 budget.


1.3.        Note the potential risks to the position listed noted in section 4 and the following specific risks noted within the report:


a)          Note there is an ongoing assessment of the investment portfolio values which remains under assessment pending reporting in quarter 3.


b)         Note there are ongoing wider financial accounting assessments related to prior periods which may also need to be considered.


1.4.        Note and comment on the positions set out in respect of the HRA, DSG and Public Health which project to deliver the budget within the existing funding envelopes.

1.5     Note and comment on the capital programme, the current projected General Fund slippage of £22.13m, the HRA slippage of £12.59m and the outcomes of the external capital programme review

1.6     Approve the proposed changes to the capital programme for 2023-24 as set out in section 8 and Appendices 7 and 8.


1.7          Note that the position will remain provisional as further substantive work is undertaken, notably in preparation of historic accounts, which could have an impact on current or future years


1.8     Approve Thurrock’s 2024-25 Schools funding formula to be implemented as set out in section 6.


1.9     Note the review of the Expenditure Control Panels included at Appendix 6.



Reason for the decision: as outlined in the report

This decision is subject to call-in



The Leader thanked all Members especially the newest members of Cabinet, Councillor Carter and Councillor Coxshall for their hard work and support. The Leader also thanked Officers in the Council who have also worked extremely hard. The Leader wished everyone including residents a Happy Christmas and New Year.




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