Council ends year with additional almost £3m in pocket - despite Covid-19
PUBLISHED: 09:46 22 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:04 22 July 2020
Archant/Broadland District Council/Norfolk Conservatives
A Norfolk council has revealed it ended the year with an additional almost £3m in its pocket, despite the impact of the coronavirus.
Broadland Council has a “positive variance” of £2.8m against its expected revenue budget - which means the authority has nearly £3m leftover at the end of the 2019-20 financial year.
Councillors discussed the council’s financial position at a meeting held on Tuesday, July 21.
And ahead of the meeting, a report into the council’s yearly performance was published, which said the variance was “a sign of the present strength of the council’s financial position which needs to be protected in future”.
The council received the extra money partly because of the inclusion of Section 31 grant income - money the council recieves from the government to go towards education and social mobility - that wasn’t anticipated when the budget was set.
Assistant finance director Rodney Fincham told the committee: “At the start of the year we were expecting to take money from the reserve, but we were able to add to it.
“This shows we are in a good, solid position as a council going forwards.”
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The council had also expected to spend £1,343,000 on a fund to ensure residents homes were heated over the winter.
But the authority only spent £685,000 and said this was due to “the project not starting until later in the financial year”.
The council had also planned to spend £138,000 on refurbishing its headquarters at Thorpe Lodge, but only paid out £29,000 on the project, while plans for 2019-20 have been delayed.
Broadland also spent £45,000 less than expected on IT and £85,000 less than planned on other expenses, which it said were “predominantly the renovation of public conveniences and Reedham Quay restoration”.
Trudy Mancini-Boyle, cabinet member for finance, told the meeting: “Council tax collection rates are a fairly high risk to the council.”
But she said the council had made new investments and added: “It’s quite nice to see now that we have got a significantly better return than we were expecting before.
“As long as we don’t get a second push of the virus, hopefully we can all concentrate on new forms of investment moving forwards.”
The cabinet unanimously voted to note the report.
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