Latest Service Improvement & Finance Scrutiny

The Service Improvement & Finance Panel met last month to discuss the Quarter 3 (Q3) Budget Monitoring report 2020-21, the Mid-Year Budget Statement 2020-21 and the Treasury Management Strategy Statement.

The Panel heard that the in Q3 the Council submitted a loss of income to Welsh Government (£2.2M is now the confirmed position) and that officers have submitted the Q4 loss of income claim however the final awarded amount is yet to be confirmed.

Officers also explained:

  • From the Local Government and Housing Minister’s announcement of £50M allocated on a pro-rata fair share basis, they anticipate Swansea Council’s share to be in the region of £3.75M.
  • An extension to the hardship fund of £42.5M had been announced which will include free school meals until Easter holidays; Swansea’s share is likely to be approximately £3M
  • Likely that there will be further tranche of business grant money, possibly up to £15M before the end of year, this money will come in to the Council and then straight out to businesses
  • There will be an extension of the hardship fund for the first six months of next year. Officers do not know what Swansea Council’s share will be yet.
  • Looking at the pace, scale and frequency of announcements from Welsh Government on funding has improved the financial position significantly

The Panel heard that Capital financial requirements will go up by hundreds of millions of pounds, measured as a percentage of the revenue budget. Officers explained that in every scenario, they see budgets going up, although subject to complex interplays.

The Panel queried the general fund capital expenditure; why there is a huge difference in the original estimate / outturn. Officers explained that this is due to a direct consequence of building the Arena, fuelled by the field hospital expenditure. The Chief Finance Officer commented that this demonstrates the sheer amount of capital spend that is underway.

The Panel has since written to the Cabinet Member for Economy, Finance & Strategy and asked for detailed information about the expected increase in repayments relating to the general fund capital expenditure due to the increase in the borrowing requirements.

Click here to read this letter and to view this recorded meeting.

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