Agenda item

Quarter 3 Budget & Performance Report

To review performance for quarter 3 2020/21 and the budget forecast and;


To provide assurance that progress has been made towards achievement of the agreed revenue budget and service delivery targets, and that the reasons for major variances or potential under-performance are understood and are being addressed to the cabinet’s satisfaction.


The cabinet member finance and corporate services introduced the item. It was noted that this was a backward looking report on quarter 3. Budget pressures were generally due to the impact of covid and had been encountered across the council in one way or another. The cabinet member noted the support in the form of grants that had been received from the government which was currently expecting to cover about 70% of the budget pressures. The council continued to discuss some of the detail of government support packages with the relevant departments and had conducted quite an intense in year savings programme. The coronavirus had also impacted on progress on the capital programme as summarised in the report.


The cabinet member explained that performance was being measured against the three main sections in the county plan and against the delivery plan.


Cabinet members highlighted progress and challenges within their respective portfolios and thanked officers and partners for their work during the pandemic.


Group leaders were invited to present the views and queries of their groups. It was noted that:

·        work on promoting Herefordshire as a staycation destination had been a success, some of the media work had been paused due to the additional lockdown but was ready to resume this year;

·        the cyber centre building on the Hereford Enterprise Zone had been completed and the next stage was to recruit occupants for the building, working with the University of Wolverhampton, as soon as covid restrictions allowed;

·        it was suggested that while the completion of the cyber centre and shell store developments were welcome, they would have benefitted from delivery of the southern link road for improved access;

·        the reduction in the number of looked after children was welcomed and the cabinet member children and families confirmed that numbers were continuing to go down;

·        it was suggested that an item on the planning system be include in future reports to highlight the number of applications currently on hold due to the moratorium on housing resulting from phosphate levels;

·        a query was raised regarding a news article on the Herefordshire dedicated schools grant, the S151 officer advised that the article was believed to be factually incorrect and that the grant was one of the few in the country to be balanced. A written response would be provided with further details.


It was resolved that:


Cabinet reviewed performance and financial outturn for quarter 3 2020/21, as set out in appendices A - I, and has not identified any additional actions to be considered to achieve future improvement.


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