To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.
Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Officer Resources.
At the invitation of the Leader the Chief Officer Resources presented the report which detailed an initial forecast of the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020/2021 revenue budget and to provide an update of progress made against the Bridging the Gap Programme.
The Officer went through the report and highlighted the detail in Section 5 and referred to Appendix 1 that provided an overall forecast on a portfolio by portfolio basis and noted that the report showed a worst case scenario. The forecast included estimated claims to the Welsh Government hardship fund and the new Social Services hardship fund.
The Chief Officer Resources then referred to Section 5.6 and the overall summary in Appendix 2 - Bridging the Gap proposals and that of the target of £1.465m, the Council is forecasting to achieve £1.2m or 83% of that target. Many of those proposals were income related.
The Officer noted that as a Council we would also need to look to identify if there are areas in our own budgets to mitigate some of the costs that had been incurred and noted that paragraph 5.7.1 of the report identifies some additional income.
The Leader thanked the Chief Officer Resources for a comprehensive report and noted that the finance was an important priority on the WLGA agenda, and the WG, WLGA and Councils were working well together and had one consensus view that was to focus on the financial situation which had prevailed throughout.
The Leader commented that from a positive political view, the interaction and the relationship between WG and LG had vastly improved. However, he noted that the funding sources from WG would not be available in the long term and agreed that the Council needed to look at its own budgets. He noted that the management of the financial position during the pandemic at both a local level and across Gwent and wider had gone very well. He commended the Chief Officer Resources and her team in being able to respond to the demand of the WG deadlines and all returns had been submitted on time.
RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the Executive considered the current forecast position and provided appropriate challenge to the financial assumptions included in the report; and that progress made against the Bridging the Gap programme for 2020/2021 be noted. (Option 1)