Agenda item

Chief Financial Officer Report Month 8 (December 2019)


The Chairman introduced the item and invited Anisa Darr, Director of Finance and Shahida Nasim, Assistant Director of Finance who presented and summarised the report.


Referring to the figures in section 1.6 of the report, the Committee queried the impact of the measures being proposed in relation to the overall reserves.  Officers informed that the figures reflect the planned drawdown from reserves as well as any additional overspend.


In respect of the next financial year, Officers informed the Committee about factors which may influence the overall financial position, including:

-       Financial settlements received

-       Planned drawdowns from earmarked reserves

-       Unplanned drawdowns, if any, and

-       Potential impact of increased pressures on social care services.


Following a request from the Committee, Officers agreed to highlight the savings within future CFO report(s) as a result of making early payments on pension employer contributions. (Action: CFO - Forward Work Programme)


Officers informed the Committee about the additional funding from Central Government towards the Dedicated Schools Grant and that the underspend will be carried forward.


The Committee queried the reasons for the variance in the savings target for Growth and Corporate Services as set out in the Table 6 of the report. Officers informed that this was due to technical accounting and was adjusted after it became apparent at the start of the financial year.


Referring to the recovery plans, the Committee asked whether the actions taken are sufficient. Officers spoke about the recovery plans which have been developed by service areas to mitigate against overspends. It was noted that demand was higher than expected and that this has been taken into account for next year’s budget setting.


Members expressed concerns about the forecast on the Council’s Capital Programme. Officers noted that a large proportion of the projects occur during the last few months of the financial year which will be monitored closely with a view to keep Members of the Committee updated.


The Chairman commended Officers on behalf of the Committee for the savings achieved as part of the acquisition of a long-term loan with an average interest rate of 1.9% compared to the average interest rate of 3.8% for existing long-term borrowing.


Members queried about the position of the debt with Comer Homes and NHS Barnet CCG. Ms Darr informed that legal discussions are ongoing with Comer Homes and that good progress has been made with Barnet CCG who have agreed to pay invoices from the 30-60 days category and another from the 60-90 days category.

It was agreed that Ms Darr write to the Chairman and Councillor Marshall with an update on the debt with the London Borough of Ealing as set out in Table 16 of the report. (Action: Director of Finance)


The Committee requested that the next CFO report include an update on the progress made towards debt management and to reduce the level of debt owed to the Council since the start of the 2019-20 financial year. (Action: CFO Report)


It was unanimously RESOLVED that:


1.     The Committee noted the 2019/20 revenue forecast outturn, as detailed in Table 1 and in Appendix A;

2.     The Committee noted the savings anticipated to be delivered in 2019/20, as detailed in Table 6;

3.     The Committee noted the 2019/20 capital forecast outturn, as detailed in Table 9 and in Appendix B;

4.     The Committee noted the level of reserves and balances as detailed in Appendix C;

5.     The Committee noted the treasury position outlined in section 9; and

6.     The Committee noted the debtors position outlined in section 10.






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