Posted: Tue 27th Feb 2024

Powys County Council Predicted to Have Over £3 Million Surplus in Budget for 2023/2024 /
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 27th, 2024

A SURPLUS of over £3million is being predicted on this year Powys County Council budget.
The position at the end of December 2023 is brighter than the one which was  reported back in September.
The council is now showing a £3.338 million surplus – before money is taken away to be squirrelled away in council reserve budgets.
Following these transfers the surplus is predicted to be £3.019 million.
This is against the counncil’s base budget of £326.621 million for 2023/2024.
During the course of the financial year the budget has fluctuated with a £3.73 million surplus predicted at the end of June – which fell to £2.85 million at the end of September.
The report explained that the surplus had risen slightly between quarters because of nationally agreed pay awards for staff have been “accounted for” and are reflected in “this quarter’s position.”
At a meeting of the Finance Panel on Monday morning, February 26, finance portfolio holder Labour’s Cllr David Thomas said: “It’s better than was anticipated originally.
“There’s a lot of challenge still remaining but I think we’re in a pretty strong situation to deliver a balanced budget at year end.
“We should not get carried away and think that everything’s rosy now that we have this significant underspend.
“We should be thinking of where we are allocating that.”
One issue highlighted in the report is that at the end of the third quarter, council departments had achieved £12.4 million of a cuts and savings target of £16.5 million for the year.
A further £900,000 from the 2022/2023 savings target has been rolled over to this year making the total savings/cuts target £17.4 million for 2023/2024.
The report indicated that assurance had been given that £3.7million more cuts/saving would be made by the end of the year, but £1.2million was already being written off as “unachievable.”
Liberal Democrat Cllr Gareth Ratcliffe believed the council needs managers that can deliver these savings/cuts: “otherwise we’re just going on and on and rewarding failure.”
He wanted assurance that the council “has the systems in place” to deal with “slip ups” in a timely manner.
Lay committee member and chairwoman of the council’s Governance and Audit committee, Lynne Harrison wanted to understand the relationship between the undelivered savings from last year and this year.
Ms Hamilton “Is there a group of usual suspects where there are going to be delivery problems who reach quarter four with a significant portion of their savings to deliver.”
“What work or approach is done to challenge areas where they leave savings late.”
Corporate services director and s151 officer Jane Thomas said: “The majority are recurrent, but some are one year savings.”
“In terms of savings CLT (Corporate Leadership Team) review these quarterly reports ahead of them going anywhere else.
“Directors are challenged around their services performance.
“That challenge is constant both in terms of delivering the budget and delivering the savings.”
Cllr Thomas added: “You can be assured that they are challenges from cabinet – but in the initial process when the budget being set up, we have to take the word of heads of service that they are deliverable.”
The report will go on to be discussed at a cabinet meeting and a joint meeting of all the scrutiny committees. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales

More from Powys Council

Taxi Drivers in Powys to Undergo Background Checks Every Six Months

Powys Council

Powys County Council Set to Scrap Member Champions Role

Powys Council

Shropshire Council to Open UK’s Largest Biochar Plant in Powys

Powys Council

Assurances Given by Powys County Council Chiefs Following Troubling Audit Wales Report

Powys Council

Council Member Questions Powys County Council’s Handling of Bankrupt Firms

Powys Council

Council Committee Requests Clarity on Compensation for Sub-Contractors

Powys Council

Latest from News.Wales

Former Victorian Asylum in Carmarthen to be Converted Into Medical Park

Carmarthenshire Council

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader David Simpson to Stand Down Next Month

Pembrokeshire Council

Potential Shared Chief Executive Post Proposed for Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent councils

Torfaen Council

Electric Car Advocate Calls for Transition to Battery-Powered Fleet in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire Council

Preferred Sites for Gypsy Travellers in Monmouthshire to be Identified This Summer

Monmouthshire Council

School Rebuild Plans Near Barry Set for Approval

Vale of Glamorgan Council