Agenda item

FInance and Capital Monitoring Report


Councillor Lowry (Cabinet Member for Finance) introduced the report and highlighted the following points:


a)    There had been an overspend of approximately £1.2 million, which was an improvement from the previous report, where there had been an overspend of approximately £4.2 million. Councillor Lowry and the Finance team were confident that they would balance the budget in the remaining three months;


b)    The Council had seen significant pressures from Adult Social care, Children’s Social Care, Home to School transport and homelessness in the city;

c)    In relation to overall expenditure for Children’s Social Care, the Council was reporting an overall expenditure of £74 million against a budget of £63 million which was a £10.7 million increase from the previous budget;

d)    There was a forecasted overspend of almost £1.9 million for home to school transport for special education children;

e)    There was a forecasted overspend of £3.7 million in the People directorate, with £1.3 million in relation to additional care packages and demand of adult’s requiring support and £2.4 million in relation to emergency accommodation for homelessness;

f)     There was a forecasted overspend of £1.9 million for Customer Services and Corporate Services;

g)    Pressures had been partially offset by: a £6 million budget saving identified in Corporate Services, £4.8 million of contingency had been released from the budget and £6 million of additional income had come from business rates;

h)    The five year Capital Programme for 2023-28 was forecast to be £398 million.

David Northey (Service Director for Finance) added:


i)     There was a statutory requirement to balance the remaining £1.2 million by 31 March 2024.

Councillor Evans OBE (Leader of the Council) added:


j)     There had been a tremendous amount of work by the Council and Cabinet members to reduce budget expenditure to ensure it was balanced and to also draw out best value in every part of expenditure.


Councillor Laing (Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Culture, Events and Communications) highlighted:

k)    Children’s Services had been underfunded by the Government;

l)     The national number of children’s social care placements costing £10,000 or more per week had risen significantly from 120 in 2018/19 to 1,510 in 2022/23. The number of councils with at least one of those placements had risen from 23% to 91% over the same period;

m)  In Plymouth in 2019 there were no residential placements costing £10,000 or more per week and in 2024 there were 16.

Councillor Penberthy (Cabinet Member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities) added:


n)    The cost for pay by night accommodation in Plymouth had increased substantially. The budget for bed and breakfast accommodation had risen from £800,000 in 2019 to almost £4.5 million in 2024 and was due to COVID related issues as well as the Cost of Living crisis and changes within the private rented sector statutes;


o)    The Council had begun to see a stabilisation and reduction in the use of bed and breakfast accommodation;


p)    Those that were in temporary accommodation had seen improvements to the standards of the accommodation;

q)    Plan for Homes 4 would be taken to Growth and Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 14 February 2024 and would be brought to Cabinet in March. The Plan would look to tackle homelessness, the building of new homes and issues within the private rented sector to meet the housing needs in Plymouth;

Councillor Coker (Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport) also added:


r)    New approvals in the Capital Programme had allowed the LED lighting programme to continue which reduced Plymouth’s carbon emissions and energy bills;

s)     Money had been awarded for the Mover (Micro-processing Optimised Vehicle Actuation Traffic Signalling) Traffic Signally Upgrade for Tavistock Road which would help reduce Co2 emissions from idling cars.


Councillor Briars-Delve (Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change) added:


t)     The Council approved a £500,000 loan in relation to Ocean City Nature which would create a habitat bank and was the first one to be set up by a local authority in the country. The scheme would see major biodiversity enhancements on Plymouth sites and future projects costs would be passed onto developers to ensure Plymouth’s nature and communities received the best benefit into the future.

Cabinet agreed to:     


1.    Note the forecast revenue monitoring position at Period Nine as set out in this report in the sum of £1.204 million;

2.    The Capital Budget 2023/2028 is revised to £723.701 million as shown in Table 1 and agreed to recommend these amendments to Full Council for approval.


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