Issue - meetings

COVID-19 Pandemic - Financial Recovery & Positive Legacy

Meeting: 15/07/2020 - Resources Overview & Scrutiny Panel (Item 6)

6 COVID-19 Pandemic - Financial Recovery & Positive Legacy pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Claire Hazeldene – Acting Head of Finance – introduced the report, stating that work had commenced on the Council’s recovery from COVID 19 in late April 2020, with 5 main work streams having been identified:-

 

1.    Reinstating services (to be reported to the Service Delivery Panel);

2.    Economic recovery (Service Delivery Panel);

3.    Community recovery (Community Panel);

4.    Financial recovery (Resources Panel);

5.    Taking advantage of the positive legacy (Resources Panel).

 

Financial recovery

The development of the recovery response was underpinned by the assessment of the overall financial impact of COVID-19, with key priorities identified as:-

·         Developing revised financial plans to take account of the financial impact and plan for the ongoing implications;

·         Accounting for the significant treasury impact;

·         Identifying and planning for the additional costs of additional service demands; and

·         Providing for the additional costs arising from recovery.

 

A risk matrix was compiled identifying potential financial risks, rated on status as either green (costs already being incurred), amber (costs likely to occur – as yet unidentified) or red (remained a risk – not yet emerged to date). This currently showed as follows:-

 

General Fund

Impact Range based on Timescales

Low

Medium

High

 

£

£

£

Impact Emerging

416,055

634,253

1,001,190

Impact Likely

340,458

552,492

808,112

Potential Risk

121,168

247,106

503,754

TOTAL

877,681

1,433,851

2,313,056

 

The £2.3m shown above had been offset by 2 funding allocations from government totalling £1m and a drawdown from reserves of £1.3m.

 

On 2 July 2020, the Secretary of State announced a further package of financial support in 3 parts:-

 

1.    COVID-19 related expenditure – A further £500m non ring-fenced allocation, taking the total support to £4.3b;

2.    Irrecoverable income loss – recognising that Councils had lost income from sales, fees and charges since the start of the pandemic and looked to reimburse 75% of such losses over and above 5% of planned income;

3.    Losses in tax revenue – Tax deficits able to be repaid over 3 years rather than the usual 1 year.

 

Concerns regarding the long term impact of COVID-19 had led to work commencing on an early review of the Medium Term Financial Plan, a summary of which would be presented to the Audit & Accounts Committee in September 2020.

 

Taking Advantage of the Positive Legacy

Tanya Cooper – Head of Organisational Development and Transformation – outlined to members the following main areas:-

 

·         Green infrastructure delivery;

·         Digital infrastructure; and

·         Transport e.g. increase in walking or cycling to work.

 

The reduction in travel, benefits to staff through home-working, additional channel shifts reducing direct contact, increase in contact with local businesses in administering the grants and the reduction in unnecessary beaurocracy were all seen as positives. Areas under investigation were:-

 

Action

Possible output

Review internal processes that have already had to change as a result of home working / office closures

Identify processes that have been forced to change and already improved as a result of COVID.

We want to retain these improved working practices, so that they are not disregarded in the future  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6