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2019/20 Housing Revenue Account Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances

20/08/2020 - 2019/20 Housing Revenue Account Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances

Matter for Decision

The report presented, for the Housing Revenue Account:

  i.  A summary of actual income and expenditure compared to the final budget for 2019/20 (outturn position)

  ii.  Revenue and capital budget variances with explanations

  iii.  Specific requests to carry forward funding available from both revenue and capital budget underspends into 2020/21.

  iv.  A summary of housing debt which was written off during 2019/20.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

Under Part 1 of the Housing Scrutiny Committee Agenda, the Executive Councillor Housing Scrutiny Committee:

  i.  Approved carry forward requests totalling £1,431,300 in revenue funding from 2019/20 into 2020/21, as detailed in Appendix C of the Officer’s report.

  ii.  Approved a delegation to the Head of Finance to make the

necessary changes to the 2020/21 base budgets to remove the impact of inflation in all non-pay and non-contractual revenue budgets.

 

Under Part 2 of the Housing Scrutiny Committee Agenda, the Executive Councillor for Housing agreed to recommend to Council:

  iii.  Approved carry forward requests of £6,560,000 in HRA and General Fund Housing capital budgets and associated resources from 2019/20 into 2020/21 and beyond to fund re-phased net capital spending, as detailed in Appendix D of the Officer’s report and the associated notes to the appendix.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Expressed disappointment at the failure to deliver the Decent Homes Standards to all tenants and the associated underspend.

  ii.  Sought clarity on the council tax liable on void properties.

  iii.  Suggested that some underspends could be diverted into energy efficiency measures.

  iv.  Welcomed the progress made with disabled adaptation.

 

The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Explained that tenants had the right to refuse improvement work such as kitchen or bathroom refits. Some had taken good care of existing facilities and did not want the disruption of replacement work.

  ii.  Confirmed that the authority is liable for the majority of the Council Tax on void properties, with homes vacated for redevelopment causing the majority of spend. Confirmed that only short-term discounts or exemptions are available (one month in most cases).

  iii.  Confirmed that there had been no change in policy of discretionary repairs. However, there had been a change in procedures with council staff no longer undertaking works which were the tenant’s responsibility.

  iv.  Clarified that carry forward requests this year were higher than last, but that so were the budgets, so that proportionally the capital carry forwards were not hugely different. Highlighted that Covid-19 is delaying repairs and planned works in 2020/21 and may affect the ability to appropriately invest funds carried forward. Further details on the catch up process would be available later in the year.

 

The Committee resolved by 10 votes to 0 with 3 abstentions to endorse part 1 of the recommendation

 

The Committee resolved by 5 votes to 0 with 3 abstentions to endorse part 2 of the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.