Question 1 – The S151 Robustness and Adequacy Report (County Council February 2016) indicated that there were two main reserves created from Revenue (General and the Capital Fund) “Both reserves have been created from revenue sources of finance, so could be used for any purpose if required.”
a) What is the current General Reserve forecast for March 2017 (Original Forecast £15.425m)?
b) What is the forecast for the Capital Fund for March 2017 (balance at end of March 2016 £8m)?
c) Has all of the (mainly ring-fenced) Contingency Budget (£5.5m) been utilised/allocated and to where?
Question 2 – Reserves (from the Statement of Accounts)
- i) Can a current estimate of actual reserves be provided (these are the Closing Balances of Total Useable Reserves for March 2016)
General Fund – Schools 25.530
General Fund – Other 21.010
Earmarked Reserves – set aside for revenue purposes 37.465
Capital Receipts Reserve 21.341
Capital Grants Unapplied Reserve 4.081
Capital Contributions Unapplied Reserve 5.307
Total Usable Reserves 114.734
- ii) How much of the Earmarked Reserves has been allocated to Adult Social Care, Learning Disability Service and Children’s Social Care?
Question 3 – Delivery of the 2016/17 MTFP Proposals
- i) Savings – What will happen to the 28.71% of savings (£3.48m) “that are no Longer deliverable”? Will they be rolled into (added to) next year’s “savings” (budget cuts)?
- ii) Pressures – Was the forecast pressure of £13.5m a realistic assumption in February 2016 for 2016/17?
iii) The original forecast pressure for 2017/18 was £6.7m – was this calculation too low and what is the forecast pressure(s) for 2017/18?
- iv) How will changes (and assumptions) in inflation etc. impact on this financial year and future years?
“””I thank Nigel for his questions and I’m sure he will agree they are complex so I will provide a written response to the various elements. I would though make a comment on the overall difficulty of delivering multi-million pound savings year on year at Somerset County Council. Like any household that loses an income stream, we have to operate within our means. We have a legal mandate to set a balanced budget at the end of the financial year. That means we operate on forecasts – which are forecasts and not “set in stone”. That means we have to be flexible with our financial planning. That means we have to look at everything we do and make a judgement based on value for money and affordability. So yes Nigel, we are looking across all our reserves to see how we can mitigate the anticipated loss of £40m over the next few years. We will factor in staff pay and inflation, and we are aware of pressures caused by an ageing population on our key services.”””
Cllr Harvey Siggs
Personal Assistant to Cllr John Osman – Leader of Council
Personal Assistant to Cllr Christine Lawrence – Chairman of Council
Personal Assistant to Cllr Harvey Siggs – Cabinet Member for Resources