Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

2018/19 Unaudited Revenue Outturn

Consider report by Chief Financial Officer (copy attached).


2.1       There had been circulated copies of a report by the Chief Financial Officer with a statement comparing final revenue outturn expenditure and income for 2018/19 with the final approved budget for the year along with explanations for significant variances.  The Chief Financial Officer, David Robertson, explained that an unaudited outturn net underspend of £1.344m was achieved in the 2018/19 revenue budget.  The £1.344m net underspend (0.52% of final approved budget) was delivered following a number of earmarked balances approved by the Executive Committee during 2018/19.  In total, these amounted to £7.365m and related to a number of initiatives across departments and specifically included £1.158m of carry forward for Devolved School Management (DSM including PEF).  The net outturn position had primarily been achieved through the completion of a balance sheet review previously reported through Executive revenue monitoring during 2018/19.  This review highlighted a previous over accrual of Housing Benefit, the conclusion of which had resulted in a one-off benefit of £1.215m to the revenue account in 2018/19.  The remaining services had delivered a small underspend position having delivered significant financial plan savings totalling £16.4m.  Of these, £11.656m (71%) were delivered permanently.  The remaining £4.758m (29%) of savings were achieved on a temporary basis. Particular emphasis was being placed by CMT on the permanent delivery of these savings during the early part of 2019/20 or where this was not possible on the identification of alternative proposals.  A high level summary of the outturn position in each Council Service was included in section 4 of the report with detail shown in Appendix 1 to the report.  Within integrated Health & Social Care services, during 2018/19, additional in-year budget allocations were made to the value of £3.2m to support delayed discharge and alleviate service pressures of £1.8m.  In year £1.4m of savings which were anticipated by the Financial plan were not delivered and this required additional financial resources from the Council to ensure that the Service did not overspend its allocated budget. The report highlighted the significant risks to the Council presented by the Health & Social Care partnership budget and noted that the Council would not be in a position to allocate substantial additional resources to the partnership in 2019/20.


2.2       Mr Robertson and his team were thanked for the report and Members recognised the achievements of departments in delivering 71% of permanent savings.  In response to a question regarding the use of the balance of £1.344m and about how many of the priorities for funding identified by CMT would be ongoing requirements, Mr Robertson explained that spending on the waste contract would be recurring and also funding on additional frontline support for Children and Young People with mental health issues, including 24 hour supported places to prevent escalation and avoid more expensive support models.  The Chief Executive added that this project would be an investment, to bring Young People into area placements and also provide other solutions, in the form of ‘safe places’, to achieve better outcomes for young people and adults in crisis.  Members went on to express their serious concern about the implications to the Council of the budget pressures within the Health and Social Care partnership budget and referred to the need for robust management action in future years.  A question was asked about the current stage of negotiations around a Single Public Authority.  The Chief Executive explained that discussions between colleagues, Local Authorities, COSLA and Scottish Government were ongoing about a model for closer collaboration.  The results of these discussions would be brought back to Members within the next 2 months. 





(a)          the content of this report and noted the outturn position for 2018/19 prior to Statutory Audit;


(b)          to note that this draft unaudited outturn position would inform the budgetary control process during 2019/20 and financial planning process for the current and future years;


(c)          to approve the adjustments to previously approved earmarked balances noted in Appendix 1; and


(d)          to endorse the Corporate Management Team proposals for the use of the balance of £1.344m identified in section 6.2 of this report.


Supporting documents:



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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