People directorate quarterly service report - budget position
The information on this page relates to quarter 4, 2020 to 2021.
The forecast month 11 overspend is between £0.658 million (best case scenario) and £0.665 million (worst case scenario). It should be noted that these overspends are based on a budget that was set pre COVID-19 and have not been adjusted for the additional funding provided by central government in response to the pandemic. These additional funds are currently held in central budgets for allocation to directorates at year-end.
The most significant forecast overspends are:
The overspend across both Adult Social Care and Mental Health is currently forecast at £1.235 million. Whilst unit costs have increased the number of clients accessing services is slightly lower than at 1 April. The increased unit cost is partly due to the suspension of group-based community services but is also likely be due to increasing case complexity. The lower client numbers seem to be due to the decrease in clients during the peak of the pandemic, particularly in care homes, that has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.
A net forecast £0.427 million over spending on Education & Learning. Staffing budgets are forecast to overspend of +£0.370 million, most significantly in SEN Team (+£0.218 million) and Education Psychology (+£0.105 million) where maternity leave cover and external agency staff have been recruited to manage caseloads. The Emodular classrooms being rented during the emergency roof repair works at Sandhurst Secondary School is expected to cost £0.253 million, with a loss of income of £0.113 million, mainly at the Open Learning Centre which closed during the pandemic. These are partially offset by a number of underspendings including supporting schools, staff training and recruitment, general costs at the OLC and extra income in the Admission Team (-£0.048 million).
The underspend in Early Help & Communities (£1.003 million) is largely due to housing benefits, whereby the level of outstanding overpayments has reduced and the nature of the overpayments has also changed. A larger proportion of the overpayments are being recovered by reductions to ongoing benefits, which is more secure than recovering by issuing invoices. The impact of this is that the requirement for a bad debt provision reduces, resulting in an improvement in the forecast outturn. There is also a large forecast underspend in Housing & Welfare due to staff vacancies.
The central government funded ring-fenced schools budget shows an in-year overspend of £4.503 million mainly due to the High Needs Block that supports the most vulnerable pupils. Many LAs are experiencing significant increases in spend supporting pupils with SEND and work is being undertaken with the Schools Forum to agree changes in service delivery that will lead to cost reductions. This will be a long-term programme.
The Public Health forecast is for an underspend of £0.846 million which will result in £2.316 million in the earmarked Public Health reserve at the end of the financial year. The Public Health budget also includes significant government grant received in respect of coronavirus outbreak management (£3.365 million). It is anticipated that approximately £2.400 million of these funds will be carried forward to next year.
The total capital budget for the department is £23.267 million and includes carry forwards from 2019 to 2020. The largest scheme is Heathlands and construction is in progress with an expected completion date of December 2021.