Subject: Draft WLBC Revenue Budget 2021-22

Cabinet: 12 January 2021

“The Council must set a budget before the start of each financial year, and this budget will set out the financial basis for the Council’s corporate and service plans. The budget that is set must enable the Council’s priorities to be delivered but must also be affordable. In addition, it should comply with best practice requirements on budget setting, and must meet statutory and accounting regulations.

“The Council meeting on the 24th February will provide all Members with the opportunity to debate and agree this budget. 4.2 The Council agreed the Sustainable Organisation Review Project report in July 2019 and a range of proposals encompassing both staffing reductions, efficiencies and income generation were approved.

“Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, progress against some of these objectives and savings targets has been severely impacted upon, in particular, those items relating to income generation which has meant that financial performance has been worse than budget. The adverse forecasted financial effects on the Council’s finances are significant.

“Some of key areas affected are shown below £000’s

· Leisure operations £400 · Planning income £300 · Car parks £444 · Collection Fund £960 · Debtor legal cost recovery £280 · Commercial property £150 4.3 Whilst government grants have been received that will offset a considerable proportion of this loss, it is expected that the projected out-turn for 20/21 will be a £0.563m overspend and this will clearly impact upon next year’s budget setting”.

What should be explored intensely is the subject of lousy Leisure operations by Serco Leisure Operating limited, and how circa seven years of its management/lease of the Beacon Park Golf Course has delivered landfill devastation and unexplained landfill royalty destination. But it won’t be!

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