Agenda item

General Fund Outturn 2022/2023



It is recommended that the committee scrutinise and comment on the proposals within the attached cabinet report, ref CAB3416 which is to be considered by cabinet at its meeting on the 13 September 2023.


Councillor Cutler, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance and Liz Keys, Corporate Head of Finance; introduced the report, ref CAB3416 which provided details of the General Fund Outturn 2022/2023, (available here).

The introduction covered the following key points:

1. Despite economic pressures, including inflation, the outcome revealed a surplus of just under £1 million.

2. This surplus was primarily attributed to challenges in accurately forecasting business rates, contributing £688,000, and a significant increase in interest received on retained funds.

3. The report provided a detailed breakdown of variances, encompassing both underspending and overspending across various services, with specific attention to variances in one-off budgets.

4. Additional details for both the revenue fund and the capital fund could be found in the appendices.

6. An overspend on services was primarily driven by higher-than-expected paid inflation and contract inflation, factors beyond the council's control.

7. Income exceeded budget expectations, especially in the case of business rates.

8. Extra income was generated from investments due to higher interest rates and larger cash balances than initially anticipated.


The committee was recommended to comment on the proposals within the attached report, ref CAB3416 which was to be considered by the cabinet at its meeting on 13 September 2023.

Councillor Lee addressed the committee, highlighting the following key points:

1. He commended the well-written report.

2. He inquired about the Winchester Town account, questioning why it only covered part of the neighbourhood service offices' costs while Parishes and Market towns in the district bore the full expenses of support offices in their areas.

3. Additionally, he sought clarification on the methodology used to calculate the proportionate contribution.


The committee proceeded to ask questions and debate the report. In summary, the following matters were raised.

1. The competitiveness of the council in terms of staff remuneration.

2. Progress updates on major regeneration projects and the local plan.

3. Clarification on whether the increase in full-time equivalent staff indicated staff positions being filled or an increased staffing requirement.

4. Concerns about the overspending on agency staff and the need for a strategic review of staffing scales.

5. Delays in implementing bike storage and related measures and their expected completion in 2023/24.

6. Questions regarding variances in the homelessness budget and the necessity for transparency in future spending proposals.

7. Requesting clarification on additional Park and Ride funding from Hampshire County Council.

8. Determining whether the favourable income variance was a one-off windfall or a permanent increase.

9. The council's intentions for closing the gap between Guildhall costs and income.

10. Concerns about historic assets and a request for updates on progress.

11. Specific local issues, including the Bishops Waltham footpath and cycle link, the Goods Shed at Barfield Close, and the status of 59 Colebrook Street.

12. The number of currently vacant Winchester City Council-owned properties that were not generating revenue.


These points were responded to by Councillor Cutler, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, Councillor Tod, Leader and Cabinet Member for Asset Management, Simon Hendey, Strategic Director, Dawn Adey, Strategic Director, and Liz Keys, Corporate Head of Finance, accordingly and were noted by Councillor Cutler.


1.             That officers respond to Councillor Williams regarding the Bishops Waltham footpath/cycle path.

That the Cabinet Member and officers note the comments of the committee

Supporting documents:


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