FOI request (FOIR-274308950)
Requested Thu 19 November 2020
Responded Fri 18 December 2020
These questions are aimed at identifying the strain that is being put on council services due to increased expenditure, reduced income due to COVID-19, and other funding challenges, when set against the amount of extra money granted by the government this year. We have provided clarifications below the questions in order to make clear what it is we are asking - if you cannot give the answers as we define them below, please give answers as close as you can while detailing the differences in your figures.
1. What is your current predicted in-year expenditure increase due to COVID-19 by the end of the financial year 2020/21?
2. What is your current predicted in-year decrease in income due to COVID-19 by the end of the financial year 2020/21?
3. What is your current predicted in-year expenditure reduction made on budgeted services by the end of the financial year 2020/21?
4. How much extra money do you predict to take from reserves over the amount that was included in the pre-year budget by the end of the financial year 2020/21?
5a. How much extra money have you received from central government in COVID-19 specific grants since the start of the financial year?
5b. How much extra money do you believe the government's commitment to covering 75p on the £1 of lost income (excluding the first 5% of lost income) will be worth to your council by the end of the financial year?
5c. How much do you believe the phased repayments of council tax and business rates deficits over the next 3 years will be worth to your council by the end of the financial year?
6a. What is your current predicted funding gap by the end of the financial year 2020/21?
6b. What is your current predicted funding gap by the end of the financial year 2021/22?
6c. What is your current predicted funding gap by the end of the financial year 2022/23?
We have listed a number of clarifications and definitions for some of the questions below - these are guidelines, if you cannot provide the answers in this form, please provide them as close as you can and give details as to the difference.
Q1 - We would define 'in-year expenditure increase' as the increase in the amount of money your council expects to spend by the end of the financial year due to COVID-19, compared to what you budgeted for at the start of the financial year. If you expect a decrease in expenditure, please mark as a minus figure. For example: a council budgeted £100m for the financial year, if a youth centre was closed saving £150k by the end of the year but £5m was spent by the council on PPE and other infection control measures in that time, we would class the extra money spent on PPE and infection control (£5m) as in-year increased expenditure due to COVID-19 and the £150k saved thanks to the closure of a youth centre as expenditure reduction on budgeted services as seen in question 3.
Q2 - We would define 'in-year income decrease' as the decrease in the amount of money your council expect to have received by the end of the financial year due to COVID-19, compared to what you budgeted for at the start of the financial year, if you expect an increase in income, please mark as a minus figure. Please do not include extra central government grants for COVID-19 in this figure, that will be covered in questions 5a, 5b and 5c.
Q3 - For 'in-year expenditure reductions made on budgeted services' we would define this as the amount of money saved through cuts to services by the end of the financial year as budgeted at the start of the year.
For example: for £100k budgeted for a library service, if one employee were let go saving £10k by the end of the year but £15k were spent on PPE in that time, we would class the expenditure reductions made on budgeted services as £10k. The extra money spent on PPE (£15k) will be identified by Question 1.
Q6 a-c - We define the 'funding gap' as: the increase in expenditure caused by COVID-19 + the decrease in income due to COVID-19 - the extra funding provided by central government. We do not include savings made through cuts to services in this equation nor money from reserves used to cover any deficit.
2) (£2.658m) - this includes Hastings Borough Council's share of the shortfall in income from Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates
4) Between £50k and £800k
5a) Unringfenced grants (4 tranches) totalling £2,048,518 plus Local Authority Compliance and Enforcement Grant £63,357, plus Sales Fees and Charges Income Compensation Scheme - £531,225, plus Hardship Fund for Council Tax payers (the £150 reduction for working age claimants)- £1,281,991.
The Council has also now received additional funding for the Rough Sleeping Initiative (£764,759 and £1,529,518) along with monies for the Next Steps Accommodation Pathway (£963,300).
A significant element of the Rough Sleeping initiative money is the result of a pan East Sussex bid and is to be shared between the respective authorities.
5c) Not known - will need to await the Local Government settlement
6a) Between £1.25m and £2m (An estimate - not the revised budget)
6b) £2.311m (This was the Medium Term Financial Strategy estimate as at October 2020)
6c) £2.236m (This was the Medium Term Financial Strategy estimate as at October 2020)
Freedom of Information