This report presents the results of the first round of the Council’s capital budget monitoring process for 2022/23.
The Committee considered a report presenting the results of the first round of the Council’s capital budget monitoring process for 2022/23. It was noted that since the production of the Committee report, the Cabinet had agreed the recommendations referred to in 14.2 and 14.3 of the report.
The following issues were discussed:
· Temporary suspension of phase 2 of the children’s assessment unit project – It was confirmed that this referred to Eden House and Five Rivers.
· Funding of CCTV cameras – It was clarified that whilst Kyndi maintained the equipment, its ownership and the cost of replacement remained with the Council.
· Regeneration of greenspaces – Concern was expressed that this was being heavily weighted towards specific areas. The Chief Operating Officer advised that the prioritisation of funding was a matter for the service.
· Strood Riverside Board – Clarification would be sought on whether this was a Cabinet Advisory Group and whether it and others had been replaced by a Town Centres Board.
· Contingency Funding - The Chief Operating Officer said that there was a significant risk attached to most regeneration schemes and an element of costed risk was included in each scheme. Officers were re-evaluating business cases in light of increasing costs.
· Robert Napier bulge budget – It was clarified that there was no budget in the current year but some additional funding was required to cater for additional pupils. This would be included in the report to Full Council in the Autumn.
· Integrated transport budget underspend – Clarification was sought on what the negative impact might be of the virement of £527,000 from the budget to the Medway City Estate Connectivity scheme. The Chief Operating Officer advised that it was a re-prioritisation and that he would seek more information from the service on the rationale for the virement.
· Timescale for Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) schemes - It was questioned whether these schemes would be completed by March 2025 as planned. The Chief Operating Officer responded that the funds needed to be spent by this time and the project managers were working to that timescale. He acknowledged the risk associated with tight timescales.
· Splashes – Asked for an update on the commencement of works, the Chief Operating Officer advised that the contract had not yet been let and so the commencement date may not be in October.
· Future High Street Fund – In response to a question regarding the former Debenhams building, it was reported that there had been discussions about siting a community hub on the site, but no plans had been developed as it was only one of several commercial/cultural options for the ground floor.
· Medway Development Company – The Chief Operating Officer said that there had been a positive amount of interest shown in the development at Garrison Point and undertook to establish how many units had been sold to date.
· Capital expenditure brought forward – Asked at what point before the elections and the new municipal year in 2023, such commitments would stop, the Chief Operating Officer said that he was not aware of any others at present, but if the Government brought forward opportunities for match funding, a business case could be presented for consideration of future budget commitments.
· New report format – The Chairman noted the general consensus of the Committee in favour of the new report format.
1. The Committee noted the results of the first round of capital budget monitoring for 2022/23 and the following capital additions agreed by Council on 21/07/2022, which will be incorporated into the capital monitoring process from round 2 of 2022/23:
· £17,878,916 from short-term borrowing (to be repaid from future capital receipts generated by the site) for the redevelopment of the former Debenhams site,
· £12million total against future capital receipts for a building (£8million) and car park (£4million) on the Southern Site of the Innovation Park Medway (IPM), and
· £12.850million to fund the new Splashes sports centre, funded from prudential borrowing.
2. The Committee noted that on 23 August 2022, the Cabinet recommended that Council approve the following changes to the capital budget:
· The addition £975 of basic need grant to the Halling Primary Expansion scheme to address the overspend reported, as set out in paragraph 9.1.1 of this report;
· The addition of £155 of S106 developer contributions to the Rowans Primary Support scheme to address the overspend reported, as set out in paragraph 9.1.2 of this report;
· The addition of £35,000 of S106 developer contributions to the Robert Napier Bulge scheme to address the overspend reported, as set out in paragraph 9.1.3 of this report;
· The removal of the uncommitted balance of the Regeneration Investment Fund of £12.947million, as set out in paragraph 9.1.5 of this report;
· The addition of £114,500, funded from the Council’s General Reserves to the Lordswood Community Hub scheme, as set out in section 9.2 of the report.
3. The Committee noted that on 23 August 2022, the Cabinet agreed a virement of £527,000 to the Medway City Estate scheme, funded from underspends of £15,000 on the National Productivity Plan and £512,000 on the Integrated Transport LTP3, as set out in paragraph 9.1.4 of the report.