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Agenda item


To report the level of spending and exposure against the Council’s Revenue budgets and reserves and balances for the first 9 months to 31 December 2022.  The report also includes an update on the Medium Term Financial Plan 2023/24 – 2026/27.


Mr Steve Thompson, Director of Resources presented the financial performance monitoring as at Month 9 and advised that the Month 9 data provided the basis for the 2023/2024 Council budget. He noted that the service pressures remained for Children’s Social Care and therefore the financial performance information provided for the Service was more detailed. The number of looked after children had continued to reduce however the cost per placement had increased. There had been a rising number of Special Guardianship Orders issued.


It was reported that the staff pay award in 2023/2024 had been much higher than forecasted with a similar award expected in 2024/2025. Non pay inflation and higher interest rates had also placed additional pressures on the Council’s budget. The current level of reserves was considered to be healthy with working balances and reserves monitored in close detail. In regards to collection of Council Tax and Business Rates, it was noted that a higher level of collection had been achieved in 2023/2024 than in the previous year.


The summary outlook for the next few years was highlighted with a budget gap of £23.4 million forecast in 2023/2024, reducing to £6.6 million expected in 2024/025 and £4.8 million in 2025/2026.


The Board referred to the level of income from parking and queried whether the cost of parking in Blackpool was competitive. In response, Mr Philip Welsh, Head of Tourism advised that the Council car parks in Blackpool were cheaper than the private car parks on offer and that offers had been used during the year such as park for £1 in the run up to Christmas to encourage locals to the town and offer a competitive model. Deals were also on offer for hotels and business to allow them to purchase permits and access a quality, well maintained parking service.


Following further discussion, concern was noted that anecdotal evidence suggested that residents were not happy with the cost of parking in the town. It was reported that the app had offered a lower cost of parking at times through offers and that these offers would be extended to people paying for their parking in other ways.


The Committee noted the update.

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