Report of the Director of Finance & Assurance
The Committee received a report which set out the Treasury Management Outturn position for 2022/23.
An Officer introduced the report, stating that the Council held outstanding investment of £79.4 million at the end of the reporting financial year. The Officer explained that the actual borrowing CFR went down slightly by £8.4 million from the closing balance of £588.1 million to £579.7 million. The Officer highlighted the fact that the original borrowing CFR forecast for 2022/2023 was £655.2 million and the Council are not near that amount at all due to capital expenditure slippage. The Officer then went on to inform Members that the actual debt at the end of the current financial year stood at £432.2 million. From this amount, it was confirmed that the loans borrowing was £417,231 million and other liabilities such as PFI was roughly £15 million.
The Officer drew particular attention to the fact that during 2022/2023 the Council did not raise any new borrowing and only internal borrowing was used. The total amount that the Council paid in loans that have matured during the year was £5 million. The Officer explained that for this financial reporting year, all treasury management activities were carried out in accordance with the approved limits and the prudential indicator which was set out in the Council’s treasury management strategy statement that was approved by full Council in February 2022.
The Officer then invited Members to ask questions and it was clarified that:
- When the treasury management strategy statement was put together back in February 2022, the interest rates forecast was not expecting things to be the way they are in the current environment.
- A Member sought clarification as to the reason why in the housing revenue account, capital receipts and capital grants had a substantial drop in figures as compared to the previous financial year. The Officer confirmed that in the HRA it is normal to find that things fluctuate year to year. It was confirmed that Officers would circulate to Members the specific reasons for the variance in the HRA account.
- The Chair of the Committee requested that Officers provided clarification after the meeting regarding what has triggered the £3.2 million increase in capital receipts in the General Fund.
- The Council has an amount of cash in the bank which was made up of reserves, grants and cash in the bank (such as Council Tax money that comes in). The Officer confirmed that the Council has a trigger point of £30 million where the cash balance in the bank will not be held less than this amount. When the Council wishes to spend on the Capital Programme, rather than borrowing the money the Council would look to use any excess in the cash balance above the trigger point and this was referred to as internal borrowing.
- The Officer confirmed that Harrow was an under-borrowed Council.
- When the Council put money into the Capital Programme, the absolute limit in terms of what could be borrowed is all linked to what is both sensible and affordable for the Council to pay back. The Officer stated that the Council has an approximate £5 million surplus in the Capital Financing budget. This meant that if borrowing was required, there would be the revenue budget to fund this.
- The Chair of the Committee sought clarification regarding the Capital Financing cost in particular the budget for each category and the actual spends in each category as of March 2023. It was confirmed that the budget figures and actual capital finance costs would be provided to Members as a follow up.
- The Council keeps a high amount of money in its current account, meaning instant access can be given if urgently required for an investment.
(1) the Committee notes the Treasury Management outturn position for 2022/23;
(2) the Committee refers the Treasury Management Annual Outturn Report 2022/23 to Cabinet for noting.