Highland Council Final Accounts For 2018/19 Show Improved Position
17th May 2019
A greatly improved financial position is to be reported to the council's Corporate Resources Committee meeting next week for the financial year 2018/19. The position reflects the overspend reducing by £3M due to management actions in recent months.
Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon, Chair of the Resources Committee said: "The final outturn for the year is an overspend of £2.280M. This reflects a substantial improvement from the forecasted overspend at end of quarter 3 of £5.550M. This is around £3M better than anticipated a few months ago.
"This more positive position demonstrates the steps taken at an early stage to address and correct what was a worsening position at the time. Strong governance, vacancy management and expenditure controls have not been easy, but have been essential to bring us back into a more stable position. I want to thank all staff for their help with delivering this result."
He added: "We will need to keep on top of this as there will be further risks and challenges in the year ahead. We will be continuing to monitor the budget on a weekly basis and I am confident that we have the right processes in place to deliver the 19-20 budget."
Net spend on services for the year 2018-19 totalled £559.254M. The impact of the deficit has been mostly offset by a review of earmarked reserves and net income. This has reduced the council's non-earmarked general reserve fund by £0.637M to £7.925M.
As at 31st March 2019 the Council's total general fund reserves stand at £20.300m. Of these £12.375m are earmarked (i.e. held for specific purposes), with the balance of £7.925m not earmarked.
Full details of the Highland council budget monitoring report can be seen at Item 5 at https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4126/corporate_resources_committee
Highland Council's Environmental Health team have identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Glencoul, Kylesku area. Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Highland Council's Environmental Health team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Eishort. Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Funding for food and activities during the summer break. More children and young people will benefit from a nutritious meal and a place to play this summer holiday.
At a meeting of The Highland Council on Thursday 27 June 2019, Councillors decided to discontinue the provision of education at Altnaharra Primary School, dividing its catchment area between Tongue Primary, Farr Primary and Lairg Primary schools. A copy of the consultation report, together with the original proposal paper and all relevant appendices can be viewed on the Council's website at: www.highland.gov.uk/schoolconsultations The Council is satisfied that implementation of closure is the most appropriate response to the reasons for formulating the original proposal identified by the authority.
"Highland Council as agreed to allow a question time for members of the public at future Council meetings. The motion was presented by Depute Leader Cllr Alasdair Christie and means that from December 2019, Highland Council meetings will include a time allocation for questions from members of the public.
Highland Councillors have unanimously agreed that the Council will support the continuation of the exemption from UK Air Passenger Duty for flights departing from airports in the Highlands & Islands; and Members also agreed that the Council will continue working with HiTRANS to present the case of the need for, and benefit arising from an exemption from the current UK Air Passenger Duty and any successor duty. The Council's stance comes this week as calls have been made by Aberdeen Airport for greater parity with Highlands & Islands.
Suicide prevention is a key priority for The Highland Council. Members have agreed today, to take forward a piece of research with partners including NHS Highland and Police Scotland, to better understand the current evidence base and experience of suicide in Highland.
The introduction of a service to support the mental health and wellbeing of Highland Council staff and councillors has been approved by the Council as part of a range of measures to improve wellbeing. An Employee Assistance Programme for staff and Members will be put in place to offer telephone and internet-based counselling 24 hours a day.
Councillor Mackie had a written question at today's meeting of Highland council. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee "Official Highland Council guidance indicates that, unless extended, successful Community Asset Transfer requests should be completed by the Local Authority within a nine months' timeframe.
From highland council Meting today 27 June 2019. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee "What are the current best estimates for present total Highland Council debt and the annual financial commitment required to service this debt?".
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