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People directorate quarterly service report - budget position

Revenue budget

With the COVID-19 pandemic there is considerable uncertainty over the financial outturn for 2020 to 2021. As such, 2 scenarios of recovery have been modelled to give a forecast range.

At month 5 the forecast overspend is between £3.600 million (best case scenario) and £4.913 million (worst case scenario).

It should be noted that these overspends are based on a budget that was set pre-COVID-19 and have not been adjusted for the additional funding provided by central government in response to the pandemic.

These additional funds are currently held in central budgets for in-year allocation to directorates when there is greater budget certainty.

The most significant forecast overspends are:

The overspend across both Adult Social Care and Mental Health is currently forecast at between £1.726 million and £2,447 million. There remains much uncertainty over adult care costs for the remainder of the year. Whilst unit costs have increased the number of clients accessing services is much lower than at 1 April. The increased unit costs is possibly due to an increased case complexity, whilst the decreased client numbers is due to a large number of suspended services related to social distancing requirements, and the number of deceased clients during the peak of the pandemic.

In Children’s Social Care an overspend is projected on Children Looked After which will also have a knock-on effect to other demand led services, such as Special Guardianship Orders and Childcare Solicitors, and the staffing budget. The forecast pressure is between £1.256 million (best case) and £1.768 million (worst case) depending on the forecast increase in numbers (assumed at between 20% and 35%).

In commissioning a process of one-off payments to Adult Social Care providers has was introduced to help sustain the marketplace during the pandemic. The scheme ended in September but has resulted in expenditure of £0.544 million for which there was no budget.

The schools budget shows an overspend of £4.503 million mainly due to the High Needs Block. Many LAs are experiencing significant increases in spend supporting pupils with SEND and work will be undertaken with the Schools Forum to agree changes in service delivery that will lead to cost reductions. This will be a long-term programme.

The Public Health forecast is for gross spend of £4.472 million which will leave £1.791 million in the earmarked Public Health reserve at the end of the financial year. The Public Health budget also includes the government grant received in respect of track & trace (£0.385m) and the associated costs.

Capital budget

The total capital budget for the department is £23.267 million and includes carry forwards from 2019 to 2020. At this early stage of the year most forecasts are to budget.