Executive Recruitment

Finance and Performance

In North West Leicestershire financial management is underpinned by value for money. We manage our budgets carefully and sensibly and this allows us to provide excellent value for money in our services. We invest in key schemes and infrastructure that make a real difference in our communities, whilst balancing the books and planning for the future.

Our revenue budgets total almost £34 million for 2020/21 and our current approved five year capital investment programme totals an ambitious £84 million due to the level of investment in assets within the district. We hold a generous £33 million in reserves, with £13 million in place to repay Housing Revenues Account (HRA) self-financing loans due for redemption in 2022, and £6.3 million specifically set aside in our self-sufficiency reserve to protect the council from projected future deficit years and the risk of being unable to deliver a balanced budget. We also maintain healthy and prudent member-approved minimum levels of reserves of £1.5 million and £1 million for the General Fund and HRA respectively.

Our borrowing is in line with prudential guidelines and is affordable and sustainable. In 2019 we began work to develop a new £23 million leisure facility in Coalville which will open in 2022. This significant investment, predominantly funded through internal reserves, will see the council need to borrow to fund its ongoing General Fund Capital Programme from 2022.

We perform well against the CIPFA Financial Resilience Index and have unqualified audit opinion in respect of our financial and value for money audits. Our financial performance is scrutinised by our Corporate Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet on a quarterly basis as part of integrated council performance reporting.

We are one of the top performing districts across in England in respect of growth in business rates and New Homes Bonus. Currently over 60% of General Fund activities currently provided by these funding streams. This means that the local government funding reviews present a very real threat to the council’s ongoing financial sustainability. Our Medium Term Financial Strategy, last reviewed in 2018, identified this issue on the horizon and as a result changed the way in which we manage our reserves to ensure self-sufficiency and our approach to financial planning over the medium term.

The strategy’s Medium Term Financial Plan is looked at on a biannual basis - the plan is rebased in February as part of setting the forthcoming year’s budget and also reviewed the following September to assess the impact of the previous year’s outturn and consider the context in which the forthcoming year’s annual budget will be set.

The strategy also identified the need for us to manage a programme of change in order to be self-sufficient and our Journey to Self-Sufficiency programme, that promotes self-sufficiency and the safeguarding of the council’s financial position is currently undergoing redesign to ensure it is fit for purpose in the post COVID-19 environment.