This report presents the capital monitoring position at Quarter 1 for the current financial year 2023/24. The Committee is asked to review the progress of capital projects as set out in Appendix 1.
The Committee received a report presenting the capital monitoring position at Quarter 1 for the current financial year 2023/24. The Committee was asked to review the progress of capital projects as set out in Appendix 1.
Councillor Coley made a verbal statement to the Committee.
The following matters were considered:
a) Affordable Housing Fund. A Member of the Committee asked about the unallocated S106 balances, listed on page 55, specifically Affordable Housing. The Member asked for clarity as to how this fund works and if there is a benefit to stacking up the fund or if instead, we should be looking at having more ambitious affordable housing and using that fund. The Head of Finance responded to inform the Committee that where a developer can’t meet its affordable housing obligations on a particular development, they can be required to make a financial contribution in lieu of that, the Council can then use that to try and provided alternative affordable housing separately, which can take many forms, including providing additional temporary accommodation to help out our homelessness situation. The Head of Finance explained that when those funds are deployed, they’re targeted at the most effective schemes to try to deliver the greatest benefit that they can leverage in,
b) Ewell Court House Tea Rooms. A Member of the Committee asked about that status of the Ewell Court House Tea Rooms, as referenced on page 61, and queried what are the project dependencies that could cause delay to the completion of the restoration. The Head of Finance confirmed that a written response would be provided in due course.
c) Horton Chapel. A Member of the Committee asked for an explanation as to what the funds held for the Horton Chapel as listed in the section 106 balances on page 55, are being held for, and whether these could be used for severe draining problems at the site. The Head of Finance confirmed that those funds are held to pass over to the Horton Chapel Heritage Arts Association, who were awarded a grant of around £1.45 million several years ago to convert Horton Chapel, the vast majority of those funds over have already been passed over with the remaining balance about to be passed over to them soon. The Head of Finance informed the Committee that the Horton Chapel Heritage Arts Association incur the expenditure and the finance department reimburse them after the event when they claim for it and the final payment is about to be passed over to them.
d) IT Strategy Funding. A Member of the Committee asked about the funding approved for the SharePoint Project, and queried if the costs are variable and change significantly, do they have to be reapproved by the Strategy and Resources Committee or is there a variance that Officers can approve without going back to Committee. The Head of Finance informed the Committee that there is a threshold that Officers can approve within the Capital Programme without going back to Members. The Head of Finance confirmed that he would check the financial regulations to confirm the amount and provide the answer in a written response in due course.
Following consideration, the Committee unanimously resolved to:
(1) Receive the capital monitoring position at Quarter 1, as set out in the report.