The Council has recently published its Statement of Accounts for 2016/17. It is a 141 page document which details comprehensively the Councils financial status for the year to 31 March 2017.
Much of the rhetoric is around the tightness of the annual Revenue budget which results in the well-publicised cuts to public services.The Council is a significant institution
- Annual Funding ( inc schools) – £733m
- Total Assets of £1.4 billion
- Long Term borrowing / leases – £465m
- Usable reserves – £202m
- Just under £150m of this is for non-revenue purposes, or is earmarked for statutory issues.
This leaves £55m of reserves to support “budget planning” / “future events” in the annual revenue budget cycle – the very arena where the cuts to services come from. The chart below shows the detail of the reserves and the balances at 31 March 2017. By comparison, these reserves were £34m, at 31 March 2016 ( an increase of £21m in 1 year)
As a reserve, it cannot fund additional expenditure for ever but it can alleviate any false urgency in cutting services that could be continued for a few more years whilst alternative funding options are sought – that’s what it’s for!
To put it into context 1% of this total will fund the 10 “at risk” libraries for a year.
It is the Council’s CHOICE not to use these reserves – it is its CHOICE to cut services as a preference.
Perhaps Cllr Banwait would like to explain why he is making the people of Derby suffer when he is sitting on £55m of reserves
For those who ask – the Assembly Rooms reserve is currently at £3.4m