Presented By:Linda Horne
The committee considered a report of the Head of Finance and Business Planning that set out the financial position as at the end of September 2018 related to the Combined Authority’s Transport Delivery Revenue and Capital Budgets.
Councillor Akhtar, Lead Member for Finance and Performance, outlined the report recommendations and advised the committee of a typographical error in section 2.2 of the report regarding bus services which should read a projected adverse full year forecast of £1.448m, not favourable. The Lead Accountant (Transport) Wayne Farrington, explained the reasons for the adverse forecast and other revenue expenditure headline variances and reported that the revenue expenditure table in the report contained the correct information. The Lead Accountant (Transport) continued to present the headlines for the remainder of the report covering the capital expenditure and treasury management sections.
In relation to an enquiry from Councillor Huxtable regarding Metro Birmingham Eastside and the need to know more about the work undertaken with respect to the design options for Delta Junction at Bull Street, in particular whether the WMCA has obtained agreement in principle, the Managing Director, Laura Shoaf, reported a financial decision has not yet been taken on the junction as the Midland Metro Alliance (MMA) was currently reviewing the work undertaken by Balfour Beatty and offered to provide a Councillor Huxtable with a briefing note on the matter.
Councillor Horton, Lead Member for Rail and Metro, proposed that the matter be raised at a future Rail and Metro Lead Member Reference Group meeting as this would ensure Councillor Huxtable received a more detailed response.
Councillor Alden expressed concerns that current underspends on schemes could lead to cost increases in the future and enquired as to the number of fixed price contracts that were in place and whether delays to schemes could be attributed to the work being undertaken in respect of Paradise Circus.
The Managing Director, advised that there were different delivery arrangements in place for the various schemes and reported that whilst the Midland Metro Alliance would deliver Metro schemes, they would not deliver Sprint schemes and she could supply further information for Councillor Alden if required. In relation to works being carried out for Paradise Circus, the Managing Director reported that these had not impacted on the final delivery date for the Metro Extension to Centenary Square and Edgbaston.
In relation to Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro Extension and an enquiry from Councillor Hanif as to whether the rescheduling of survey work would delay the delivery of the scheme, the Managing Director reported that the transfer of the corridor from Network Rail to the WMCA had recently been agreed and this would not delay the scheme.
In relation to an enquiry from Councillor Richards regarding further information on ‘emerging cost pressures relating to various TfWM activities’, referred to in paragraph 2.3 of the report, the Lead Accountant (Transport) advised that detailed work was currently ongoing as part of the review of forecast expenditure taking place during November and information from the outcome of this would be included in the next Financial Monitoring report that would be considered by the committee on 7 January 2019.
1. That the year to date net revenue expenditure outturn for 2018/19 shows a favourable variance of £309,000 compared to budget and a full year favourable forecast variance of £41,000 be noted;
2. That the total capital expenditure to the end of September 2018 for the overall transport programme is £38.8million, within the year to date budget be noted and
3. That the treasury indicators are within expected range and there are no issues to highlight to be noted.