Decision details

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Finance Update (Emergency Recordable Decision)

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

The purpose of this item is to set out the short term budgetary and funding arrangements for the Council’s budget as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

This decision is to be made by the Chief Executive pursuant to the following provisions in Part 3 Paragraph 9.3.2 of the Council’s Constitution:

 

Exceptionally,…… notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, the Chief Executive shall be authorised to exercise either executive or non-executive functions where the matter is urgent unless this is prohibited by law.”

 

The current situation in respect of the Coronavirus: COVID 19 is an exceptional circumstance.  The decision proposed in this report is urgent in current circumstances for the following reasons:

 

·                Due to the impact on key services provided by the Council there is a need to ensure measures are put in place so that the necessary funds are available to support public services, vulnerable people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

 

·                The Transfers and Virements scheme in Part 2 of the council’s Constitutions sets out the rules governing the transfer of sums from the council’s reserves.  As it is not currently feasible to seek Cabinet authority for the transfer from reserves recommended in this report due to the urgency of the current situation, it is proposed that the decision be made under the Chief Executive’s urgent decision making powers.

Decision:

The Chief Executive, acting under emergency delegated powers within the Constitution has agreed to authorise the Director of Finance to make transfers to departmental revenue budgets from the specific General Fund earmarked reserve called ‘Service Pressures’ in order to fund additional expenditure incurred as part of the Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reasons for the decision:

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has outlined a range of support measures at Budget 2020. The government has also introduced daily press briefings on the crisis, and has continued to announce further measures and clarifications.  This decision seeks to ensure the necessary authorisation is in place to enable transfers to departmental revenue budgets from the specific General Fund earmarked reserve called ‘Service Pressures’ in order to fund the additional expenditure incurred as part of the Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alternative options considered:

None - This decision seeks to ensure the necessary authorisation is in place to enable transfers to departmental revenue budgets from the specific General Fund earmarked reserve called ‘Service Pressures’ in order to fund the additional expenditure incurred as part of the Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing Government announcements.

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Cabinet/Committee Decision or Scheme of Delegation: This decision is to be made by the Chief Executive pursuant to the following provisions in Part 3 Paragraph 9.3.2.of the Constitution: “Exceptionally,…… notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, the Chief Executive shall be authorised to exercise either executive or non-executive functions where the matter is urgent unless this is prohibited by law.”

Parties Consulted: Leader and Deputy Leader (Cabinet Member for Resources)

Contact: Minesh Patel, Director of Finance Email: minesh.patel@brent.gov.uk Tel: 020 8937 4043.

Publication date: 23/03/2020

Date of decision: 23/03/2020