£1.2million ‘interest windfall’ should help Mid Sussex District Council to balance its books

An ‘interest windfall’ of more than £1.2million should help Mid Sussex District Council to balance its books by the end of 2023/24.
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Figures shared during a meeting of the cabinet on Monday (November 13) showed a forecast overspend at the end of September of £654,000.

But Anne-Marie Cooke, cabinet member for finance, said: “As last year, we’re confident that it will be mitigated by successful treasury management.”

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A report to the cabinet said: “Treasury management continues to show a steady improvement as the year progressesdue to the improved interest rates available and effective investment decision-making.

Robert Eggleston, Mid Sussex District CouncilRobert Eggleston, Mid Sussex District Council
Robert Eggleston, Mid Sussex District Council

“After planned income use in the base budget for 2023/24 there is £1,202,000 windfall in interest earned to the end of September.

“It is anticipated that we will continue to see improved returns as we reach the end of investments that were placed when rates were low.

“It is proposed that this windfall is used to fund the inflationary pressures that are impacting on the forecast out-turn.”

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Among those areas facing pressures was leisure services, mainly due to the fact that post-pandemic income generation has recovered slower than anticipated.

This means the council only received a £200,000 management fee, compared to the £1.4m pre-Covid.

Legal services has a projected overspend of around £200,000 due in part to the amount being spent on agency and locum staff.

The report said: “The service is looking to manage this overspend down by the ongoing successful recruitment of permanent staff.”

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And corporate resources is looking at an overspend of around £133,000 due to the cost of insurance increasing higher than inflation.

Leader Robert Eggleston said: “Yes, there are pressures in the budget but the extraordinary income that we’re receiving on treasury management is supporting the budget – and supporting it well at this present time.”