To consider the report of Merseytravel.
Sarah Johnston, Assistant Director Finance, presented a report which provided the Members of the Transport Committee with details of Merseytravel’s financial performance for the period April 2021 through to 31 January 2022. The report also provided projections for the outturn position to the end of the financial year.
The budget setting for 2021/22 had probably been one of the most challenging years due to Covid and it had been set against the backdrop of considerable uncertainty and Members would recall as part of the budget setting report that this risk had been flagged in the report. It could be seen that the budget had been fairly prudent, and it was projected that at the end of the year there would be a small outturn. That had been in part to do with being slightly overly prudent in certain areas around income.
Table 1 provided a breakdown of expenditure at service level and there was a more granular breakdown of that included at Appendix 1. The impact of the projected outturn position was that the use of Merseytravel reserves would be lower than projected and that was also the same for the application of reserves coming through from the Combined Authority which was due to the fact that rolling stock and tunnels would spend slightly less than anticipated.
There was a similar position in respect of capital which again had been set against a very challenging backdrop. It was noted in Table 2 that it was projected that around 85% of the capital budget for the year would be spent which was positive news given the position we had been in. Again more detailed information had been included in Appendix 2.
Taking account of the projected revenue and capital position that meant that less Merseytravel reserves had been used and therefore there was more there at projected year end. There had been a significant amount of risk included within the budget but moving towards the end of the year some of that had started to diminish as there had been more certainty around the outturn position. She highlighted the fact that notwithstanding that there was still a significant level of financial risk that the organisation would face going forward and that had been outlined in respect of the budget for the next financial year at paragraph 3.8.
Councillor Steve Foulkes stated that the report was clear and transparent and different in some respects as it had tried to move beyond the date that it had been set. Paragraph 3.8 indicated the trends of where the risks were. He asked if there was any further information in respect of the Beatles Story. He suggested that financial reports should come further up the agenda so all your decision making was set as you went through the agenda based on the current financial situation. Financial matters tended to come at the end of the agenda in Wirral and also in the Combined Authority but if the budget situation was clear at the start of ... view the full minutes text for item 62