Agenda item


Purpose of the report: To brief Members on the financial position of the Basingstoke Canal Authority


Jane Lovett, Honourary Treasurer, Hampshire County Council.
James Taylor, Strategic Manager, Basingstoke Canal Authority

Declarations of interest:

Key points of the discussion:

  1. Officers highlighted that the financial situation for 2016/17 was predicted to be better than budgeted, highlighting that the Basingstoke Canal Authority (BCA) had contributed £3,230 into its reserves rather than the £10,000 draw included in the budget mainly as a result of increased income. It was highlighted that the BCA had performed financially well over the last financial year so far.

  2. Officers pointed out that the 2017/18 draft budget BCA was aiming to create a robust future budget for the upcoming financial year, with a primary focus on creating a balanced budget sheet. This was highlighted as the key priority for the BCA to mitigate unforseen future risks. It was noted that the BCA had a positive outlook for the next financial year.

  3. Officers pointed out that canal maintenance funding was lower than was calculated in the maintenance plan. This had the potential to cause issues, however maintaining a balanced budget was the key concern for the BCA at the present juncture. Members questioned whether the reduced maintenance budget would have a significant long term negative impact upon the canal. The Strategic Manager of the Basingstoke Canal highlighted that this would be a risk if the maintenance budget was low over a sustained period. The Honorary Treasurer made the point that there was  one-off expenditure of £50,000 in the 2017/18 budget so therefore this was not necessarily an on-going position

  4. The Chairman of the Committee noted that implications of the future governance model of the BCA would have unforeseen on the future budget situation. It was noted that these changes would have an unknown impact until details of the prospective changes had emerged.

  5. Officers noted that the primary expenditure for the BCA Capital Works projects were the Dogmersfield landslip and Barley Mow development in Hampshire.

  6. Members commented that the increased revenue from income generation, particularly sales income, was a positive development for the BCA. It was noted that the fees and charges policy had been updated to be more robust going forward into 2017/18 and that and the recommendations in relation to charging for essential carers were accepted by Members.

  7. Members had questions regarding the financial implications on the budget going forward regarding the lower financial contributions from Surrey Heath and Runnymede Borough Councils and whether this could be rectified. It was also questioned whether the Memorandum of Agreement could be amended to link voting rights on the committee and budget contributions.

8.    Members questioned whether there was sufficient funding for adequate dredging works in future. Officers responded that the BCA was waiting for a response from surveyors in order to commence with works, but that there was funding available going forward for some key dredging works.

9.    Members raised a question about the Rive Ditch (Woking) Culvert project, requesting information as to whether the project increased flooding risks. Officers highlighted that the replacement culvert was of smaller cross section than the original at the request of SCC and Woking Borough Council drainage officers; this was in order that no additional flood waters were passed down stream. Members questioned whether this still presented a significant risk and requested that consultation occurred with drainage officers in Surrey County Council’s Environment and Infrastructure directorate.

10.   The Committee noted that the finance report was a useful tool for indicating the current and future financial position of the BCA and thanked the Honourary Treasurer for her work.


1.    That the committee agreed the outturn forecast for the current year 2016/17; and

2.      Agreed the budget for 2017/18



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