Agenda item


To brief Members on the financial outturn of the Basingstoke Canal Authority.  Members are asked to review and agree the outturn position for the year 2018/19.





Jane Lovett, Honorary Treasurer

James Taylor, Strategic Manager- Basingstoke Canal (SCC/HCC)


Key points raised during the discussion:


  1. The Honorary Treasurer introduced the Final Accounts 2018/19. It was reported that the Basingstoke Canal Authority was currently in a sound financial position. At the end of the year the Canal made a contribution to reserves of £105,180 compared to the drawdown of £6,000 predicted in September. However, an overspend of £145,000 would have resulted if planned maintenance works had not slipped into 2019/20. The Honorary Treasurer stated that this showed the tight nature of the revenue budget as there was not “spare” budget to cover unplanned urgent Canal maintenance works.


  1. The Honorary Treasurer addressed the Chairman’s query on the underspend against the profiled spend of both Hampshire and Surrey County Councils’ capital expenditure programmes. It was reported by the Honorary Treasurer that the lower spend was attributable to a combination of factors: availability of relevant staff resource, the permissions and consents required from third parties and adjoining neighbours and difficulties in appointing appropriate contractors.


  1. The Honorary Treasurer stressed that it was important that both County Councils understood that the underspend reflects the allocation of capital resource as opposed to the payments profile and that once the contractors are on site, the expenditure would increase dramatically above the annual allocation and that both Counties still have a capital works backlog.


  1. Members asked about the slipped expenditure for Deepcut Depot, and officers noted that the lease had not been re-secured. Officers noted that SCC Estates and Ministry of Defence were working on this.


  1. Members questioned Surrey Heath Borough Council’s shortfall against the funding formula. It was reported that although Guildford, Surrey Heath and Runnymede Borough Councils’ had signed up to the Memorandum of Agreement, it was minuted in previous Joint Management Committees that they had not agreed to the funding formula. It was reported that the grant structure at Surrey Heath Borough Council had recently changed so a re-assessment would be undertaken to continue the funding given to the BCA. The Committee agreed that an invitation would be sent to the new Leader of the Council to invite him to the Canal Centre.


  1. Members raised the possibility of forming a task group to update the Memorandum of Agreement (2014), however, the Vice-Chairman and Honorary Treasurer noted caution over revisiting the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement. 


  1. The Honorary Treasurer summarised the funding formula for the Partners, with half of the cost sharing funded by Hampshire and Surrey County Councils and the district and borough councils sharing the other half based upon their population and mileage of the canal in their areas. She recommended that the formula should not be changed due to the current difficult financial position of councils.


  1. Members informed the Committee that the Basingstoke Canal Authority can receive funding and support through lotteries and schemes, where those in Rushmoor Borough Council, Surrey Heath Borough Council and Surrey County Council were mentioned.


Actions/ further information to be provided:


  1. A3/19: The Committee agreed that an invitation to the Canal Centre would be sent to the new leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council.


  1. A4/19: Members (Councillors) to go back to relevant councils to discuss lotteries and funding schemes.




  1. The Committee reviewed and agreed the outturn position for the year 2018/19.


  1. The Committee noted the effect of the slipped expenditure on the Unallocated Reserves.


Supporting documents: