Agenda item

Revised Budget 2022/23, Forecast Outturn 2022/23, Forward Budget 2023/24

The purpose of this report is to present the revised budget and forecast outturn for the year ending 31 March 2023 as at September 2022, and the Forward Budget for the year ending 31 March 2024 to the Joint Management Committee for approval.



Jenny Wadham, Honorary Treasurer

James Taylor, Strategic Manager Basingstoke Canal

Katie McDonald, Natural Capital Group Manager (SCC)


Key points raised during the discussion:


1.    Officers introduced the report and provided a brief summary. It was noted that the the revised budget for the 2022/23 financial year was presented for approval to reflect extra works agreed for 2022/23 at the previous JMC meeting on 15 July. This increased the budgeted draw from reserves for 2022/23 from £30,000 to £82,000. Members further noted that the forecast outturn for the year to 31 March 2023 showed an £121,000 draw on reserves, compared to the revised budget draw of £82,000. Expenditure was forecast to be £21,000 under budget and income was forecast to be £60,000 lower than planned. In regard to the forward budget, officers had tried to create a balanced budget despite the increased pressures on income and expenditure. Issues related to there being no inflationary uplift on Partner contributions and there being a significant inflationary pressure on expenditure. The proposed overall income budget had been reduced by £12,000, primarily reflecting the

reduction in Partner contributions. Several fee increases were expected to generate additional income; however, some income sources were suffering reduced demand. The Canal Maintenance Budget had been reduced to reflect the shortfall. Member noted details of the Capital Expenditure Programme and Reserves as outlined in the report. The officers went on to state that it was looking increasingly likely that there would be a need to draw from reserves just to cover annual expenditure and therefore there was need to consider other operating models.

2.    The Natural Capital Group Manager informed the JMC that officers were concerned with how they would deliver services as expected and therefore it was agreed to commission consultants to provide advice and identify other possible funding models. The consultants would be speaking with members of the JMC to understand priorities for the Partnership. Members noted that an additional meeting would be scheduled in March 2023 to explore any options.

3.    A Member of the JMC raised concerns around the reduction of the maintenance budget and stated that it would likely cause further issues in the long-term.

4.    Members noted that consultants would consider all possible options to allow additional revenue to be produced for the Basingstoke Canal Authority.

5.    Members asked whether the Authority could use capital funding to produce revenue streams. Officers stated that they would pass the comment on to the consultants however there could be issues related to the use of capital funds as they were usually only used for major maintenance on the Canal.

6.    Members noted that the consultants selected had experience working with other waterways. Two meetings had been held between officers and the consultants and they had been signed off to begin work. Stakeholder meetings were expected to begin in December 2022.

7.    A Member of the JMC stated that an asset register would be helpful to understand ownership of the assets belonging to the Canal. Furthermore, the Member suggested the creation of a depreciation reserve.

8.    The Chairman felt it was important to relay the issues of the Canal back to each respective executive Member and officers.

9.    A Member suggested that a face-to-face meeting be organised between all Partner council Leaders and executive Members to highlight the issues currently faced. A representative from the Basingstoke Canal Society (BCS) highlighted that there was ongoing work to create a pitch to highlight the important of the Canal. It was suggested that the BCS be included within the face-to-face meeting. Furthermore, a representative from the BCS agreed to send photographs of the canal breach in 1968 to the Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal. 

10.  A Member asked whether it was possible to divest the Canal to a charitable trust. Officers stated that the option had been previously considered however it was not financial viable due to the number of significant liabilities.

11.  It was noted that the Basingstoke Canal Society would form part of the stakeholder interviews within the consultation.


Actions / Further information to be provided:


Action A7/22 - To organise a meeting in March 2023 to discuss the outcome of the consultation.


Action A8/22 - That the Chairman send an invitation to all Partner council Leaders and relevant executive Members to attend a face-to-face meeting to highlight the issues currently facing the Basingstoke Canal. It was further agreed that officers and representatives from the Basingstoke Canal Society (BCS) attend the meeting to provide a presentation highlighting the importance of the Basingstoke Canal and its maintenance. All relevant Joint Management Committee members were asked to encourage their respective leaders and executive Members to attend the meeting.




1.    That the Committee approved the revised budget for the 2022/23 financial year.


2.    That the Committee noted the forecast outturn for the 2022/23 financial year.


3.    That the Committee approved the forward budget for the 2023/24 financial year.


4.    That the Committee supported a review by officers of possible alternative operating models to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the Basingstoke Canal.

Supporting documents: