Hampshire County Council provides vital services for 1.3 million people. An overall annual budget of £1.9 billion was set to provide these services for 2011/12.
In 2011/12, our general government funding was cut by 14.3% compared to the previous year. This was the highest percentage cut for any English county council. We also receive a low amount of government funding per person compared to many other councils.
£55m of savings was achieved in 2011/12. This strong performance in reducing expenditure meant that the impact on services from the cuts in public funding could be minimised.
Following the end of each financial year, the County Council publishes an annual Statement of Accounts, showing the sources of income available and how they have been used to provide services.
Non-ring fenced government grants mainly comprise:
National business rates are charges collected by district councils from non-domestic properties, at a national rate in the pound set by Government.The proceeds are pooled nationally and redistributed to areas based on the Government’s assessment of spending need and local resources.
As we get a low amount of Government grant per head of population, most services in Hampshire are funded by your council tax.
The final accounts set out the cost of running Hampshire County Council’s services in 2011/12. These are published in the format required by international accounting standards and the code of practice for preparing local authority final accounts. Full details are available in the 2011/12 Statement of Accounts.
The General Fund balance is the surplus of revenue income over expenditure. It compares the Council's spending against the council tax it raised for the year, taking into account the use of reserves built up in the past and contributions to reserves earmarked for future expenditure.
The surplus on the provision of services shown on the Comprehensive Statement of Income and Expenditure includes items which the Government stipulates should not be chargeable to the General Fund. These are mainly associated with asset depreciation and retirement benefit accrual which do not necessarily lead to short or medium term cash flows. Therefore, these are transferred to the Balance Sheet and replaced with the employer’s pension contribution and the annual repayment of loans for capital expenditure.
General Fund balance at 31 March 2011
Surplus on the provision of services
Net adjustment between accounting basis and funding basis
Balance before transfer to earmarked reserves
Transfers to earmarked reserves
General Fund balance at 31 March 2012
Further details about the General Fund can be found in the Movement in Reserves Statement and notes 6 to 8 of the 2011/12 Statement of Accounts.
The Balance Sheet presents the financial position of the County Council at 31 March 2012. It shows what the Council owned, owes and was owed on that date.
What we own:
Land, buildings, vehicles, equipment and infrastructure
Money owed to the Council
Less what we owe:
Money owed by the Council
Pension Fund net liability
Equals what we are worth:
Cash-backed reserves *
Non-cash-backed reserves #
Total net worth
* Cash-backed reserves are available, as needed, to finance revenue and capital spending.
# Non-cash backed reserves would only become usable if the County Council was to dispose of all its fixed assets at their balance sheet value.