On the right track?

WilloughbyCouncilLogoThe financial report by Council below on the surface sounds good. However, it behooves that some of the information be closely scrutinised.

It is good to note that Council’s apparent new focus on a long awaited Project Management focus is paying dividends.

However, we should ask if it is in the community’s interest to reduce spending on projects as indicated below. Council is there to provide community resources.

By its nature, Council is not in the business of making profits (surplus). If they were we should see some of our rates refunded.

So, whilst this report is generally positive it does beg some questions.

Willoughby well on track

Third quarter report indicates surplus finances and project milestones met

Willoughby Council’s third quarter report (1 Jan – 31 Mar 2016) of its 2015/16 Operational Plan and Financial Performance provides for a further surplus movement of $2.239M, confirming Council’s current strong operating and financial position (estimated annual operating position of a $4.928M surplus).

This positive result is linked to a reduction in anticipated expenditure of a net $1.881M, linked to savings in anticipated employee costs of $612K, and materials and contracts of $1.458M. An increase in income of $358K from additional funds largely from hoarding fees and interest on investments, also contributes to the positive result.

The report, presented at last night’s Council meeting (Monday 23 May 2016), also projects council’s Unrestricted Working Funds for day to day operations to be at $3.431M net of anticipated carryovers, at the end of the Financial Year. This is an improvement of $1.549M on 2014/2015.

Other highlights of the report include the on-track status of Council’s Priority Improvement Program, with 98 per cent of all budgeted projects for the financial year either complete (69 per cent) or in progress (29 per cent) at 31 March 2016. Of all budgeted projects (not just those commenced or completed), 97 per cent have met their respective milestones.

An update on The Concourse Financial Review reveals the actual nine month result exceeds an external consultant’s estimate by a surplus of $180K. This positive results stems mainly from Paid Parking.

“The third quarter report confirms Willoughby Council is in a solid financial and operating position and provides a positive outlook for the future of our community. Council’s recent focus on working smarter and project management is paying off. This is part of Council’s commitment to continue delivering for our community, while we navigate a potential time of change,” said Willoughby Mayor, Gail Giles-Gidney.

– Ends –

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