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Does Oxford City Council have a Contingency Fund and if so what it is used for?

Sharon Norris made this Freedom of Information request to Oxford City Council

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Dear Oxford City Council,

1) Does Oxford City Council have a Contingency Fund?

2) Does this cover unforeseen expenditure on Council-owned properties (i.e. including council housing)?

3) a) If so, what is the remit of the Contingency Fund (i.e. what areas does it cover) and what projects has the Oxford City Council Contingency Fund been used to finance over the last five years? b) If not, what area of the council monies would be used to fund substantial unplanned-for structural repairs, e.g. in the event of structural decay, subsidence, major leaks, flooding etc?

4) Is there an upper limit on the amount any one project can claim from the Contingency Fund or any other fund covering the sorts of areas outlined in 3)b) above?

5) In order to qualify for funding from the Contingency Fund, or any others which cover the areas indicated here, what conditions, if any, would need to be satisfied?

Yours faithfully,

Sharon Norris

Oxford City Council

Good morning

 

Thank you for your email below.  Your request was received on 23^rd March
2015 and you will receive a response within 20 working days, as required
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Celia Robinson

Interim PA

 

On behalf of Mike Newman

Corporate Secretariat Manager

Oxford City Council

St.Aldate’s Chambers, 109-113, St.Aldate’s

OXFORD

OX1 1DS

 

 

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Oxford City Council

Dear Ms Norris

 

Further to the acknowledgement below, I can reply to your FOI request
received on 23^rd March 2015, as follows :

 

1)     2) and 3) As part of the Council’s Financial Plan it does hold a
number of reserves and balances. Reserves tend to be held for specific
earmarked purposes and are, therefore, not generally available to cover
expenditure to which you refer. Working balances in the order of £4
million are un-ring-fenced and are used to cover unforeseen circumstances
to protect the Council against significant losses of income; for instance
reduced rent income, increased interest payments on loans or unplanned
structural repairs which are referred to in the request.

4)     There is no upper limit on the amount of claim on the working
balance but, suffice to say, it is used as a last resort. The amount of £4
million is considered financially prudent for a council with a housing
stock of 7,500 that the Council owns.

5)     There is no process for claiming on the fund since it is there for
unplanned significant expenditure. The Council’s HRA Business Plan is the
financial plan of all the Council’s Housing priorities for the next 30
years. Within the plan, over the next 10 years, there is £264 million for
energy related schemes to help tenants reduce energy bills, new build
housing to assist with relieving the shortage of housing in the City and
extensive refurbishments and improvements to Council Housing stock over
and above the Government’s Decent Homes Standard.   

 

Yours sincerely

 

Michael Newman

 

Corporate Secretariat Manager

Oxford City Council

St Aldate’s Chambers

109-113 St Aldate’s

Oxford OX1 1DS

 

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Sharon Norris please sign in and let everyone know.