Dear Halton Borough Council,
The Local Government Association (LGA) advises that some council reserves “restricted by local agreement to fund certain types of expenditure can be reconsidered or released if the council’s future plans and priorities change” (LGA, A councillor’s workbook on local government finance, March, 2018, page 24).
These reserves are sometimes referred to as “controllable” earmarked reserves.
I have four questions.
1. How much does Halton Borough Council currently hold in “controllable” earmarked reserves?
2. In principle - i.e. if deemed necessary by councillors - can Halton Borough Council release/reallocate its “controllable” earmarked reserves and spend them on a once-off basis to support service provision?
3. How much does Halton Borough Council currently hold in “general” reserves?
4. If deemed necessary by councillors, can Halton Borough Council spend its “general” reserves on a one-off basis to support service provision?
MR ALEX A SMITH
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Dear Alex Smith,
Further to your freedom of information request to Halton Borough Council.
Please find below response.
1. How much does Halton Borough Council currently hold in “controllable”
earmarked reserves? Halton Response – Council do not split earmarked
reserves between controllable and non controllable. Balance of earmarked
reserves is £105.572m, note these are held for specific reasons.
2. In principle - i.e. if deemed necessary by councillors - can Halton
Borough Council release/reallocate its “controllable” earmarked reserves
and spend them on a once-off basis to support service provision? Halton
Response – Earmarked reserves are held for specific reasons and to fund
future planned expenditure. Reallocating funds to support service
provision is permitted but would have adverse implications on the
Council’s financial position. Consideration would have to be given to how
commitments the earmarked reserve was initially created for were to be
3. How much does Halton Borough Council currently hold in “general”
reserves? Halton Response - £4.002m
4. If deemed necessary by councillors, can Halton Borough Council spend
its “general” reserves on a one-off basis to support service provision?
Halton Response – This is permitted though it would not be prudent given
current service demand pressures as the General Reserve is required to
fund any overspend or unforeseen costs.
Revenues and Financial Management
Halton Borough Council
Internal No: 167725
External No: 0151 5117725
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Dear Stephen Baker,
Thank you very much for your reply. It contains all of the answers and information I requested.
But could I please request a copy of the reply in pdf format?
Thank you for your time.
MR ALEX A SMITH
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