Finances ‘running well’

Presenting the financial statement for the first quarter of the 2013-14 financial year at the November 5 council briefing, corporate strategies and performance director John Paton said finances were running well for the time of year.

According to his report, revenue was $118.8 million, up 1 per cent on the budgeted income, while expenses were $30.9 million, below the budgeted $36.3 million.

‘We would normally be running below budget (in expenses),’ Mr Paton said.

Councillor Domenic Zappa said the employment costs caught his eye, with under $13.2 million spent up to September 30, below the budgeted amount of almost $14.9 million.

‘Where are those vacancies and are these affecting the level of customer service output?’ Cr Zappa asked.

‘What are the main positions that are contributing to this favourable position that we are in?’

Mr Paton said contributing factors were the staff turnover rate and a recruitment lag, with the City budgeting for 30 or 40 new positions this financial year.

‘By the time you bring those on, that would bring a slight lag,’ he said.

‘It would be across the board where those vacancies exist.’

Mr Paton said even a week’s variation could create a difference of $1 million between the budgeted and actual operating costs.

Councillors unanimously accepted the report at the November 12 council meeting, without discussion.