Agenda item

Finance Report

To consider the Finance report.


The Panel considered the current projected outturn position for 2020/21 and were asked to agree the 2021/22 budget proposals.


What the operational issues and financial implications had been for the Dorchester Fairfield market, the Cornhill Market, the Farmer’s market and the Car Boot, the reasons for this and how these had been managed were described, together with what influences there had been on the budget being presented.


The total projected expenditure was forecasted to be marginally over

Budget: a potential cost of £44,118 against a budget of £41,958. The main reason behind the slight overspend was due to electricity costs, of which there was no specific budget, now being addressed as part of the proposed 2021/22 budget.


There was projected to be a significant deficit on the gross income budget. Current projections indicated potential income of £79,530, against a budget of £123,240.


At Ensor’s request, and so as to better reflect current trading conditions at the Market and to assist Ensors with their cashflow, it had been agreed that the monthly on account payments received from them would be reduced from £5,000 to nil per month with immediate effect, for the remainder of 2020/21, with payments reverting to £3,000 per month from April 2021.


From proceeds gained, the sum available for distribution was forecast to be £79,530, against a net budget of £123,240 with the allocation of this being:


·       Dorset Council - £46,722 (against a budget of £67,821),

·       Dorchester Town Council - £25,158 (against a budget of £36,519) and

·       the transfer to the Car Boot Reserve of £7,650 (against a budget of £18,900).


In particular, mention was made of the condition of Fairfield’s The Linnies and its practical application. Whilst in a state of disrepair and with significant repair work required for the northern Linnies in particular, the southern ones were still regularly used on market days and for car boot sales. Although an ongoing maintenance commitment, there were seen to serve a useful purpose and contributed to the historic and cultural landscape of the market. In seeing the benefit of them, a suggestion made that they might be adapted to accommodate some artisan craftwork i.e. pottery workshop or the like, was taken on board by officers in any discussion they had with Ensors in addressing the practicalities of maintaining these features for such purpose.


Whilst not being listed, as they were in the Conservation Area, how they were managed would need to be addressed in that context, with consent being necessary for any alterations. The Panel asked that they be provided with a report – following discussions with Ensor’s – over how The Linnies might be best managed going forward and what considerations needed to be taken into account in doing so.

What was happing with town centre retail and custom and significant

changes to retail habits accounted for much that was being seen with the finances, as well as the part the pandemic was playing in the ability to operate the markets as beforehand and the consequent reduction in footfall.


Whilst disappointing, the Panel recognised, and accepted, the reasons for this

and the bearing this had on the budget.



That the current projected outturn position for 2020/21 be noted and the 2021/22 budget proposals be agreed.


Reason for decision

The need for a budget for 2021/22 to be agreed.



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