Council meetings

Agenda item

Decisions made by Mayor and Cabinet on 13 February 2019


Budget 2019/20 and Budget Report Update


Councillor Wise said she was concerned that the Council was looking to make additional cuts of £11.8m in 2020/21. Councillor Wise commented that she knew about the overspend in Children’s social care, and Adult Social care, and asked how these services were being monitored.


The Acting Chief Financial Officer responded that there were further cuts to be made but not more than decided. He said the numbers had moved in relation to the timing, but the aggregate remained the same. The Acting Chief Financial Officer said the Fair Funding Review would make things clearer. He reported that incidentally there was an underspend in Adult Social Care, and the work done with the CCG reflects how Fair Funding money was utilised.


Councillor Sorba asked whether the money left over from Adult Social Care could be used to expand services, and was told £200k in a budget of £72m was not a significant amount that could be diverted or reshaped. Councillor Sorba also asked about the consequences of pausing cuts in the number of Health Visitors.


Business Panel noted that the numbers were not problematic, but the grades of the posts were, and the kind of duties they could do. The Acting Chief Financial Officer said the Trust made a commitment not to reduce posts, and they would not be changing the establishment. He said discussions would continue, and officers would do some more work which would result in proposals to Mayor and Cabinet next year.


Councillor Mallory said given the overall pressure on the Council budget officers should try to manage spending effectively. Councillor Muldoon said the Council should now be looking at radical transformation of services by  officers acting under strong political leadership.


Councillor Curran said the Council should be more enterprising. He said the Council owned a lot of land and the land should make money for the Council, especially as land prices in the locality are so high. Councillor Curran said it would be helpful to have a single database of all Council’s assets, which Members have requested several times but still had not been produced.


The Acting Chief Financial Officer said the Asset register had been compiled, but was told by Councillor Curran that Members were expecting a more sophisticated Asset Register that would include all the necessary information but that that had not been provided. Councillor Curran said Members had received a presentation in the past of what could be provided, and the proposed template was very good. It was what Members needed, but nothing came of it.


The Acting Chief Financial Officer informed Business Panel that an update on the Council’s asset register will be going to the Public Accounts Select Committee on 20 March, and Members could voice their concerns at this meeting. Councillor Mallory said Members were welcome to attend the meeting. Councillor Wise suggested that officers check the list of properties diligently to ensure what is on paper corresponds with reality.     


Following a question from Councillor Wise, the Acting Chief Financial Officer told Panel Members that parks income had been scrutinised and some doubts were raised which resulted in the Mayor asking for an update, and it was also agreed that scrutiny would continue.


The Cabinet Member for Finance, Skills & Jobs ( Job Share) thanked Members for their questions and said that she agreed complete transformation was necessary. She said the Council would not be able make further cuts in Adult Social Care unless there was total transformation. The Cabinet Member for Finance, Skills & Jobs ( Job Share)said she shared Members concerns and aspirations.


RESOLVED that the decision of Mayor and Cabinet be noted.

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