Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN
Contact: Ross Pike or Sharmina Ullah
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Apologies were received from Robert Evans who advised due to a teaching commitment will withdraw from the meeting at 12:30pm. Apologies were also received from Ken Gulati who advised will be leaving the meeting at lunchtime.
To agree the minutes as a true record of the meeting.
The minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter
(i) Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or
(ii) Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting
There were no declarations of interest received.
QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS
To receive any questions or petitions.
1. The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days
before the meeting (Monday 22 January 2018).
2. The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting
(Friday 19 January 2018).
3. The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no
petitions have been received.
There were no questions and petitions received.
RESPONSES FROM THE CABINET TO ISSUES REFERRED BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE
There are no responses to report.
There were no issues referred.
This report updates the Committee on the budget scrutiny work carried out during November and December 2017.
January 2018 Cabinet Budget papers to follow.
Declarations of interest:
David Hodge, Leader of the Council
Bob Gardner, Environment and Infrastructure Select Committee Chairman
Ken Gulati, Adults and Health Select Committee Chairman
Rachael I Lake, Communities Select Committee Chairman
Dr Andrew Povey, Corporate Services Select Committee Vice-Chairman
Kevin Kilburn, Deputy Chief Finance Officer
Key points raised during the discussion:
1. The Committee received an introductory statement from the Leader of the Council, outlining the report from Cabinet of its proposals, setting out the council tax precept for 2018/19, revenue budget for 2018/19 and Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) to 2020/21 which would be recommended to County Council to consider at its meeting on 6 February 2018.
2. It was noted that a refreshed version of the Corporate Strategy for 2018/19 was in progress and would be produced with the incoming Chief Executive and would be presented at the meeting of County Council in May 2018.
3. The Leader of the Council emphasised the importance of the Select Committees’ work with Directors and Cabinet Members to provide scrutiny on specific service budgets and proposals. It was stressed that this was an opportunity to challenge or change priorities and steer the direction of services.
4. The Leader of the Council stated that, to aid local Members to take effective action to address local concerns and issues, a part of the additional funding from the extra 1% increase in the council tax would be allocated to new local funds. A new Member Local Highways Fund would be established from 2018/19 with £7.5k per member, as well as a Members’ Community Allocation of £5k per member.
5. It was noted by Members that Local Committees will share a Revenue Highways Fund of £1.4m.The Committee was advised that guidelines would be set on how to spend these allocations by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Assistant Director of Highways following Council’s approval on 6 February 2018.
6. It was highlighted that the Council was facing significant financial challenges, predominantly within social care services, special educational needs and disability services due to demand. The Budget includes forecasts totalling £107m for demand and cost pressures.
7. It was noted that market inflation, especially within the social care market and the further reduction of Government grants had intensified pressures and created additional financial challenges for balancing the budget.
8. It was noted that although the Council had identified additional savings of £66m in 2018/19, a shortfall of £39m in the budget remained. To meet the overall shortfall of funding and to produce a balanced budget for 2018/19 the Cabinet proposed the following one-off measures: the use of capital receipts, the use of up to £24m of earmarked reserves and the participation in the Government’s 100% Business Rate Retention pilot.
9. The Deputy Chief Finance Officer was pleased to report that Surrey’s Business Rate Pilot application had been successful and the projected impact of this would be an estimated extra £20m for the Council in 2018/19 from its share of retained business rates growth. ... view the full minutes text for item 618.
The Committee is asked to review its Recommendation Tracker and Forward Work Programme, and the Forward Work Programmes of the other Select Committees which are attached.
Key point raised during the discussion:
1. The Committee reviewed its Recommendations tracker and commented on the response received in relation to Item 9, Investment Strategy, Investment Board Annual Report where it was stated that ‘some information will remain confidential’. The Chairman advised that future review of the annual report could be considered in Part 2 Private to comply with exempt information. Member concerns were noted that the information should be available in the public domain.
2. The Chairman notified members that the wording of the control for L3 in the newest Leadership risk register was changed to: ‘We are working with Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board and our partners to revise our adult safeguarding policies, procedures and guidance, associated tools such as the competency framework and out learning and development offer to support these. It is anticipated that these will be completed by April 2018’.
3. It was noted that new items on the Select Committee Forward Work Programmes (FWP) were highlighted for Member’s attention and details of Select Committee task groups had also been incorporated into the FWP for reference.
4. Members were informed that all the items on the Overview and Budget Scrutiny Committee plan were provisional and the proposed timing of the new Chief Executive item was subject to change.
5. It was highlighted that the Children and Education FWP would be reviewed for further development at its February meeting of the Committee.
6. It was further highlighted that the Communities Select Committee plan included joint scrutiny work of the Blue Light Collaboration item with the Adults and Health Select Committee.
7. Members asked whether the workshops on the Corporate Services Select Committee plan were open to members outside of the Committee to attend. Chairman advised that Members could attend any meeting of the Council.
8. Members requested revision to the wording of the Street Lighting item on the Environment and Infrastructure Select Committee (EISC) plan to incorporate the review of both existing and proposed changes.
9. It was suggested that the Committee should also review the revenue budget to assess whether this can add value to maintaining public rights of way.
10. It was noted that the EISC plan did not mention the waste task group and for officers to update the Select Committee FWP accordingly.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Committee will be held at 10:00am on Thursday 22 March 2018.
The Committee noted its next meeting would be held on Thursday 22 March 2018.