Agenda and minutes

REMOTE & INFORMAL, Children, Families, Lifelong Learning & Culture Select Committee - Monday, 13 December 2021 10.00 am

Venue: REMOTE & INFORMAL MEETING

Contact: Benjamin Awkal, Scrutiny Officer  Tel: 07816 091463. Email:  Benjamin.Awkal@surreycc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

41/21

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

    To report any apologies for absence and substitutions.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Chris Townsend.

     

     

42/21

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING: MONDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2021 pdf icon PDF 379 KB

    To agree the minutes of the previous meeting of the Children, Families, Lifelong Learning and Culture Select Committee as a true and accurate record of proceedings.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Minutes to be agreed at the next public meeting.

     

43/21

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

     

    NOTES:

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Fiona White declared a personal interest in relation to an aspect of Item 5. The Member was to leave during the discussion of that aspect of the Item.

    Declaration: Surrey County Council representative on the Limnerslease Management Committee, part of the Artist Village at Watts Gallery.

     

44/21

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 531 KB

    To receive any questions or petitions.

    Notes:

    1.    The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (Tuesday, 7 December 2021).

     

    2.    The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting(Monday, 6 December 2021).

     

    3.    The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.

     

     

    The public retain their right to submit questions for written response, with such answers recorded in the minutes of the meeting; questioners may participate in meetings to ask a supplementary question. Petitioners may address the Committee on their petition for up to three minutes. Guidance will be made available to any member of the public wishing to speak at a meeting.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witness:

    Tina Benjamin, Director – Corporate Parenting

    1. A question had been received from Fiona Davidson.

     

    1. As a supplementary question, the Member asked whether the same data could be provided with reference to full-time-equivalent social workers, rather than based on the number of social workers.

     

    1. The Director – Corporate Parenting replied that the data could be provided at a later date.

     

    1. A Member asked whether there was guidance for part-time social workers regarding caseload numbers. The Director highlighted that experience of social workers was a greater factor when distributing the caseload, which was also dependent on the varied demands of each child. Social worker caseloads was closely managed by managers.

    Action:

    i.              The Director of Corporate Parenting to provide data, including commentary on caseload, on the number of full-time social workers by the next public meeting, in January 2022.

     

45/21

SCRUTINY OF 2022/23 DRAFT BUDGET AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY TO 2026/27 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

    Purpose of the report:

     

    To provide details of the draft budget and medium-term financial strategy for scrutiny.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Becky Rush, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

    Clare Curran, Cabinet Member for Children and Families

    Denise Turner-Stewart, Cabinet Member for Education and Learning

    Mark Nuti, Cabinet Member for Communities

     

    Rachael Wardell, Executive Director for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning

    Marie Snelling, Executive Director for Customer and Communities

    Susan Wills, Assistant Director for Cultural Services and Registrations

     

    Rachel Wigley, Director – Finance Insights and Performance

    Daniel Peattie, Strategic Finance Business Partner – Children, Families and Lifelong Learning

    Nikki O’Connor, Strategic Finance Business Partner – Improvement and TPP/Resources

    Mark Hak-Sanders, Strategic Finance Business Partner – Corporate

    Key points raised in the discussion:

    1. The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources explained that the council’s draft Budget for 2022/23 contained a gap of £19.5 million, including a £2.2 million gap in the Children, Families and Lifelong Learning (CFLL) Directorate and a £8.6 million gap in the High Needs Block. There was a focus on self-funding opportunities within the Capital Programme, as well as those which would deliver revenue savings in the future. 
    2. The Strategic Finance Business Partner – Corporate explained that the budget setting process was underpinned by core planning assumptions developed under the PESTLE Framework (political, environmental, social, technological, legal and economic factors). Funding projections were based on expected council tax, business rate and government grant income. The Local Government Finance Settlement was expected later in the week, which would establish central government funding and provide clarity on the council’s funding position. Each directorate had been asked to identify efficiencies to contribute towards closing the gap for 2022/23 and the medium-term. The Capital Programme was described as being at the limit of what the council could afford. Consultation with residents and stakeholders on draft proposals and Equality Impact Assessments would conclude at the end of December. The final budget was to be presented to Cabinet in January 2022 and approved by Cabinet in February 2022.
    3. The Strategic Finance Business Partner highlighted that the budget setting process was built around the Community Vision 2030 and the council’s priority objectives. The draft corporate budgetary position presented net pressures of £71.1 million, which was expected to be offset by an assumed funding increase of £2.4 million and efficiencies of £49.8 million, leaving a net gap of £19.5 million to close. The pressures were largely associated with pay and contract inflation and increased demand for services. Efficiencies which had been rated as red (achievable but challenging and/or complex to deliver) accounted for £11.1 million of the overall efficiencies, similar to the £10.8 million in the 2021/22 budget.
    4. At month seven of 2021/22, an overspend of £17 million for the directorate budget envelope was forecast. The overspend was largely across Adult Social Care (£3 million), CFLL (£7.1 million), and the DSG High Needs Block offset (£8.8 million). These were offset largely by an underspend in Environment, Transport and Infrastructure due to an improvement in waste prices. The overall council position at the end of the 2021/22 financial year was expected to be balanced, with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45/21

46/21

ACTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER AND FORWARD WORK PLAN pdf icon PDF 308 KB

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    For the Select Committee to review the attached actions and

    recommendations tracker and forward work programme, making

    suggestions for additions or amendments as appropriate.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    1.    A Member brought attention to a number of actions and recommendations which had been on the tracker for an extensive period of time without a clear indication as to when responses would be provided and sought clarification regarding the progress of outstanding actions. The Executive Director stated that these outstanding actions had been chased. A Member proposed that a response to all outstanding actions would be provided by the next public meeting of the Select Committee, unless there were significant reasons why it could not be possible. The Chairman noted the views of the Members and the Executive Director and stated that an appropriate approach would be established moving forward.

    2.    The Cabinet Member for Families and Children shared that she had suggested at Cabinet that a cross-party task group of the Select Committee could be a helpful way to monitor the implementation of the Child Poverty Action Plan. The Scrutiny Officer explained that a sub-group comprising Members from across the Select Committees had been discussed with the Committee’s Chairman and Vice-Chairmen and scrutiny officer colleagues.

     

47/21

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

    The next public meeting of the Select Committee will be held on Tuesday, 18 January 2022.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Select Committee noted that its next meeting would be held on Tuesday, 18 January 2022.