Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview Select Committee
Thursday, 13 December 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. View directions

Contact: Huma Younis or Joss Butler 

Items
No. Item

9.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

10.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting: 25 October 2018 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

11.

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); and

     

    ·        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.

     

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interest made.

12.

Questions & Petitions

    To receive any questions or petitions.

     

    The following public question has been received from Julia Dickinson,

     

    “Given the example of the large gender pay gap in Mole Valley - the 2017 median for Gross Weekly Pay of those working in Mole Valley was Male £752.50 and Female £534.20, what actions will Surrey County Council and other bodies take to understand the drivers for pay inequity and to improve the statistics across the county?”

     

    Notes:

     

    1.     The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (7 December 2018).

     

    2.     The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (6 December 2018).

     

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

    Minutes:

    • A public question was received from Julia Dickinson. A response was tabled at the meeting and is attached to the minutes as Annex 1.
    • The public questioner asked for further detail to be provided on general pay inequity throughout Surrey, rather than just focusing on the pay drivers/actions within Surrey County Council. The Chairman informed the questioner that the Council could only provide a response to pay inequity for Surrey County Council employees. It was agreed that committee officers would advise on where best to seek further clarification regarding the question.
    • A Member of the Committee suggested that the question be submitted at a meeting of the relevant Local Committee as district and borough members were represented here and could respond from a district and borough perspective.

     

13.

Budget Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 294 KB

    Purpose of the Report: For the Committee to review the most recent budget monitoring report to Cabinet and a report from the Corporate Overview Select Committee Budget Sub-Group regarding the budget scrutiny sessions undertaken by the Group between November and December 2018.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

     

    Witnesses:

    Kevin Kilburn, Deputy Chief Finance Officer

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Deputy Chief Finance Officer introduced the report highlighting that Cabinet had approved £40 million in year savings in September 2018 in order to get the Council into a sustainable position in light of heavy pressures on the Special, Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) budget. The £40 million savings were agreed with the aim of reducing the need to use the Council’s reserves. It was explained that, as of October 2018, £29 million of management actions had been achieved in order to allow for savings. Following on, it was noted that £13 million of Council’s reserves would be needed to support the current budget, rather than the previously forecasted £21 million. Members noted that there were still significant pressures on the Council’s finances, particularly around SEND services, including SEND transport. The Deputy Chief Finance Officer summarised further key details relating to the Council’s finances which were outlined in the finance and budget monitoring report. 
    2. A Member of the Committee sought clarification on the additional £2.6 million funding from Government which would be allocated for winter pressures. It was confirmed that if the additional funding was not used it would be considered as an in year saving for the Council but that this would need to be approved with Health.
    3. It was highlighted that Central Government were yet to update the Council on the provisional finance settlement for 2019/20 and whether or not Surrey would be included within the business rate retention pilot for 2019-20. Members requested settlement figures relating to each of the Surrey District/Boroughs when available. The Deputy Chief Finance Officer explained that he would be meeting with the Directors of Finance at the District/Boroughs in due course to discuss the settlement figures.

    4.     The Officer confirmed that in September 2018 the Council was forecasted to use £17 million of reserves to support the current budget. As of October 2018 this had been forecast to £13 million.

    5.     Members were provided with details of the forecasted savings that were considered to be at risk. This included a high risk forecasted savings of £3.4 million in SEND and £2.1 million in SEND transport. 

    1. A Member of the Committee queried what confidence officers had in the forecasted figures included within the SEND agency projections graph on page 33 of the agenda. It was explained that the forecasted figures were based on the best information available to officers but that £3.6 million was still considered to be at high risk. 

    7.     A Member of the Committee expressed disappointment that the County Council motion agreed in spring 2018 to make savings on SEND transport had so far failed to make any significant savings. The Committee further discussed the urgent need to reduce the Council’s spend for out of county placements for children. It was highlighted that the Children and Education Select Committee currently had an Out of County Placements Task Group in place to drive improvements in the service. 

    8.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Recommendations Tracker and Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 113 KB

    The Committee is asked to review its recommendation tracker and forward work programme, including the forward work programmes of the other Select Committees which are attached.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Chairman drew Members’ attention to the inclusion of the outcomes of the five ongoing public consultations at the Committee’s January 2019 meeting. All Select Committee Chairman were invited to attend this meeting.
    2. Members noted that the Committee would have two roles regarding transformation. The first was to scrutinise the implementation of the projects within its remit and the second was to have an overview of the whole transformation programme’s financial benefits and outcomes for residents. The Chairman stated that the Committee would need to prioritise the most important elements to focus on.
    3. It was noted that the Highways and Growth Select Committee sought agreement to set up a task group to make recommendations on a new highways maintenance contract.
    4. A Member of the Committee highlighted that the Committee would consider the Treasury Management Strategy Statement at its January meeting. It was confirmed that Members of the Committee would receive the appropriate training to scrutinise the strategy on the day of the meeting.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Committee:

     

    • reviewed each of the Select Committee forward work programmes and its recommendations tracker.
    • reviewed the task and finish group scoping document from the Highways and Growth Select Committee.

     

15.

Date of the Next Meeting