SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES)
Minutes of a meeting held on 13th September, 2011.
Present: Councillor J.F. Fraser (Chairman); Councillor E.T. Williams (Vice-Chairman); Councillors K. Hatton, G. John, Mrs. K.A. Kemp, A.C. Williams and Miss. S.J.C. Williams.
Also present: Councillors G.C. Kemp and Mrs. M. Randall.
366 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -
These were received from Councillors Mrs. A.J. Moore, N. Moore and Mrs. A.J. Preston.
367 MINUTES -
RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 26th July, 2011 be approved as a correct record.
368 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
No declarations were received.
369 IMPROVEMENT PLAN 2011/12 (CX) -
The Plan, as previously circulated to Members, incorporated the Corporate Plan, performance information (data and text) providing a look back over 2010/11 and targets and actions for 2011/12. Appended to the Plan was a supplementary report containing updated Performance Indicators (including the Welsh average). Whilst the Plan was substantially complete, it was accepted that further minor amendments would be required to be made. The Operational Manager confirmed that the entire document would be proof read prior to its being finalised.
RECOMMENDED - T H A T the Improvement Plan for 2011/12 as currently be drafted and amended by the updated information contained in the supplementary report be endorsed.
Reason for recommendation
To ensure that actions were taken to improve performance.
370 REVENUE MONITORING: 1ST APRIL - 31ST JULY, 2011 (DFICTP) -
The Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2011/12 were shown in Appendix 1 to the report. The forecast was for a balanced Council Revenue Budget as was the case in respect of the Housing Revenue Account. Details pertaining to the current position were contained within the report as outlined below:
· Education and Schools - projected overspend against the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) budget of £72k. It was noted that the ALN budget was volatile, that it was demand led and that the position would be closely monitored throughout the year. Members were informed that the annual cost of financing the School Investment Strategy of £600k. would be transferred to the School Investment Strategy Reserve. The cost of the Schools’ ER/VR scheme of £329k. would, in the first instance, be funded from Education reserves which would be repaid by participating schools over 2012-14.
· Children and Young People’s Services - particular attention was drawn to the current projections for each budget within Social Services. The Children’s Placement budget was projected to overspend by £1m. at year end, offset by use of a provision of £210k. Members noted that all cases would be reviewed to try to improve the situation.
· Adult Services - a gross overspend of £654k. had arisen from the need to increase fees payable to care homes, the continuing pressure on the Community Care Packages budget and the need to achieve 2011/12 savings targets. The gross overspend could be partly funded by a specific provision of £465k.
· Social Services - the overall year end position for the Directorate was an estimated overspend of £954k.
Discussion ensued in relation in particular to the Social Services budget.
(1) T H A T the position with regard to the Council’s 2011/12 Revenue Budget be noted.
(2) T H A T the Director of Social Services take the necessary action to balance the overall budget by the end of the year.
(3) T H A T, should the Director of Social Services not achieve a projected balanced budget by the end of the calendar year, a further report be submitted to this Committee.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To be aware of the projected revenue outturn for 2011/12.
(2) To achieve a balanced budget.
(3) To scrutinise the position.
371 CAPITAL MONITORING: 1ST APRIL - 31ST JULY, 2011 (DFICTP) -
Details pertaining to the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st July, 2011 were appended to the report. Further details were contained within the report as outlined below:
(i) Director of Social Services:
· Community Equipment Grant - the scheme, to establish and run a joint community equipment store based in Cardiff was administered by Cardiff Council. Cardiff would take the lead on progressing the works carried out with the vale reimbursing a share of the costs. Cabinet had approved the inclusion of £335,809 in the Capital Programme for 2011/12.
(ii) Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services:
· Housing Improvement Programme - Cabinet had approved an increase of £2m. in the current year’s Capital Programme in order to fund the significant improvements needed in the Council’s housing stock.
(iii) Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration:
· Visible Services Asset Renewal - Council was to be requested to transfer the sum of £150k. from the Highway Maintenance budget to the Visible Services Asset Renewal budget in order to proceed with refurbishment works at Harbour Road bridge.
· Barry Island Footbridge - the Council had in place £171k. of funding as matchfunding for a Department for Transport grant bid of £500k. Members noted that a decision as to the outcome of the grant bid was still awaited.
Concerns were expressed regarding the proposal to transfer £150k. from the Highway Maintenance budget given the scale of the maintenance works required in respect of highways within the Vale that remained. Attention was also drawn to the fact that the Budget Task and Finish Group had recommended that an additional “one-off” funding of £900,000 be made available for highways and the view expressed that there would likely be other budget heads within Visible Services from which the required funding could be transferred.
Details were also presented within the report of variances between the actual spend to date and profiled spend in respect of the following schemes:
· Welsh Medium School, Barry - expenditure slightly ahead of schedule at this stage
· Welsh Medium School, Llantwit Major - expenditure currently well ahead of the original profile
· Vehicle Replacement Programme - expenditure behind profile
· IT Equipment 2011/12 - budget ahead of profile.
Appendix 2 provided non financial information on capital schemes with a budget of over £100k.
(1) T H A T the position with regard to the Council’s 2011/12 Capital Programme be noted.
(2) T H A T a further report in relation to the Highway Maintenance programme and budget spend to date be submitted to this Committee.
(3) T H A T Cabinet be notified that this Committee would not support the proposed transfer of £150k. from the Highway Maintenance budget unless assurances were received that all necessary works would be carried out.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To allow schemes to proceed this financial year.
(2) To ascertain the position.
(3) To inform Cabinet of this Committee’s viewpoint.