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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 19th March, 2012.

 

Present: Councillor Mrs. K.A. Kemp (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. S.I. Sharpe (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. M.E.J. Birch, C.P.J. Elmore, J.F. Fraser, E. Hacker, F.T. Johnson, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, C.L. Osborne, J.W. Thomas and S.T. Wiliam.

 

Co-opted Members:  Mr. P. Lewis (Parent Governor - Secondary Sector) and Mr. S. Williams (Parent Governor - Primary Sector).

 

Non-voting Observers: Mr. G. Beaudette (Primary Sector), Mr. T. Cox (Secondary Sector) and Mr. D. Treharne (Welsh Medium Education).

 

Also present:  Councillor A.D. Hampton.

 

 

1001   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Mr. P. Burke (Roman Catholic Church).

 

 

1002   CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENT -

 

The Chairman announced that representatives of St. Nicholas Church in Wales Primary School had been invited to make a presentation on the Comenius Project to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

 

1003   MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 20th February, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

1004   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

1005   REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2011 TO 31ST JANUARY 2012 (DLD) -

 

The projected overspend in regard to the Education Budget by the year end was anticipated to be £109,000 and this would be funded from the Education Reserves.  This was attributed to a projected £129,000 overspend against the Strategic Planning and Performance Budget offset by a £20,000 underspend against School Improvement due to increased income generated in the year. 

 

The projected overspend against Strategic Planning was made up of £136,000 projected overspend against the budget for maternity leave cover for schools and a projected overspend against rates in the sum of £87,000.  This was as a direct result of the increased rateable value of the new Cowbridge Comprehensive School and additional rates bills for the two new Welsh Medium Schools.  These had been offset by underspends of £94,000 against Schools Non Delegated Budgets in the year.

 

As reported to the last meeting of the Committee, provision had been made within the budget for the annual cost of financing the School Investment Strategy of £600,000.  This would be transferred to the School Investment Strategy Reserve.

 

The Additional Learning Needs budget was now projected to outturn on budget, however this remained a volatile budget and was demand let and would continue to be closely monitored for the remainder of the year.

 

The Mainstream Transport budget was now projected to outturn on budget.  In addition, to finance the Schools’ contributions to the Early Retirement / Voluntary Redundancy scheme, Education was projecting to transfer £316,000 from the Education Reserves as reported to the last meeting.  This amount would be paid by participating schools over the financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14. 

 

The Schools Delegated Budget was expected to balance as any under/overspend was carried forward by schools.  It was also noted that the Libraries budget had a favourable variance of £25,000 and was currently anticipated to outturn on budget. 

 

The Lifelong Learning budget had a favourable variance of £16,000 and was currently anticipated to outturn within budget, using projected favourable variances within both the Lifelong Learning Employment and Training Services section and the Communities First Management fees.  This would offset a projected £55,000 adverse variance within Community Enterprise resulting from delays in implementing 2011/12 savings. 

 

As for the Catering service, this showed a favourable variance of £2,000 and was currently anticipated to outturn within budget. 

 

As for the Capital Programme, Appendix 2 detailed financial progress on it as of 31st January 2012.  It was noted that a Welsh Government Foundation Phase Grant for 2011/12 in relation to St. Brides Major Primary School in the amount of £133,000 was included in the current Capital Programme.  It was further noted that due to related contract issues / delays it was likely that the contract would extend into the first weeks of April and accordingly it was anticipated that an amount of £40,000 of the works could potentially slip into the financial year 2012/13 and discussions between officers and the Welsh Government regarding the effect of this on the grant funding were ongoing.

 

In regard to the Llangan Primary School new car park scheme, there had been lengthy delays with progressing the provision of a new car park and this had been previously reported to the Scrutiny Committee and the Cabinet.  Having regard to the issues relating to identifying the ownership of the access lane, Cabinet on 1st February 2012, had approved the progress of works on the car park so long as indemnity insurance had been taken out by the Authority.  This was now in place and the Council’s internal Highways Contracting Unit could now progress the scheme, however given these delays, it was no longer possible for the work to be completed and £118,000 had been requested to slip into the financial year 2012/13 in order to complete the project.

 

Appendix 3 set out non-financial information on capital schemes with a budget of over £100,000.

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the position with regard to the 2011/12 Revenue and Capital Monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In acknowledgement of the position with regard to the 2011/12 Revenue and Capital Budget.

 

 

1006   QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE MONITORING - QUARTER 3 - INCLUSION SERVICE (DLD) -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the position with regard to the Inclusion Service Quarter 3 performance monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In acknowledgement of action taken in meeting performance indicator targets in Quarter 3.

 

 

1007   QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE MONITORING - QUARTER 3 - SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT SERVICE (DLD) -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the position with regard to the School Improvement Service Quarter 3 performance monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In acknowledgement of action taken in meeting performance indicator targets in Quarter 3.

 

 

1008   QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE MONITORING - QUARTER 3 - STRATEGIC PLANNING AND PERFORMANCE (DLD) -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the position with regard to Strategic Planning and Performance Quarter 3 performance monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In acknowledgement of action taken in meeting performance indicator targets in Quarter 3.