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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 17TH JUNE, 2013

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) - 20TH MAY, 2013

 

 

"28      UPDATE ON THE SOCIAL SERVICES BUDGET PROGRAMME (DSS) –

 

Committee were updated on the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme and considered a request for amendments to the Programme for 2013/14 onwards. 

 

During 2012/13, the Directorate was required to find savings totalling £1.43m.  In order to progress the savings programme and to reduce the savings required in future years, the Directorate itself set a savings target of £1.833m., which represented an additional saving of £403k. 

 

The following table showed the progress made during 2012/13 for each of the identified Social Services savings.  Where the identified savings had not been fully achieved during the year, underspends in similar areas had been allocated to compensate for the shortfall.  In the circumstances, the actions to be taken during 2013/14 are as outlined below:

 

 

 

Project

Target Saving (£000)

Actual Saving (£000)

Position

Delete CAMHS Social Worker Post

58

58

Achieved

Contract with Atal Y Fro

67

67

Achieved

 

Contract with First Opportunities

25

25

Achieved

Continuing Health Care

110

110

Achieved

 

Managed Budget Reductions

200

200

Achieved

TOTAL CHILDRENS

460

460

 

 


 

Reconfigure VCRS

45

45

Reorganisation was implemented from February 2013.  Staff vacancies contributed to achieving the saving in 2012/13

Care Packages Budget Reduction

618

618

Savings have been achieved in year through a reduction in expenditure and an increase in income

Managed Budget Reduction

300

300

Achieved

 

Supported Accommodation Learning Disabilities

100

100

Achieved

Residential Services

100

100

Achieved by an increase in client contributions for residential care

Service level agreement with Cardiff Council - Emergency Duty Team

25

25

Achieved

TOTAL ADULTS

 

1,188

1,188

 

 

 


Project

Target Saving (£000)

Actual Saving (£000)

 

Child Protection Conferencing & Review

35

35

Review and staff consultation is complete.  Currently in process of implementation, including staff recruitment.  Staff vacancies achieved the saving in 2012/13

Managed Budget Reduction

90

90

The staffing reorganisation will not be complete until part way through 2013/14.  Underspends elsewhere in the division have contributed to achieving the saving in 2012/13

Delete ICT Budget

60

60

Achieved

 

TOTAL BUSINESS, MGT & INNOVATION

185

185

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL SOCIAL SERVICES

1,833

1,833

 

 

Certain schemes had previously been identified but with no specific savings target attached.  The following schemes were now being closed as follows:

 

-               Revocation of Care Orders – this scheme had now been closed as the project had delivered revocations for all appropriate cases and the approach was now embedded in normal practice.

-               Supported Accommodation – this scheme had now been closed.  A review had concluded that alternative forms of service provision would be more beneficial.

 

The following savings targets had been approved by the Council as the minimum Social Services savings required for the next four years.  Savings identified were also shown and included the £403k. identified in 2012/13 in excess of the saving target for that year.

 

Year

Savings Required

£000

Savings Identified

£000

In Year Surplus/ (Shortfall)

£000

Cumulative Surplus/   (Shortfall)

£000

Additional 2012/13 savings

   -

403

403

403

2013/14

2,150

2,040

(110)

293

2014/15

838

579

(259)

34

2015/16

1,700

1,776

76

110

2016/17

1,315

1,391

76

186

TOTAL

6,003

6,189

 

 

 

The savings identified incorporated an additional saving which Social Services would find via the Fostering Services.  Scrutiny Committee on 11th March 2013 received a report on the Council’s in-house Fostering Service.  Part of this report detailed an invest-to-save scheme to recruit additional foster carers.  This bid had now been approved and the savings to be achieved through this initiative had been included in the identified savings.  This had resulted in savings identified being £186k. over the target required.  This surplus would be used to mitigate any additional savings to be found in future.

 

It had become apparent that some of the implementation dates for the savings required amendment.  Appendix 1 to the report therefore provided a draft showing the individual areas of saving for 2013/14 onwards, which incorporated proposed changes that required approval.  It was requested that changes are made to the approved programme to bring forward some savings from 2014/15 and to put back some of the savings from 2013/14 to 2014/15.  The proposed changes did not alter the total savings to be found by year or overall throughout the programme.

 

Scrutiny Committee was asked to consider the following changes to the programme, and to refer the changes to Cabinet for approval. 


 

Children’s Services

 

Supported Lodgings – the £20k. saving in 2013/14 to be amalgamated with the SLA saving of £60k., as the saving would be realised through reduced SLA expenditure.

Residential Care Contract – the £50k. saving in 2013/14 to be amalgamated with Out of Area Residential Placement saving of £150k., as the saving would be realised from reduced placement costs.

 

Adult Services

 

Meals on Wheels - £32k. to be brought forward from 2014/15 into 2013/14.  The majority of this saving would be achieved via the increase in charge for 2013/14, already approved.

Provision of Food to Trinity - £13k. to be brought forward from 2014/15 into 2013/14.  A part of the saving would be achieved by any increase in charge for 2013/14 already approved.

Office Accommodation - £7k. to be brought forward from 2014/15 into 2013/14.  The Adult Placement Service had already moved from Washington Chambers in Penarth to Hen Goleg.

Care Packages Budget Reduction – increase the 2013/14 saving of £620k. by £65k.  This was thought to be achievable based on the level of current commitments.

Managed Budget Reduction – reduce the 2013/14 saving of £300k. by £117k.  £65k. to be transferred to the Care Packages Budget and £52k. to be put back to 2014/15 to compensate for schemes being brought forward.

 

The Social Services Directorate was committed to achieving a balanced budget.  The corporate programme board and project teams overseeing the plan would continue to monitor and ensure its delivery.  Progress updates would be reported on a monthly basis as part of the overall financial monitoring report for the Directorate.

 

Discussions ensued about the size of the total Care Package budget and the savings that were being required to be met from it.  In reply, Members were advised that the total budget was some £24m. and that the savings required were of the order of 3%. 

 

The budget reductions were challenging, and being managed.  Less people are being supported, but the ones that are require a greater level of involvement.  Furthermore, more people are being admitted to hospital which has an impact on the Council’s discharge services.

 

In referring to the First Steps negotiation with the Welsh Government, Committee were advised that the Welsh Government had allocated a sum of £3.2m. for the current financial year and that it would be allocated by means of a grant.  The amount allocated to the Vale of Glamorgan Council would not cover the loss of income. 

 

There was a need to look at the way in which the level of the gap was set in future years. 

 

In referring to paragraphs A17 and A18 of Appendix 1 to the report, Committee were advised that the figures quoted were estimated and would require more work in the future. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme during 2012/13 be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the changes to the Social Services Budget Plan for 2013/14 to 2016/17 as outlined above be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the progress made to date in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

(2)       That a revised Budget Plan to 2016/17 be approved, as had been requested by Cabinet on 25th February 2013."

 

 

 

Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) - 20th May, 2013

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