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Agenda Item No.

 

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 10TH FEBRUARY, 2014

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH): 13TH JANUARY, 2014

 

 

728    REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2013 TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2013 (DSS) –

 

Committee received a report which advised of the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 30th November 2013 regarding those revenue and capital budgets which formed this Committee’s remit.  The Committee also received an update on the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme. 

 

It was projected that the service would outturn within target at the end of the financial year.

 

Children and Young People’s Services – the major issue was the need to manage continued pressure on the children’s placement budget.  The current projected outturn for the jointly funded Residential Placements budget for Looked After Children was an overspend of £508k.  Any overspend at year end would be funded in proportion to the original contributions made to the joint budget i.e. £457k (90%) Social Services and £51k (10%) Education.  In addition to the joint budget, a high cost placement provision of £1.46m was established as part of the budget setting process for 2013/14.  To date, £223k of the provision had been committed, which was established as part of the budget setting process for 2013/14.  To date, £223k of the provision had been committed, which was in addition to expenditure incurred within the joint budget.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Children’s Services of around £240k which could be used to offset this position.  The increase in expenditure on the joint residential budget had resulted in a reduction in expenditure of £71k on alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of children.  In addition, other areas of underspend were £50k on the legal expenses budget, £65k additional adoption income and £20k on administrative staff.  The Business Management and Innovation Division was expected to underspend and any variance would be apportioned to the service areas, therefore £34k of the underspend would be allocated to Children’s Services.  It was currently anticipated that there would be a £217k overspend.

 

Adult Services – the major issue was the continuing pressure on Community Care Packages, the Division’s most volatile budget and the one most dependent upon levels of service demand which were not entirely within the Council’s direct control.  At present the projected year end position was an overspend of £685k.  Actions therefore still needed to be taken to review all processes and to address the shortfall.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Adult Services of around £609k which could be used to offset this position.  These areas were £230k following the closure of Bryneithin, £254k on staffing and £41k on premises.  With the levels of savings required for 2014/15 and 2015/16, budgets were being re-examined during 2013/14 with a view to their possible realignment as part of the consideration of new models of service delivery.  Future savings were planned for these areas and some positions and premises costs were lower than expected as a result of the commencement of some of these plans ahead of schedule.  The Business Management and Innovation Division was anticipated to underspend and any variance apportioned to the service areas, i.e. £84k of the underspend would be allocated to Adult Services.  This would result in a currently anticipated overspend of £76k.

 

Business Management and Innovation – the majority of this budget was recharged to Children’s and Adult Services and was therefore showing a breakeven position at year end.  The position before recharges to services was an underspend of £118k.  This was made up of an underspend on staffing, mainly due to staff vacancies which were held prior to the introduction of the new staffing structure in the Protection and Policy section.  This underspend had meant that there had been a reduced internal recharge to Children’s and Adult Services of £118k.

 

Areas of savings had been identified this year which were £293k above the required target.  This could be used to offset the overspend identified above and a balanced budget was currently projected for year end.  A major issue which would affect the service between now and the end of the financial year would be the impact of winter pressures.  This could not be quantified but would be closely monitored and reported to future meetings.

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th November 2013.

 

With regard to the Social Services Budget Programme Update, the Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £6.0m by the end of 2016/17.  Savings totalling £6.189m had currently been identified.  The surplus would be used to mitigate any additional savings to be found in future years.

 

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

 

In noting the contents of the report, a Councillor observed that “prevention†was key.  Members were advised that the Directorate was always focused on prevention. 

 

A Member noted that savings had been identified this year which were £293k over the required target and enquired where the savings had been identified.  Committee were advised that the savings had been taken out of the budget in advance of next year. 

 

A Member enquired as to the position regarding Woodlands and was advised that the demolition contract had been awarded.

 

In referring to reference A15 of Appendix 4 relating to negotiations with the Welsh Government on the impact of the £50 cap, officers were asked as to the outcome of the negotiations.  Committee were advised that the Council had received the settlement figure from the Welsh Government for 2014/15 and that the lower allocation had been awarded despite the Council having made a robust argument in its favour.  The situation would continue to be monitored.

 

In referring to reference A21 of Appendix 4 to the report “Right Sizing Learning Disability Collaboration Project†Members enquired as to what was meant by the phrase “a pilot had commenced†and were advised that a Brokerage Hub had been agreed across the Consortium whereby the Council would purchase care through the Consortium.  To date, success had been limited as compared with the other Authorities involved in the Consortium, however the Council was continuing to assess the situation. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)          T H A T the position with regard to the 2013/14 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)          That Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2013/14 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to this Scrutiny Committee.

 

(2)          That Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.â€

 

 

 

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 13th January, 2014

 

 

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