Agenda Item No.











As it was very early in the financial year, the current forecast for Social Services was a balanced budget.  In addition to increased demand for services, there was pressure on the Directorate to achieve its savings targets for 2014/15 onwards.


A table and graph setting out the variance between profiled budget and actual expenditure to date and the projected position at year end were attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The appendix also included a graph showing the trend in Adults Services expenditure to budget for the year to date.


Children and Young People's Services - The major issue concerning this service was the continued pressure on the children’s placements budget.  Any increase in the number of children becoming looked after by the Council over the year could have a significant impact on the service.  The Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children was set this year at £3.335m.  This represented the current commitment against the budget as at 1st April 2014 and an increase in the budget of £185k from the previous year.  10% of this increase would be funded by Education.


Adult Services - The major issue concerning this service was the continued pressure on the Community Care Packages budget.  This budget was extremely volatile and could be adversely affected by outside influences.  While the budget was currently showing a breakeven position, there would be great pressure on this budget throughout the coming year and Committee will be advised of any change in this position.  From 1st  April 2014, Welsh Government approved an increase in the weekly cap for charging for non-residential services from £50 to £55 per week.


Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the capital Programme as at 30th April 2014.  Not included were requests for unspent committed expenditure to be slipped in 2013/14 into 2014/15.  A request for the slippage would be included in the closing down report to be presented to a future Cabinet meeting.  The Operational Manager – Accountancy advised Members that within Appendix 3 project reference A10 relating to extra care should show a RAG status of amber as opposed to red as indicated in the report provided. 


A Committee Member, with reference to the £75k savings required to be made this year, queried whether any budgetary savings for the progressive years could be brought forward into this current financial year.  In reply the Operational Manager advised Members that the saving programme for this year would be agreed via the Medium Term Financial Plan but it was anticipated that further savings would be likely to be required on top of those identified.  The Director of Social Services commented that any changes to service provision would require a considerable amount of lead in time particularly in respect of consultation and engagement and would require careful planning and forward thinking. 


In response to a Member’s query regarding the level of support provided to carers the Head of Business Management and Innovation informed the Committee that £27,000 work of savings were planned for 2015/16 and that a review of the service

was being undertaken. 


A Committee Member enquired if there were any plans to change the eligibility criteria.  In response the Committee was advised that the Welsh Government was planning to introduce an all-Wales level of eligibility but as this was likely to be set at the same level currently agreed by the Council, there would be very little impact from the Welsh Government proposals.  The Deputy Minister was due to make a comment on this imminently. 


In referring to the plans around service remodelling and the projected 4% increase in demand for services, Members noted that the Council will need to find new ways of working with effective use of preventative and early intervention schemes.  The use of volunteers was discussed and Committee were informed that they do make a very valuable contribution to many service areas. 




(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2014/15 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 2014/15 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): 16th June, 2014