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Agenda Item No.

 

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 13TH APRIL 2015

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH): 9TH MARCH 2015

 

 

REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL, 2014 TO 31ST JANUARY, 2015 (DSS) -

 

The Head of Finance presented the report, the purpose of which was to update Members on the position in respect of Revenue and Capital expenditure for the period 1st April, 2014 to 31st January, 2015. 

 

The report highlighted that, in setting the Social Services budget for 2014/15, the use of £2.199 m from the Social Services budget had been approved. 

 

Revenue

 

In respect to Revenue, the current end of year forecast for the Social Services budget was an overspend of £100,000. A table and graph setting out the variance between profiled budget and actual expenditure to date was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Within Children and Young People’s Services there was currently an anticipated outturn of £500,000 (3.5%) under the Children’s Services budget at year end.  The major issue concerning this service continued to be the pressure on the Children’s Placement budget.  However, it was currently projected that the joint budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children could outturn with a £100,000 underspend at year end.  Work had been ongoing to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements but, due to the high costs of placements, the outturn position could fluctuate.  There were potential underspends elsewhere within Children’s Services related to team budgets of £80,000, £50,000 relating to administration staff, £50,000 on legal expenses, £60,000 due to additional adoption income and £150,000 on alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of children.

 

For Adult Services, this service was currently anticipated to outturn £600,000 (1.6%) over the Adult Services budget at year end.  This was due to a projected overspend of £800,000 (3.4%) against the Community Care Packages budget.  This was as a result of increased amount of services, particularly for frail older clients.  While this overspend for this year had reduced, pressures on this budget would continue into the next financial year as the full year effect of current packages would result in a predicted increase in expenditure of around £1m.  The service would strive to manage demand, which would be supported by the reorganisation of the Care Management Team and the implementation of changes as a result of the Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) and the Regional Care Fund (RCF) schemes.  The Annual Deferred Income Budget for 2014/15 had been set at £725,000.  As at 31st January 2015, income received was £39,000 below the anticipated targets and so the year-end projection had been maintained at a £100,000 under recovery.  This position was included as part of the projected overspend on the Community Care Packages budget.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Adult Services of around £200,000 which could be used to off-set this position.  These areas were £135,000 on staffing, £20,000 on transport, £30,000 on premises and £20,000 on supplies and services. 

 

The RCF grant had been approved for 2015/16, but the amount available was 46% less than that previously indicated by the Welsh Government.  This funding covered five schemes across the collaborative region of Cardiff and the Vale, covering a number of local government functions.  The proposal for the revised allocation of schemes had been submitted to Welsh Government for consideration.  The allocation of grant to schemes had been based on priorities and the availability of other funded sources and so the reduction had not been consistently applied across all schemes.  The original allocation for remodelling Adult Social Care was £650,000 and the proposed allocation from the reduced funding was £533,000. 

 

In relation to the ICF grant, the Head of Adult Services was asked to provide an update. He advised that an amount of £50m had been made available by the Welsh Government for both revenue and capital spends. However, this money was only available for 2014/15.  Welsh Government had recently announced that an additional £20m would be made available to the NHS, to take forward schemes which had proven to be effective across community and acute environments, linking out of hospital care and social care to strengthen the resilience of the unscheduled care system.  Presently, it was unclear how this funding would be allocated.  He was also able to advise that the Local Health Board had agreed to fund the Contact Centre for three months while these future funding arrangements were clarified.

 

Capital

 

Regarding Capital programmes, Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress as at 31st January, 2015, while Appendix 3 provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes.

 

Social Services Budget Programme Update

 

On 5th March, 2014, Council approved the savings targets for 2014/15 and the initial savings targets for 2015/16 and 2016/17. 

 

As part of the Medium Term Financial Plan, approved by Cabinet on 11th August, 2014, it had been agreed that the service remodelling savings included in 2015/16 and 2016/17 would be rephased and were now set as £320,000 in 2017/18 and £320,000 in 2018/19 and £330,000 in 2019/20.  By the end of 2019/20 the Directorate was required to find savings totalling £3.97m.  At present total identified savings amounted to £4.156m, with the surplus as a result of the Foster Care Recruitment Project which could be used to mitigate any additional savings to be found in future years. 

 

The following table detailed the approved savings targets and the savings identified by year.  It includes the £293,000 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

Previously Identified Savings

 

293

293

293

2014/15

713

454

(259)

34

2015/16

1,125

1,201

76

110

2016/17

1,162

1,238

76

186

2017/18

320

320

0

186

2018/19

320

320

0

186

2019/20

330

330

0

186

TOTAL

3,970

4,156

 

 

 

Contained at Appendix 4 of the covering report was further detail in respect of progress for each individual savings project. 

 

Finally, the report highlighted that Cabinet had considered the Council’s Reshaping Services Change Programme on 26th January, 2015.  The report to Cabinet acknowledged that the Social Services Directorate already had two major initiatives underway.  These were the Collaborative Working Programme and the Budget Programme.  These programmes already contained projects which were progressing the opportunities identified as part of the Reshaping Services Programme and savings targets were already included in the budget programme. 

 

In referring to the changes to the ICF Grant, the Chairman queried as to what was the likely impact upon staffing within the Directorate.  In response, the Head of Adult Services explained that health had committed to provide three months funding for the Contact Centre.  The service was awaiting further clarification in respect to other projects within the ICF Grant Scheme but the Directorate had been offered reassurance from health that they were committed to looking at all schemes over the next few months.  Further to this, the Head of Business Management and Innovation advised the Committee that interim health funding had also been secured for the ICF housing services project that would target people awaiting discharge from hospital.  She went onto explain that it was important to recognise that ICF funding was made available on a regional basis and it was not always easy to determine if funding would be agreed. 

 

A Committee Member asked for clarification in relation to the progress around the Looked After Children Residential Care Placement Project.  In response, the Head of Children and Young People Services advised Members that the service had faced some challenges with a number of sibling groups becoming looked after, as well as trying to manage the front end of the service.  The residential unit within Gladstone Road was up and running and a second unit, in a more rural setting, was due to open sometime during April.  The service had decided to review its requirements before committing to the creation of a third residential unit.

 

In answer to a query regarding the Capital Receipts from the sale of Woodlands Road and the ATC Centre, the Committee was advised that unless the Council had specifically decided to earmark the funds to go back into the Social Services Budget, Capital Receipts from the sale of surplus assets would be apportioned back to the corporate centre.  The Committee noted that the only projects where it had been agreed funds would be earmarked for Social Services were the Gardenhurst and the Bryneithin sites. 

 

The Chairman asked for further clarification regarding the three Flying Start projects for which Welsh Government funding had been granted.  The Head of Children and Young People Services explained that the service was not likely to spend all the money within the agreed timescales, particularly in relation to projects within the Colcot and the Red Robin sites.  The Welsh Government had visited both sites and was aware of the delays and possible slippage.  She went on to advise Members that, the Colcot project had been affected by problems with drainage at the site and a delay in the delivery of the pre-fabricated building.  In respect of the Red Robin site, implementation of this project has been delayed due to an issue with the glass roof.  The managers had been in contact with the Account Manager within Welsh Government so that funding for these projects could continue beyond the agreed timescales.  A response to the Service’s application was awaited. 

 

A Committee Member in referring to the Care Packages budget reduction savings programme queried whether there would be any cuts to the support offered to carers.  The Head of Adult Services advised that it was not the service’s intention to cut support to carers. 

 

In summary of the progress within the Revenue and Capital Budgets, the Chairman stated that the service appeared to be on target but there was a considerable issue in respect to the ICF grant monies. 

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)      T H A T the position with regard to the 2014/15 Revenue and Capital Monitoring be noted.

 

(2)      T H A T 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.

 

 

 Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 9th March, 2015

 

 

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