The Operational Manager – Accountancy presented the report, the purpose of which was to advise the Scrutiny Committee of the position in respect of the revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st August 2015.  In addition, the report also highlighted progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme.  


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 2015/16 onwards.  


A table and graph setting out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date and the projected position at year end were attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  


In terms of Children and Young People’s Services, it was anticipated to outturn £450,000 under budget at year end.  They key issue for the service continued to be managing the demand for the Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children, however, currently it was forecast to outturn with a £250,000 underspend at year end.  Work had been ongoing to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements.  However, it was noted that it was still early in the financial year and that due to the potential high cost of each placement, the outturn position could fluctuate with a change in the number of Looked After Children.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Children’s Services of £65,000 on staffing budgets and £135,000 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 £450,000 over budget at year end.  This was due to a projected overspend on Community Care Packages of £450,000 as a result of increased demand for services, particularly for frail older clients.  There was continued pressure within this area of the service to manage demand, not only to avoid a further increase in the overspend, but also to reduce the overspend.  Whilst every effort would be made to improve this position, it could not be guaranteed that this position would not deteriorate further by year end as this budget was extremely volatile and there was a continued increase in demand for services.  The annual deferred income budget for 2015/16 had been set at £739,000 and as at 31st August 2015, income received to date was £35,000 under-recovered.   As it was early in the financial year, the year end projection was to breakeven against this budget.




Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st August 2015.  


In respect of the Southway Fire Works, the report highlighted that this scheme was now complete, however further works had been identified within the Southway and Cartref residential homes.  It had therefore been requested that £7,000 be vired to the Southway and Cartref residential home upgrade scheme.  


Appendix 3 to the report provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes.  For all schemes where it was evident that the full year’s budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall which would be taken to the earliest available Cabinet meeting. 


2015/16 Budget Programme


The Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £3.568m by the end of 2019/20 and this target was analysed by year in the following table.  









 In Year








 Savings Brought Forward    34  34  34
 2015/16  1,465  1,541  76  110
 2016/17  1,133  1,209  76  186
 2017/18  320  320  0  186
 2018/19  320  320  0  186
 2019/20  330  330  0  186
 TOTAL  3,568  3,754    


The surplus shown and the savings brought forward figures were as a result of the foster carer recruitment project, which was being developed in addition to the required savings targets.  This surplus could be used to mitigate any increase in savings to be found in future years.


Attached at Appendix 4 to the report was an update on each individual area of saving.  


In answer to the Chairman’s question relating to the savings target required this year within Adult Services, the Head of Adult Services advised that this would be a challenge, but on the whole this service was on track.  He stated that savings within residential services would largely depend upon the Hafod contract and that the service was also waiting for the registration of two new care homes.  He further advised that savings within the Care Packages budget also represented a significant challenge for which a lot of work was being undertaken.  


A Committee Member, in referring to target C11 around foster carers, queried how the savings would be achieved.  In reply, the Head of Children and Young People Services stated that the main focus for the service was to recruit more foster carers and to avoid using independent foster carers.  The service was also looking at ways of enhancing the support for carers in meeting the needs of children with complex needs, in order to prevent placement breakdown and promote stability.


With regard to the £270,000 savings for the contract arrangements for domiciliary care, earmarked for 2016/17, Members were advised that this was a challenging target, which the service considered was achievable.  An important development going forward was the increase in the national living minimum wage, the cost of which may be passed on to social services.  


In reply to a Member’s question regarding the total income received by the service, the Committee was advised that information around this would be circulated via e-mail.  


Having considered the report, the Committee




(1) T H A T the position with regard to the 2015/16 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) To ensure that Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to the 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) - 5th October, 2015