Issue - meetings

Business Management & Monitoring Report - September 2021

Meeting: 16/11/2021 - Cabinet (Item 114)

114 Business Management & Monitoring Report - September 2021 pdf icon PDF 497 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2021/103

Contact: Louise Tustian, Head of Insight & Corporate Programmes Tel: 07741 607452/ Kathy Wilcox, Head of Financial Strategy Tel: 07788 302163


Report by Corporate Director Customers & Organisational Development and Director of Finance (CA6).


This report presents September/Quarter two 2021 performance, risk and finance position for the Council.




a)               to note the September/Quarter two business management and monitoring report.


b)              to note virements set out in Annex C-2c


Additional documents:


Recommendations agreed as amended:


a)               To note the September/Quarter two business management and monitoring report excluding Annexes D & E.


b)               To note virements set out in Annex C-2c



Cabinet considered a report which presented September/Quarter two 2021 performance, risk and finance position for the Council.


Councillor David Bartholomew, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance addressed the financial aspects of the report:


·       In relation to annex c, he expressed concern at the variances against budget for Childrens’ Services, which had deteriorated by a further £600,000 in one month, with a projected overspend of £2.4m. £1.1m was attributable to front line social care and use of Agency Staff. When in Opposition, the present Administration criticised the use of Agency Social Workers, so perhaps now there was an appreciation that the use of Agency Staff was unavoidable

·       Concern was expressed at the collapse of the regional memorandum of co-operation that had the intention of constraining the acceleration of Agency Staff costs. It appeared that it was every Council for itself

·       Paragraph 29 of the report – Adult Services. Reference was made to the number of Care Home places which would continue to be used through the year. However, the figure quoted shows an 8% decline compared to February 2020, the same as in last months’ report.

·       Paragraph 37 of the report – the new Health and Social Care Team – shows that the Team was reliant on Agency Staff

·       Paragraph 42 of the report – Reference was made to £4.7m allocated for financial stability in the care market. Clarification was asked on what this meant.

·       Paragraph 60 – Community Operations were forecasting a higher level of activity than budgeted in respect of defect repairs based on benchmarking trends with previous years and long-term weather predictions. Could this be explained?

·       The Finance Department had a £300,000 overspend, which had now dropped to £200,000. The department should lead by example.

·       There was a disappointing target rate of debt collection, which he hoped the Cabinet Member would improve.


Councillor Calum Miller, Cabinet Member for Finance, thanked Councillor Bartholomew for his observations and commented that he was right to point out the increased use of Agency Staff in social care. However, what he had not pointed out was that Agency Staff were being used because of the loss of social care staff due to a hostile employment environment which had reduced the supply in the labour market. Reference was made to the need for the Government to take some action to the crisis in the social care labour sector.


In relation to the £4.7m allocated to Adult Social Care, in a market which had been consistently destabilised by Government underfunding, provision has been found to ensure some financial stability to seek to cope with a market that is facing labour shortages and uncertainty regarding government funding.


In relation to paragraph 60 and Community Operations basing forecasts on long-term weather predictions, to the Cabinet Member, it made perfect sense to make use of long- term weather forecasting for this purpose.


In relation to debt collection, the Council would do everything within its powers, to recover funds owed, but with residents facing deprivation, the end of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114