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To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2021 and to receive information arising from them.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2021 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Budget Proposals 2022/23 to 2025/26 and Strategic Plan PDF 237 KB
The Committee is provided with a report which sets out budget proposals for the period 2022/23 to 2025/26, which are included in the 2022/23 budget consultation.
The report provides the opportunity for the Performance and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee to comment on these, alongside the financial context, and on the Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities in which these proposals are made.
The following annexes are attached to this report:
• Annex 1a – The Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities.
• Annex 1b – Engagement feedback on the Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities
• Annex 2a – Existing Planned Budget Pressures and Savings
• Annex 2b – New Proposals for Investments, Pressures and Savings
• Annex 2c – COVID-19 Pressures
• Annex 3a – Overarching Equality Impact Assessment.
The Performance & Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee is RECOMMENDED to consider and comment on:
• The Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities (as set out in Annex 1a).
• The engagement feedback on the Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities (as set out in Annex 1b)
• The revenue savings, pressures and investment proposals for 2022/23 to 2025/26 and combined impact on directorate budgets (as set out in Annex 2a – 2c)
The Committee was provided with a report which set out budget proposals for the period 2022/23 to 2025/26, which were included in the 2022/23 budget consultation. In addition, the Committee was provided annexes on:
· The Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities.
· Engagement feedback on the Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities
· Existing Planned Budget Pressures and Savings
· New Proposals for Investments, Pressures and Savings
· COVID-19 Pressures
· Overarching Equality Impact Assessment
The report provided the opportunity for the Committee to comment on these, alongside the financial context, and on the Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities in which these proposals were made.
The Leader of the Council introduced the budget proposals for 2022/23 to 2025/26 and informed Members that the proposals were all based around the Administration’s nine priorities. The Performance and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee was invited to consider and comment on the engagement feedback on the Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance’s priorities and how the budget proposals for 2022/23 – 2025/26 aligned with those priorities.
Members were reminded that comments on the proposals would be included in the Budget and Business Planning report which was submitted to Cabinet on 18 January 2022, along with the outcome of the public consultation. These would be taken into consideration by Cabinet in setting out their proposed revenue budget for 2022/23 and Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to 2025/26.
Reference was made to a number of pieces of information yet to be received
which would have an impact on the proposed budget which included the Local Government Finance Settlement, confirmation of council tax base and the
collection fund position for each of the County’s district council, confirmation of business rates income including and the collection fund position and the outcome of the public consultation.
The Cabinet Member for Finance gave the Committee an overview of the updated Medium Term Financial Strategy for the Council. Reference was made to the uncertainty caused by Covid and the pressures this has caused.
The main financial pressures were around adult social care, the implications of the Environment Bill, demand for high needs education. There were £12.7m of savings earmarked. Details of directorate proposals were provided in the presentation.
The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services provided the Committee with details of the five strands of the consultation process which was taking place on the budget. The public consultation on the 2022/23 budget proposals was launched on 2 December 2021 and would run until 5 January 2022.
Members were informed that throughout October and November 2021, the Council had undertaken public and stakeholder engagement to inform the development of the new strategic plan and the budget-setting process. There were five strands to this:
1. A residents’ survey to understand residents’ priorities and experiences
2. Public discussion groups
3. Young people’s discussion groups to ensure that young people’s voices are included
4. Stakeholder workshops and survey – with participation from the voluntary and community sector and town and parish councils
5. Councillor engagement – discussions at locality groups and follow-up survey to ... view the full minutes text for item 6/21
Democratic Processes - Scoping Report and Appointment to a Working Group PDF 207 KB
Consideration was given to a report which sought approval to establishment of a Working Group to undertake a deep dive review of Democratic Processes in line with an agreed scope to be agreed by this Committee.
RESOLVED – That a Scrutiny Working Group / Review Panel on the Council’s Democratic Processes be established, with the following membership:
Councillor Brad Baines,
Councillor Donna Ford and
Councillor Michael O’Connor,
And with the following terms of reference:
To review the key elements of support for democratic processes at Oxfordshire County Council, with particular regard to:
(a) how the Council plans to best support elected members so that they can more effectively fulfil their roles
(b) how the Council plans to ensure those elected to represent the people of Oxfordshire are engaged in effective decision-making
(c) how the Council plans to make Overview and Scrutiny at the Council an example of best practice
(d) how the Council plans to support Overview and Scrutiny at the Council in better representing the voice and concerns of the public.