Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments


Apologies were received from Councillor Mike Fox-Davies (substituted by Councillor Ted Fenton).



Declarations of Interest - Guidance note on back page of the agenda


The Chairman noted that her daughter worked for Public Health in the Sexual Health section which is referred to in the papers.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 254 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2020 (PSC3) and to receive information arising from them.


The minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2020 were approved.



Budget Proposals 2021/22 - 2025/26

Report from the Director for Finance and Corporate Director Customers and Organisational Development


This report is one in the series on the Budget and Business Planning process for 2021/22-2025/26.  The report provides an overview of the latest financial planning assumptions for 2021/22, including the key points arising from the Spending Review announced on 25 November 2020. The paper sets out the approach to Budget Consultation, which seeks views from the public on proposed savings, pressures and investments. The report provides an update on the work to progress the annual refresh of the corporate plan, which sets out the Council’s strategic priorities. 


Additional documents:


Claire Taylor introduced a presentation with the Corporate Plan update which on this occasion was an annual refresh and not a full review.  Councillor Glynis Phillips asked that there be a closer alignment between the Corporate Plan and the budget proposals so that Members could see how the budget was being used to meet the priorities.  Claire Taylor agreed to take that point on board for next year’s process (ACTION).


Lorna Baxter summarised the Planning Assumptions and responded to questions from Members as follows:


·         The national pay freeze for those earning over £24,000 had been factored in to the budget.

·         The service redesign savings not delivered in 2020/21 due to COVID-19 were itemised under the different service areas.


Adult Services

Stephen Chandler introduced the proposal and responded to Members’ questions as follows:


·         The trend everywhere was towards a reduction in residential care and COVID-19 had added to this.  Many alternatives were available in the home including live-in options should 24-hour support be required.

·         The increased funding for mental health in 2022/23 was going into adult mental health services, mostly in the social care housing pathway.  It was not aimed at delivering more service but was addressing cost pressures in the contract.

·         It was to be expected that there will be an increasing demand for mental health services in the wake of COVID-19 and this may be more likely to impact in 2022/23.

·         Home care was more cost-effective than residential care and was often better for the individual.  The Council was about to retender for home care and reablement.

·         It was to be hoped that reduced costs mean that more people can be supported and supported earlier to stay well for longer.

·         Individual reviews of support levels should reduce waste and free up resources for others.


Children’s Services

Kevin Gordon summarised the investments, pressures and savings and responded to Members as follows:


·         This Council spent more on the administration of SEND than comparable councils.  The capacity was there and the extra spend was to improve management oversight.  There was also an investment of £400,000 in SEND early intervention for 2021/22 which was deferred from this year’s budget.

·         The reduction in School Transport spending was not related to cuts in services but involved drawing down only what was expected to be required given population forecasts.

·         Plans for a new children’s home had not been shelved but were being reviewed to ensure that they met the needs.

·         There was an investment of £150,000 in the budget for apprenticeships.  The Youth Offer in general will be escalated to provide more support in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown.  Members will be contacted in the new year about a new campaign to encourage local businesses to provide more apprenticeships

·         A review of the needs of young people was due in March 2021 and there was a proposed £1m of core funding to finance the proposals from that. Accelerator funding will be used to support existing youth offers especially in the voluntary sector where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57/20


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 247 KB

To agree the Committee’s work programme for future meetings based on key priorities and discussion in the meeting.



It had been agreed earlier to recommend that the new Committee next year should review School Transport arrangements.