Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 3 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Patrick Sebastian 0151 691 8424
Webcast: View the webcast
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bruce Berry, Paul Hayes, Sharon Jones, Yvonne Nolan, Tony Norbury, Les Rowlands and Graham Hokinson, Director of Adult Care and Health.
Members Declarations of Interest
Vikki Gregorich, Senior Finance Manager the report of the Director of Finance and Investment (S151) that formed part of the Council’s formal budget process - as set out in the constitution and in accordance with the legal requirements to set a balanced and sustainable budget for 2020/21. The Senior Finance Manager also presented an update on the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) covering the period from 2021/22 to 2024/25.
Jason Oxley, Assistant Director - Health and Care OutcomesJacqui Evans, Assistant Director - Integrated Commissioning Programme were also in attendance to answer questions relating to the savings proposals and provide information on the pressures faced by the Adult Care and Health Services.
In a variation from past practice, the previous format of scrutiny workshops had been discontinued, and each Overview and Scrutiny Committee reviewed a list of budget proposals under its remit.
As such, Members were requested to review and comment on the financial proposals for 2020/21 that were currently subject to consultation and further consideration by Cabinet on 17 February 2020; and to note the financial challenges facing the Council in setting a sustainable and balanced budget for the MTFP period from 2021/22 to 2024/25.
The report informed how, in September 2019, the Government announced the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2020/21 budgets, in the form of a single year Spending Round, with a multi-year Spending Review following in 2020. This year’s Spending Round formed the basis for updating the MTFP and set out a 4.3% real-term increase in overall Government funding for Local Authorities - against a backdrop of consistent cuts in the previous three Spending Reviews since 2010 and continued pressures in delivery of social care. Details of how the overall announcement would affect the specific funding settlements for individual Local Authorities were not available at the time of writing the report. The Spending Round settlement for 2020/21 represented an improvement in funding in comparison to previous assumptions for 2020/21, given:
· No loss of the Council’s equivalent of the Revenue Support Grant or Public Health Grant:
· A £6.4m increase in funding for Adult and Children’s Social Care;
· A proposed £2.8m increase in Council Tax - resulting from permission to include a 2% Adult Social Care Precept in 20/21, over and above an inflationary increase of up to 2%;
· A (£0.8m) reduction in Council Tax due to the Council’s review of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme; and
· A new round of the New Homes Bonus allocations for 2020/21 only.
The Senior Finance Manager informed that, on a positive front, a range of expected and significant cuts hadn’t filtered through in the current financial year.
Members highlighted a number of general areas of concern, that included arrangements relating to the funding settlement – broadly what had been expected. Issues of comparison were also raised regarding the fair funding review and Local Government Associations (LGA) projections. A Member pointed out the negative impact of the fair funding review on Wirral.
The Senior Finance Manager informed that full analysis of ... view the full minutes text for item 49.