Issue - meetings

To select appropriate items from the Cabinet (Finance) Sub Committee (Cabinet Finance Sub Committee reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)

Meeting: 19/01/2023 - Cabinet Scrutiny Committee (Item 3)

Pre-decision Scrutiny

·        To select appropriate items from the Cabinet agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (cabinet reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)


The Committee chose to scrutinise the following item on the Cabinet agenda:


2023/24 Budget Proposals for Consultation


Members were provided with information in relation to the sought approval to consult on the draft budget proposals for 2023/24 from Cabinet. It was noted that due to the timing of the provisional local government settlement, a short consultation would take place up until the 10th February 2023. Responses following the consultation would be reviewed prior to presenting a final budget for 2023/24 at Cabinet and Council on 1st and 2nd March respectively, as detailed within the circulated report.


Members queried officers in relation to the following points as detailed within the report:


·        It was queried whether the 2.8 Million Renewable Energy Transition Fund was specifically for renewable energy or whether this fund would cover other areas. Officers explained that the proposal was to put aside 2.8 million as we need to reach a net zero target over the next 7 years. It was noted that if this proposal were to be accepted then members would receive further reports in relation to any utilisation of that fund.


·        It was noted that within the risk register, waste delivery was marked as a high risk due to fuel inflation costs. Members asked what mitigating measures were being utilised to support this. Officers explained that fuel had decreased following this risk being highlighted therefore there is no proposal to amend waste delivery. Members asked that this risk be amended to reflect this within the risk register.


·        Members discussed the impact of the pay award. Members required assurance around the proposal of the schools Pay award. It was noted that within this year’s budget it was agreed that the gap of 4% would be paid. For the proposal detailed within next year’s budget it was discussed that the full 5% would be provided through School reserves.


·        Officers discussed the proposal around the saving costs of Cleaning within schools. It was noted that the proposal was to cut the subsidy for school cleaning as it was felt that this was a responsibility for the schools themselves to cover.


·        It was noted that an analysis was being produced to provide detail around the schools that may have difficulty balancing budgets with upcoming budget pressures resulting in them being in a potential deficit. Members asked that the analysis be circulated once completed.


·        Members highlighted their frustration around the lateness of the consultation document being circulated in a timely manner. Officers apologised for any inconvenience however, explained that the document that would be presented to the public would be the main budget report that was attached. It was also noted that they would maximise public engagement to maximise consultation responses. It was clear during the discussion that members felt the importance of ensuring that the report was clear to ensure the public had a clear understanding of the outcomes of the budget proposals. Therefore officers also ensured that they would provide explanatory notes with the budget document when it is taken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3