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Report of the Corporate Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning
Members received information around the current Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning draft budget consultation exercise as contained within the circulated report.
The Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning, the Head of Transformation and the Head of Participation presented the report explaining to Members that it had been prepared to provide further information in relation to the budget setting process for the directorate, with a view to aiding the scrutiny of the proposals.
The Chair invited Members of the Scrutiny Committee to ask questions or provide comments on the proposals outlined in Appendix 1 of the report.
The Chair explained to the Scrutiny Committee that the proposals starting with the number 7 or 8 are proposals that were agreed in last year’s budget proposals. However the Chair went on to ask about the Pontardawe Arts Centre – Reduce Subsidy budget proposal (ELLL707) as there was a saving of £70k for 2020/21. Officers explained that the £70k had not yet been agreed and is for Members to scrutinise. It was noted that the £70k is through income generation, which would be utilised for the potential development of a Cinema.
Members commented on the School Catering Budget Proposal (ELLL715) highlighting that the Committee recognises the reason for this saving as it is due to the changes to job evaluation.
Members went on to scrutinise the Re-negotiation of the current contract to deliver outdoor education at the Discovery Centre, Margam Park budget proposal (ELLL801) and asked whether the ‘sinking fund’ of £50k was realistic. Officers clarified that the feel study recommended the amount as it is in their best interest to be feasible.
Members highlighted the importance for the Cefn Coed Colliery Museum Site (ELLL810), to be utilised by families over weekends and school holidays to generate income. Members asked if this is currently happening. Officers highlighted that there is potential of providing a service of this nature and informed members that a bid had been submitted for this purpose.
Members of Scrutiny and Cabinet Members raised concern over the appearance of the entrance of the Cefn Coed Colliery Museum site as it often looks closed. Officers explained that they are aware of this concern and are using social media to raise awareness of the venue and highlighted that most of the income that is generated comes from seasonal events.
Members asked about the School meals proposal (ELLL901) and queried whether the 5p increase was to cover other costs. Officers confirmed that it is not to make a profit it is due to the increase in food. Members commented on the proposed increase and shared their concerns of this having an effect on the parents or guardians. Officers agreed to monitor the impacts on this.
Members went on to scrutinise the Budget proposal on the Music Service (ELLL902). Officers informed Member’s that there is funding of £2million due from Welsh Government. It was noted that if the funding was not to be received then there would be pressure on the service. Officers explained ... view the full minutes text for item 1.