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Contact: Charlotte Davies / Chloe Plowman - 01639 763745 / 01639 763301
The Committee was informed of a change to the following report on the Cabinet Board Agenda:
· Agenda Item 10 – Corporate Plan Annual Report
An adjustment was to be made to the following sentence on page 56 of the circulated report:
‘Across the three well-being objectives for 2020/21, 64% (53 of 83) of our ‘steps’, i.e. the strategic actions we set to deliver our improvement priorities are on track, 24 of the steps are ‘just off’ track and 6 are off track’
The sentence was to be adjusted to the following:
‘Across the three well-being objectives for 2020/21, 65% (54 of 83) of our ‘steps’, i.e. the strategic actions we set to deliver our improvement priorities are on track, 24 of the steps are ‘just off’ track and 5 are off track’
The same adjustment would also need to be made to pages 66 and 182 of the circulated report.
Following the update, Members were happy with the changes, therefore chose not to scrutinise the report.
· 9 June 2021
· 30 June 2021
· 28 July 2021
The minutes of the meetings held on the 9 June 2021, 30 June 2021 and 28 July 2021 were approved, with the following amendment to the minutes of the 30 June 2021:
During the scrutiny of the agenda item relating to the ‘Investments from Reserves 2021/22’, the Committee discussed the Levelling Up Fund. Members asked if the following points could be included to the narrative of the minutes:
· It was noted that during the meeting Members expressed their disappointment in that only 25% of the eligibility of the Levelling Up Fund was applied for; however, Officers provided thorough answers which satisfied Members.
· The Director of Education and Regeneration confirmed that there was £125k available for consultancy work which will allow Officers to work through the detailed plans of any future funding e.g. the Shared Prosperity Fund.
· Members wanted their thanks to Officers and the Director of Environment and Regeneration to be portrayed.
· To select appropriate items from the Cabinet agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (cabinet reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)
· To select appropriate items from the Cabinet (Finance) Sub Committee agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (Cabinet Finance Sub - Committee reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)
The Committee scrutinised the following Cabinet Board items:
Revenue Budget Monitoring and Update Report 2021/2022
Members received an update in relation to current budget projections for the 2021/22 financial year.
Officers mentioned that the Revenue and Budget Monitoring and Update Reports were being provided to Members on a by-monthly basis due to the impact of Covid-19.
It was highlighted that the current predicted underspend this year was £1.583m; this was partly due to the reimbursement of loss of income and the expenditure from the Welsh Government’s Hardship Fund. The circulated report detailed that to date, the Council had been reimbursed £2.4m, and that a loss of income claim of £1.221m for quarter one had also been agreed.
In a previous meeting of the Committee, Members were informed that an additional £12m was recently allocated to the Council from Welsh Government; Members asked if this additional money had been reflected in the underspend and overspend of the circulated report, and if they were not, could they be put into the reserves to offset burdens which residents may face going forward, such as Council Tax.
It was highlighted that Members were informed of the additional £12m that was put into reserves, at the meeting held on 2 June 2021; during this meeting it was stated that this money was allocated to specific reserves across the various service areas. Officers confirmed that these monies were still in the reserves, other than the reserve movements as detailed on pages 26 and 27 of the circulated report. It was added that a report which was approved by Cabinet on 30 June 2021, also identified the use of around £4m of reserves which was shown in the reserves scheduled on Appendix 3 of the circulated report.
The Committee was informed that currently, the predicted specific reserves was around £54m; the end of year position will not be known until May 2022. It was mentioned that the Council will be setting its budget for 2022/23 at the beginning of March 2022, which was in advance of the closing of this financial year.
By Members receiving the monthly updates, it provided them with the knowledge of what the predicted position will be for the budget setting meeting in March; there will be opportunities to review the level of reserves being used in order to underpin the base budget and/or for specific initiatives that the Council proposes. However, it was noted that Members should be mindful of the reduction in reserves and of the financial sustainability of the Council.
It was highlighted that within the Social Services, Health and Housing Directorate, there was a £17k underspend on Aids and Equipment. It was asked if the Authority had the provision to reclaim and reuse any of the equipment when a resident passes away. Officers explained that the predicated underspend was due to allocating additional monies into that budget during previous years. It was confirmed that there was mechanisms in place by which some equipment could be reutilised, however sometimes it ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
The Committee noted the Cabinet Scrutiny Forward Work Programme 2021/22.