Venue: Virtual Meeting - Web ex meeting. View directions
1. INTRODUCTION & COUNCIL STRATEGY
1.1 Cllr Mark Hawthorne and Pete Bungard discussed the Council Strategy with members and introduced the budget scrutiny day. Throughout the day the committee would meet with the Cabinet Members and Directors under the remit of each Scrutiny Committee and discuss their areas of the budget.
Members were advised to consider how effectively the
proposed budget responded to:
· The changing needs of Gloucestershire residents and communities
· The priorities and ambitions set out within the Council Strategy.
· Any legislative or other changes in national policy or guidance
1.3 The Committee understood that the proposed revenue budget was £519.833 million
The Budget issued for consultation was based on 2.99% Council Tax increase (made up of 1.99% Council Tax increase plus a 1% Adult Social Care Precept increase
Band D Council Tax of £1,451.36 in 2022/23 compared to £1,409.22 in 2021/22 – an increase of £42.14 per annum.
The Council Strategy would be subject to public consultation before being presented to Cabinet in January 2022 and to Council in February 2022 for approval and adoption.
1.4 It was outlined that one of the most important documents was the Council Strategy and this was a rewrite that took place every four years. It captured ‘unfinished business’, looked at what new challenges the Council needed to face and outlined new ambitions. The budget was about supporting and resourcing that strategy. The title was ‘Build Back Better’ which was a reaction to the Covid pandemic and an opportunity to think differently. Gloucestershire needed to be at the table for any growth deals and ensure it was not left behind. The focus was on a greener and healthier economy. The Chief Executive outlined that the Council wanted to look at historic inequalities and that the strategy represented a genuine re-set of the Council’s direction.
The Leader placed on record his thanks to officers for the work they had put in to rewrite and develop the strategy and set the budget for the year against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
1.5 The strategy had nine strategic priorities:
· Tackling climate change
· Improving our roads
· Sustainable growth – vision 2050 and since then sub regional partnership thinking (Western Gateway)
· Levelling up our communities (12 neighbourhoods amongst most deprived in England, Education and skills)
· Securing investment in future for Gloucestershire
· Transforming Children’s Services
· Transforming Adult Social Care
· Transforming Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service
· Improving Customer Experience
1.6 Members noted the challenges in Children Services and Adult Social Care and the focus on appropriate intervention and improving short term care. There would be further exploration of technology including analytics.
1.7 The budget as it currently stood did not take account of any additional investment needed arising from the recent inspection of the Fire and Rescue Service. The intention was to await the Inspectorate report to better understand what was required and then provide the appropriate level of investment.
1.8 Members understood the aspiration to improve the customer experience throughout the organisation. Cllr Sue Williams was announced ... view the full minutes text for item 12.