Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 10 January 2024 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Sophie Benfield  Email: sophie.benfield@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

36.

SCRUTINY OF THE DRAFT 2024/25 BUDGET & REVIEW OF COUNCIL STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Attached is the 2024/25 Budget Consultation Document.

 

 

Access the Council Strategy here.

 

Access Quarter 2 2023/24 Corporate Strategic Risk Monitoring Report here.

 

 

Sessions will be held with Cabinet Member and Directors for each scrutiny committee to discuss the draft budget. Members of this Committee will be in attendance throughout the day in order to identify any recurring themes and trends identifying the key areas they wish for inclusion in their report to Cabinet.

 

Members are advised to consider how effectively the proposed budget responds to:

o   the changing needs of Gloucestershire residents and communities?

o   the priorities and ambitions set out within the Council Strategy

o   Any legislative or other changes in national policy or guidance

 

 

9:30am

 

Council Strategy

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Cllrs Mark Hawthorne and Lynden Stowe

 

Officers: Pete Bungard and Paul Blacker

 

10.00am

 

Adult Social Care and Communities


Cllrs: Mark Hawthorne, Stephan Fifield, and Carole Allaway-Martin

 

Officers: Sarah Scott and Siobhan Farmer

 

Commissioning Intentions: pages 39 – 46 & 47 – 53

Budget proposals: pages 99, 100, 107, 112, 115 & 131

 

 

11:15am

 

 

Break

 

11:30am

 

Children and Families Scrutiny Committee

 

Cllrs Stephen Davies and Phil Robinson

 

Officers: Ann James

 

Commissioning Intentions: pages 22 – 38

Budget proposals: pages 99, 101 – 103, 113 & 131 – 132

 

 

12:45pm

 

Lunch break

 

1:30pm

 

Fire and Rescue Scrutiny

 

Cllr Dave Norman

 

Officers: Mark Preece

 

Commissioning Intentions: pages 73 – 89

Budget proposals: page 99, 106, 114 & 134

 

 

2:15pm

 

 

Environment Scrutiny Committee

Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee

 

Cllrs David Gray, Dom Morris, Phil Robinson, and Dave Norman

 

Officers: Colin Chick

 

Commissioning Intentions: pages 54 – 72

Budget proposals: pages 99, 104 – 105, 113 & 132 – 134

 

 

3:15pm

 

 

Break

 

3:30pm

 

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

(Core Council)

Cllr Lynden Stowe


Officers: Rob Ayliffe

 

Commissioning Intentions: pages 90 – 98

Budget proposals: pages 99, 108 – 110, 116 & 134 – 135

 

 

4:00pm – 4:30pm

 

CLOSE

 

Feedback to Leader of Council

 

Cllrs Mark Hawthorne and Lynden Stowe

 

Officers: Pete Bungard

 

Report/minutes will then go to Cabinet

 

 

 

Minutes:

1.             INTRODUCTION AND COUNCIL STRATEGY

 

1.1          Cllr Mark Hawthorne MBE, Leader of the Council, and Pete Bungard, Chief Executive, introduced the key revenue figures and assumptions, the provisional financial settlement, and the capital budget to members. It was noted that:

-      The budget for the 2024/25 financial year was not as comfortable as previous years, however the Council was in a better position than a number of other local authorities.

-      The use of reserves was at a sensible level.

-      The public consultation on the budget had commenced on 7 December 2023 and would end on 11 January 2024.

-      The feedback from today’s scrutiny session would feed into Cabinet’s consideration of the budget at its meeting at the end of January. Cabinet would then recommend the budget for full Council to consider at its meeting in February.

-      The provisional local government settlement in December had been disappointing. The final settlement from Government was expected early February, and confirmation of National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) and council tax data from districts was expected late January.

-      Estimated resources for 2024/25 were £609.6m, including £386.2m from council tax.

-      The budget included £73.9m of investment into services, including £21.9m for Children’s Services to support vulnerable children; and £12.4m for market sustainability and supplier inflation in Adult Social Care.

-      The budget included £25.5m of budget reductions and increased income. The majority of additional income was derived from the Energy from Waste facility.

-      The budget included a council tax increase of 4.99%, as well as a 3% provision for a pay award.

-      The provisional settlement was expected to be £200k less than estimated at the time of public consultation, however it was anticipated that this figure could be managed subject to further confirmation of NNDR and council tax data from the district councils.

-      Almost £500m was committed to the capital programme for 2024/25 and future years. There was an additional £84.8 million of new capital investment proposed, of which £69.1m was funded by grants, and £15.6m funded from borrowing.

-      The strategy of maintaining borrowing internally would be continued where possible.

 

1.2          One member queried whether the Corporate Strategy should be reviewed, given changes that had resulted from the cost-of-living crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the war in the Ukraine. In response, it was understood that Cabinet had revisited the Strategy last year and decided against a review as it was felt the document provided sufficient scope for progress. It was also explained that the commissioning intentions, which were updated annually, provided the link between the Corporate Strategy and the budget.

 

1.3          Another member asked whether the final budget was expected to increase and whether any additional funds would be received. In response, it was explained that there was flexibility with the use of reserves, however these shouldn’t be raided at the expense of future years. It was hoped there could be a small increase in funds from council tax. It was not anticipated that the final settlement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.