Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 19th October, 2021 10.30 am

Venue: County Hall, Chichester, PO19 1RQ

Contact: Natalie Jones-Punch on 033 022 25098  Email:  natalie.jones-punch@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

19.

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personal interest in any business on the agenda. They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it. If in doubt please contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1            No declarations of interest were made.

20.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Cabinet Members are asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2021 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1      Resolved – that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September be approved as a correct record and that they be signed by the Chairman.

21.

Medium Term Financial Strategy and Council Plan 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Report by the Director of Finance and Support Services.

 

The Chairman of the Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee will be invited to speak for up to three minutes to provide the views of the Committee on the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Council Plan report.

 

Each of the main minority group leaders will be invited to speak for up to three minutes each on the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Council Plan report.

 

The Cabinet will then discuss the report and any proposals prior to considering the recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1     Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Finance and Support Services. The report was introduced by Cllr Jeremy Hunt, Cabinet Member for Finance and Property who advised that the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) outlined the broad budget principles which were supported by the priorities of the council plan. Katharine Eberhart, Director of Finance and Support Services further outlined the key assumptions underpinning the review of the MTFS, service pressures and movement in the budget gap, which stood at £2.5m. Whilst this was a favourable position, there remained much uncertainty into the future, particularly surrounding Adults Social Care, price inflation, Council Tax and Business Rates and the deferred Fairer Funding review. An increase in capital borrowing was likely in order to meet new demand.

 

21.2     Cllr Pieter Montyn, Chairman of the Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee noted the uncertain position, national challenges and their likely impact on the core budget, such as the pandemic effects, rising energy costs, Adults Social Care guidance, pay increases and National Insurance. Cllr Montyn felt clarity on local government funding was key in order to close the budget gap now and for planning future years.

 

21.3     Cllr Kirsty Lord, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group acknowledged the difficult financial situation and that whilst the gap was small, uncertainty was an issue. Cllr Lord expressed concern about the proposed changes to day centre services and hoped the pandemic wasn’t being used as a justification for this and other changes. Cllr Lord felt any proposals and their scrutiny should be managed in a public and transparent way.

 

21.4     A written statement from Cllr Caroline Baxter, Leader of the Labour Group was read out. Cllr Baxter recognised the good position for the forthcoming budget but felt rebuilding communities and improving the health of residents was very important and asked Cabinet to bear in mind the increased costs faced by residents when considering savings.

 

21.5     Cllr Paul Marshall, Leader of the Council said the MTFS was encouraging, affirmed the priorities of the Council Plan and demonstrated resilience. The Leader recognised the challenges and unpredictable landscape but that the assumptions built into the MTFS gave a good starting base to tackle the external pressures.

 

21.6  The following points were made by Cabinet Members in discussion:

 

Ø  Cllr Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing felt the report presented a good and viable MTFS which supported the Council Plan and makes best use of resources.

Ø  Cllr Steve Waight, Cabinet Member for Support Services and Economic Development noted the £683m worth of Capital Programme investment in areas such as schools, highways and new ways of working which would benefit residents both directly and indirectly.

Ø  Cllr Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People highlighted the revenue growth pressures in the Children and Young People portfolio which were largely attributed to demand growth. She outlined the work ongoing with the launch of the Family Safeguarding Model which should see a reduction of the number of children  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Cabinet will be held on 16 November 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

22.1      The next meeting of the Cabinet will be held on 16 November 2021.