Agenda and minutes

Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 31st January, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Rob Castle on 033 022 22546  Email:  rob.castle@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

31.

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:

31.1     In accordance with the code of conduct, the following personal interests were declared in respect of item 5, Our Council Plan and Budget 2022/23: -

 

·         Cllr Boram as a member of Adur District Council

·         Cllr B Cooper as a member of Worthing Borough Council

·         Cllr Hillier as Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Mid Sussex District Council

·         Cllr Kerry-Bedell as a contractor for Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership

·         Cllr Sparkes as a member of Worthing Borough Council

32.

Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 148 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2021 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

32.1     Resolved – That the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2021 be approved as a correct record and that they be signed by the Chairman.

33.

Responses to Recommendations pdf icon PDF 96 KB

The Committee is asked to note the responses to recommendations made at the 2 December 2021 meeting from the Chairman of the Health & Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

33.1     Resolved – That the Committee notes the responses to recommendations made at the 2 December 2021 meeting from the Chairman of the Health & Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee.

34.

Our Council Plan and Budget 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

The report is presented by the Director of Finance and Support Services.  The draft budget for 2022/23 is presented to the Committee for preview and endorsement ahead of the agreement and approval of the Budget at Cabinet on 1 February 2022 and County Council on 18 February 2022.  Any issues or concerns raised by the Committee will be considered by the Cabinet ahead of approval at County Council.

 

The Committee is asked to consider the report and appendices and make any comments to Cabinet to take into account when it considers the draft Revenue Budget 2022/23, draft Capital Strategy 2022/23 to 2026/27, and Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2022/23.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

34.1     The Committee scrutinised a report by the Director of Finance and Support Services (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

34.2     Summary of responses to committee members questions and comments: -

 

·         There is a contingency amount built into the revenue reservest for funding financial pressures that may arise in adults’ or children’s social care. The contingency will be transferred into the revenue account when/if it is required through the year.

·         The risks/challenges identified have been considered in depth and there is sufficient contingency and reserves to mitigate them

·         It is possible, dependent on the terms of the grant and any ring-fencing that may exist, to use the remaining £15.923m Covid-19 fund to mitigate secondary impacts of the pandemic such as inflation

·         The business rates pilot reserve consists of a number of digital infrastructure projects with district and borough councils that take time to develop – time limit for spending on the pilot projects is by March 2024

·         The Council relies on district/borough council estimates for business rate income. If there is less income received than expected, the budget management reserve would be used to make up the shortfall, the reserve would need to be  built up again in next year's budget. The district and borough councils reflect the challenges around business rate collection rates in the estimates provided but recognise that there are a number of uncertainties being faced

·         Splitting service expenditure between statutory and discretionary services is difficult as legislation determines what the Council has to do, but not how much or how. The Council’s focus is on delivering services for residents as well and as efficiently as possible

·         Savings proposals for 2023/24 will be worked on and brought forward for all Member and scrutiny input as soon as possible

·         A new government needs assessment will be developed to support  the Fair Funding policy to better reflect the  demand profile of local authorities– it was expected that the new fair funding settlement would be for three years to enable longer term financial planning

·         There are huge demands on adults’ social care and the Council has been lobbying government for more funding – recently the Leader, Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services and the Executive Director of Adults and Health met with care providers to better understand the pressures they are facing. This was followed by a meeting between care providers and all West Sussex MPs to ensure MPs understood these pressures

·         One Public Estate is Government funding provided to enable sites with shared stakeholders to be reviewed and alternative ways of using the site to be found. It is largely to fund feasibility studies for complex sites to enable partners to work together on developing site solutions. Progress can be slow due to difficulty aligning the needs and wants of all the stakeholders involved

·         The Chief Executive’s budget covered salaries, subscriptions and the work of the Lord Lieutenant

·         The reduction in net expenditure in Commercial Services of about £11m was offset by the same increase in Information Technology – this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Work Programme Planning and possible items for future scrutiny pdf icon PDF 50 KB

The Committee is asked to review its current draft work programme taking into account the Forward Plan of Key Decisions and any suggestions from its members for possible items for future scrutiny.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

35.1     Resolved – that the Committee agreed to add scrutiny of the proposed decision, Procurement: Customer Service Function to its work programme with the intention that it be discussed at the 11 March 2022 meeting.

36.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be at 10.30am on 11 March 2022 at County Hall, Chichester.  Probable agenda items include: -

 

·         Performance and Resources Report (PRR) Quarter 3 – December 2021

·         Economy Reset Plan

·         Asset Strategy and Policy

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 24 February 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

36.1     The Committee notes its next meeting will take place on 11 March 2022, commencing at 10.30am.