Venue: County Hall, Chichester
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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.
33.1 In accordance with the code of conduct, there were no declarations of interest made.
The Cabinet is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2020.
34.1 RESOLVED – that the minutes of meeting held on 14 January 2020 be approved and signed by the Chairman.
Report by Director of Finance and Support Services.
The attached report sets out the Revenue Budget 2020/21, the Capital Strategy 2020/21 to 2024/25 and the Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2020/21.
The Cabinet is asked to endorse the County Council Revenue Budget for 2020/21 as set out in Appendix A and Annex 1, the Capital Strategy as set out in Annex 2(a), and the Treasury Management Strategy Statement as set out in Annex 2(b), for approval by County Council on 14 February 2020.
Following consideration of the report, Cabinet resolved:
To endorse the County Council Budget for 2020/21, as set out in Appendix A and Annex 1, the Capital Strategy set out in Annex 2(a) and the Treasury Management Strategy set out in Annex 2(b), for approval by County Council on 14 February 2020.
The call-in deadline is 6 February 2020.
35.1 The Cabinet considered a report by Director of Finance and Support Services (copy appended to signed minutes).
35.2 Jeremy Hunt, Cabinet Member for Finance introduced the report for endorsement by Cabinet, ahead of full approval by County Council on 14 February 2020. Mr Hunt highlighted the following key parts of the budget:
· Despite the financial challenges of 2019/20, a balanced budget was being presented for 2020/21.
· The budget included funding growth of £32m and £2.6m into Children’s Services and Fire and Rescue Service respectively.
· £18m of savings had been identified, and the early involvement of members in the budget process would continue for the following year.
· The total proposed Council tax increase for 2020/21 was 3.99% (1.99% core element and 2% Adult Social Care).
35.3 Katharine Eberhart, Director of Finance & Support Services highlighted the Section 25 statement on the robustness and adequacy of reserves. There would be £144m in reserves by the end of this financial year and it was expected that reserve levels would be similar by the end of 2020/21. Resilience indicators had been considered, and it had been concluded that there was sufficient financial resilience to deal with the risks highlighted in the report.
35.4 Joy Dennis, Chairman of Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee, provided a summary of the recommendations and comments made by the Committee in relation to the budget. The Committee welcomed the early member engagement in the budget setting process for 2020/21 and welcomed this continuing for future years.
35.5 Michael Jones, Leader of the Labour Group commented that his group did not support some of the savings proposals that had been identified, including the Local Assistance Network. The group also highlighted that some of the performance issues, including drug and alcohol and killed and serious road accidents on roads had not been addressed in the budget.
35.6 Cabinet Members welcomed the balanced budget being presented, recognising the funding challenges and the difficult choices that had to be made to put resources into the top priority areas.
35.7 Cabinet Members made the following comments in relation to the budget:
· Welcomed the financial prudence of the County Council that had enabled an increase in core spending for vital services.
· Supported the strength of the Capital Programme that included investment in growth programmes across the County and significant major highways projects which both harnessed external funding.
· Recognised the need to understand the increase in KSIs on roads, and the importance of working with the Safer Sussex Partnership to address this.
· Welcomed the additional funding for Children’s Services including £12m for improvement and £12m for increased placements. The aim was to have targeted investment into early help to maximise results for residents and families.
· Recognised the need for a long-term funding settlement from Government to provide certainty and enable long term financial planning. The Cabinet would continue to work with the Local Government Association and MPs to lobby government for this and would welcome cross party support.
35.8 Andrew Barratt-Miles, Chairman of the Environment and Communities ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Report by Director of Law and Assurance – attached
The Cabinet is asked to:
• Note progress against the Forward Plan and to confirm awareness of the status of each item and readiness to take the decision.
• Identify any decisions that require decision at a future Cabinet
A link to the full Forward Plan can be found here
36.1 The Cabinet considered a report by Director of Law and Assurance (copy appended to the signed minutes).
36.2 Cabinet Members confirmed that the Adults Services Improvement – Next Steps decision would now be considered at Cabinet in March. Work was ongoing for the West Sussex Children First Strategic Approach and therefore this decision would be taken later in the year. Cabinet would receive an update on the Practice Improvement Plan on the 18 March.
36.3 RESOLVED – Cabinet notes the progress against the Forward Plan and the decisions identified for future Cabinet meetings, taking into account the amendments outlined in paragraph 36.2 above.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Cabinet will be held on 18 February 2020.
37.1 It was confirmed that the next meeting of Cabinet was scheduled for 18 February 2020.