Venue: Civic Suite, Solihull
Contact: Paul Rogers
Apologies for Absence
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Councillor M Allen.
Declarations of Pecuniary or Conflicts of Interest
No declarations were received.
Questions and Deputations
No questions or deputations were received.
To consider for approval the draft Minutes arising from the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board meeting held on 9th January 2023.
Councillor Gibbin raised in relation to Page 7, first paragraph in regard to the Council’s costs pertaining to Council Tax and Business Rates Court costs, the point queried was why was the Council seemingly subsidising the costs associated with these court actions.
The Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board:
Subject to the above, to agree the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board Minutes arising from the meeting held on 2nd February 2023 as a true record.
The Council Plan 2020-25 – Progress in Delivering Outcomes and Plan Refresh PDF 221 KB
This report outline progress made in
delivering the Solihull Council Plan in 2022/23 and seek the
Board’s views about the content of the 2023/24 plan
The Scrutiny Board received an introduction to the report from theHead of Business Intelligence & Improvement, with additional comment received from the Leader of the Council and Director of Public Health.
Having received the report introduction, Members of the Scrutiny Board raised a number of questions pertinent to the report, which in summary included the following matters:
Councillor Parker noted that the Council Plan refresh was very good and queried whether the additional ring-fenced social care funding received from Government would support future interventions in Children’s Services. Councillor Courts clarified that the arrangements were currently at consultation stage and that the proposals needed to be reviewed in further detail. The Children’s Commissioners report was scheduled for submission to the Council meeting scheduled for 7th February 2023. Councillor Courts further advised that Sir Alan Wood’s report would explore the partnership responsibilities of the Police, NHS and Council and that a joint response to the report was planned that went further than the Government decreed.
Councillor Holt referenced the Multi-Agency Family Hub and the associated funding programme and sough further information as to what was planned for the physical hubs. The Director of Public Health confirmed that the hubs were being looked at in terms of their sustainability over the longer term. It was important to note that there was no new Capital spend available to place services under one roof, which clearly brings additional, longer-term costs. The service will use the MTFS process over future years to find a sustainable long term funding solution.
Councillor Adeyemo noted that 50% of the delivery ratings for the People and Communities Priority Areas were amber rated, with specific reference to Deliverable No. 16 (‘Accelerate action on the priority areas identified in the Health Inequalities Strategy and embed health inequality considerations across the Council so that we can improve the lives of people and places who are currently most disadvantaged’) and Deliverable No. 20 (‘Continue to grow and strengthen our localities and ensure this is built into the development of the Integrated Care System (ICS). Further milestones to be developed to reflect the links to ICS development’). Councillor Adeyemo stated that he was concerned these two deliverables were still rated amber. With regard to Deliverable No. 20, Councillor Adeyemo noted that the document concerned was projected to be fit for purpose in 2 years’ time and noted that improvements were required now, with the projected timescale not good enough.
The Head of Business Intelligence & Improvement responded that with regard to Deliverable No. 20, the RAG rating presented an honest reflection of where the Council was with taking the deliverable to fruition. Assessing the impact of investment via qualitative data was harder to define and was a complex task. However, the Council did have a first phase document in place which could be progressed. Councillor K Grinsell advised that the ICS needed to be reviewed further in its first year of operation. The ICS Partnership Strategy had recently been signed off, ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 to 2025/26 PDF 233 KB
The purpose of this report is to provide an
update on the budget position for 2023/24 and subsequent years and
to seek feedback on the budget proposals for Full Cabinet. The
report also includes an updated Medium Term Financial Strategy and
Capital Strategy, which members are asked to consider and recommend
to Full Cabinet for approval.
The report provided the Scrutiny Board with an update on the budget position for 2023/24 and subsequent years and requested feedback on the budget proposals for Full Cabinet. The report also included an updated Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Strategy, which Members of the Scrutiny Board were asked to consider.
Having received an introduction to the report from the Acting Chief Executive, Members of the Scrutiny Board were invited to raise any questions pertinent to the report.
Councillor Moses highlighted the proposed fees and charges scheduled for 2023/24, noting that some fees and charges were proposed to increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 6% and questioned whether the Council would exercise its discretion in raising the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) in line with the CPI.
The Director, Adult Care & Support, informed the Scrutiny Board that the MIG was established by the Department of Health and Social Care and historically the Council followed the national policy. If this were to change, there would be costs associated with this. The Adult Social Care Finance Manager further advised that the Council budget assumed the MIG would rise with the rate of inflation, but the MIG for 2023/24 had yet to be confirmed.
Councillor Moses questioned whether the Council had any contingency plans in place should the need arise to review the MIG in order to avoid any potential real term cuts. The Adult Social Care Finance Manager advised Members that any such review could have a financial impact requiring revisions to the Council budget and further options identified to present a balanced Council budget.
Councillor Parker sought clarification as to whether any rental increases were proposed for SCH tenants. The Assistant Director of Finance & Property Services informed the Scrutiny Board that a Housing Rents report was scheduled for consideration at Cabinet and was currently proposing a 5% increase, where a maximum raise of 7% was permissible.
Having considered the report, the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board:
(i) To review and note the budget position as outlined in the report, the pressures and mitigations detailed at Appendix A and the savings proposals detailed in Appendix B;
(ii) To note the budget comments arising from the Scrutiny Boards detailed in Appendix C;
(iii) To note the structural and strategic options as detailed in Appendix D;
(iv) To consider and note the draft updated Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and Capital Strategy, as detailed in Appendices E and F;
(v) To note the fees and charges proposed within each portfolio and detailed in Appendix H (available on-line);
(vi) To note the recommendation to roll forward the management agreement with Solihull Community Housing (SCH) as outlined in paragraph 3.34 of the report;
(vii) To note the recommendations to Full Council in respect of the Council’s
carbon budget, as outlined at paragraph 3.35 to the report and detailed in the report to the Members’ Budget Seminar attached at Appendix I;
(viii) To consider and note the Strategic Fair Treatment Assessment detailed ... view the full minutes text for item 6.