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Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008 (including whipping declarations)
Councillor Richard Williams declared a personal interest in paragraph 4.1.7 of agenda item 3, as a former member of the staff for Bridgend County Borough Council – Public Protection.
Councillor Huw David – Leader of the Council
Councillor Jane Gebbie - Deputy Leader of Council and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help
Councillor Hywel Williams - Cabinet Member for Resources
Councillor Rhys Goode - Cabinet Member for Future Generations and Wellbeing
Claire Marchant - Corporate Director - Social Services and Wellbeing
Carys Lord - Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change
Mark Shephard - Chief Executive
Deborah Exton - Deputy Head of Finance
Christopher Morris - Finance Manager – Social Services & Wellbeing / Chief Executive’s Directorate
The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change presented a summary of the report, the purpose of which was to present the Committee with the draft Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023-24 to 2026-27, which set out the spending priorities of the Council, key investment objectives and budget areas targeted for necessary savings. The strategy included a financial forecast for 2023-2027 and a detailed draft revenue budget for 2023-24.
The Chairperson thanked the Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change for her comprehensive summary and referred to the proposed draft Budget Pressures the Committee was considering, reminding Members to consider whether these were sufficient, adequate and robust.
Members discussed the following:
In response to a question regarding whether the reduction in providers of children’s residential care was due to Welsh Government developing proposals to eliminate private profit, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help (Deputy Leader) advised that some for profit providers were trying leave the Welsh market resulting in the need to place children over the border but still for profit. She also advised that any complex care needs were at an additional cost.
The Corporate Director for Social Services and Wellbeing (Corporate Director) advised that due to some providers choosing to exit the market, it resulted in those remaining having more children and young people. There was increasing difficulty in finding placements and a need for more bespoke placements as well as a number of children requiring support outside of regulated settings which brought a cost premium. Whilst the Directorate was developing an in-house provision, it remained reliant on independent outside providers at present. She highlighted the increased complexity of needs of children and young people post pandemic and the economy experiencing significant issues in terms of workforce were impacting on costs.
In response to a question regarding any plans for remodelling in social services, the Corporate Director advised that there was a significant transformation programme including transformation of strength-based practice in adults and children’s social care based on enabling and promoting independence. She highlighted the importance of preventative services offered by Awen and Halo which provide good value and focus on the most vulnerable as well as the remodelling in care and support at home services, in-house and commissioned care at home services, learning disabilities and mental health.
The Deputy Leader advised that the Regional Partnership Board, which is responsible for community delivery, had transformation on its agenda.
In response to a question regarding the public consultation on the proposed 6% increase in Council tax, the Deputy Leader advised that residents’ views would be discussed, debated and considered.
She advised the Committee that Health and Social Care workers needed to be valued, recognising the aging population causing increased demand on services and that their pay and terms and conditions needed to reflect such. She also highlighted the Welsh Government Directive regarding a National Care System which would mean all staff would have the same terms and conditions, resulting in decreased competition between authorities. ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in
accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.