Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 1st December, 2021 09:30

Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


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)




Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 01 09 21


RESOLVED:           That the Minutes of a meeting of the Corporate

                                Overview and Scrutiny Committee dated 1 September

                                2021 be approved as a true and accurate record.


Budget Monitoring 2021-22 - Quarter 2 Revenue Forecast pdf icon PDF 677 KB



Councillor Huw David - Leader

Councillor Hywel Williams - Deputy Leader

Councillor Stuart Baldwin - Cabinet Member for Communities

Councillor Nicole Burnett - Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help

Councillor Dhanisha Patel - Cabinet Member for Future Generations and Wellbeing

Councillor Charles Smith - Cabinet Member for Education & Regeneration


Mark Shephard - Chief Executive

Lindsay Harvey - Corporate Director - Education and Family Support

Gill Lewis - Interim Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change

Claire Marchant - Corporate Director - Social Services and Wellbeing

Janine Nightingale - Corporate Director - Communities

Kelly Watson - Chief Officer Legal, HR & Regulatory Services

Additional documents:


The Interim Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change introduced the Quarter 2 Revenue Budget Monitoring report that had been received by Cabinet in October, and which measured the Council’s expenditure against the budget. The budget had been approved by Council on 24 February 2021 and the net budget was £298.9M, and this was the second quarter monitoring report against the budget. She expressed that it had never been such uncertain times in terms of the financial position. She advised she was happy to give the detail of the current position as Quarter 2 had been at the end of September and things changed rapidly. The report contained some contrary messages as there were significant underspends in terms of the short term position, but some significant pressures in terms of the medium term position.


The Officer explained that table 1 was the summary of the main position and showed a projected net underspend of £2M which included anticipated funding from the hardship fund for the second half of the year. She advised they had been successful each month in getting most of their additional costs back which would increase the projected underspend in quarter three and that the underspend significantly masked the underlying budget pressures that persist in 2021-22 and would undoubtedly continue in 2022-23 and onwards.


The Interim Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change referred to the following points of reference in the report:


·         In Paragraph 4.1.4 there was a significant overspend of over £2M on home to school transport.

·         Paragraph 4.1.5 referred to the pressures in social care which the Interim Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change advised they had received grant for recovery at the time of writing the report of £1.7M, but it had since gone up to £2.9M.

·         In paragraph 4.1.6 the Council had approved over £2M growth for homelessness in the budget knowing they would have significant pressures going forward due to the new regulations and the pandemic. However Welsh Government had provided funding through the COVID hardship fund for homelessness, which the Council had successfully claimed. It had not been expected to continue through the year, so they had a significant underspend on that budget in the short term. In terms of temporary accommodation, about 200 families, 370 individuals, were still in need of accommodation, so, while the budget looked fine, the service delivery in the medium term was a high risk for the Council.


The Interim Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change advised that the Council had established a £1M Covid Recovery fund that continued to be used for issues such as free parking in the town centre and waiver of sports fees. She advised they had been successful in getting more in terms of their loss of income and more in terms of expenditure claims so the quarter three position would improve. Council tax collection and claims for council tax reduction had been closely monitored, with no additional funding likely to be announced by the Welsh Government until later in the year  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Forward Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Additional documents:


The Senior Democratic Services Officer - Scrutiny advised that following on from the Committee’s consideration of the Forward Programme at the previous meeting, the updated Forward Programme for this Committee was attached as Appendix A and the Forward Work Programmes for Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees 1, 2 and 3 were also attached as Appendices B, C and D, as this Committee had responsibility for coordination and oversight of the overall Forward Work Programme.


The FWP’s had been updated to take account of the announcement at November Council that December Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting dates would be postponed to new dates in January, and extra meetings of COSC added on 19 Jan and 1 Feb, to accord with the timing of the Welsh Government budget settlement to local authorities.


She also advised that’s the Recommendations Monitoring Action Sheet to track responses to the Committee’s recommendations from previous meetings was attached as Appendix E.


There were no requests to include specific information in items for upcoming meetings and there were no further items identified for consideration on the Forward Work Programme for the remainder of the municipal calendar of meetings.


RESOLVED:           That the Committee considered and approved its

                                Forward Work Programme in Appendix A; noted the 

                                Forward Work Programmes for the Subject Overview

                                and Scrutiny Committees following consideration in their

                                respective recent Committee Meetings in Appendix B, C  

                                & D and noted the Recommendations Monitoring

                                  Action Sheet to track responses to the Committee’s

                                  recommendations made at the previous meetings in 

                               Appendix E.


Urgent Items

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.