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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)
Cllr R Shaw declared a personal interest in the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022-23 to 2025-26. In appendix 1 to the report there was a reference to an increase in the Fire Service Precept and Cllr Shaw had been appointed by the Local Authority to the Fire and Rescue Authority.
To receive for approval the minutes of 07 10 21
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of a meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee dated 7 October 2021 be approved as a true and accurate record subject to the inclusion of Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell as being in attendance.
Councillor Huw David - Leader
Councillor Hywel Williams - Deputy Leader
Councillor Dhanisha Patel - Cabinet Member for Future Generations and Wellbeing
Mark Shephard - Chief Executive
Carys Lord - Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change
Deborah Exton - Deputy Head of Finance
Martin Morgans - Head of Partnership Services
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 2022-23 to 2025-26, 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 2022-2026 and a detailed draft revenue budget for 2022-23.
The Chair thanked the Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change and Members asked the following questions:
A Member referred to the anticipated saving of £300,000 from transferring responsibility for the management of assets to Town and Community Councils, clubs and groups. He requested more information on how the £300,000 had been calculated.
The Chief Officer – Finance Performance and Change explained that she did not have that information to hand and that she could provide a written response for the committee. Another Member added that he would raise the CAT process in the SOSC3 meeting that would take place the following week and that a definitive breakdown could be provided at that meeting. A Member not on SOSC3 asked that information be provided at that meeting on the grants that were being provided for the maintenance of buildings etc and the pot the grants came from.
A Member referred to the series of budget pressures from the legislative changes made by Welsh Government relating to the environment, climate change, additional learning needs, Test Trace and Protect, the use of PPE, the public vaccine programme, and the end of the Covid-19 Hardship Fund. He said that there should be consequential funding from Central Government, and these should not have to be implemented from existing budgets. He wanted to know if the Leader and Deputy Leader had been lobbying Welsh Government to ensure that the consequential funding was there. He then referred to the legislative changes that would have an impact on the budget including the teacher’s pay settlement, National Insurance (NI) contributions and the living wage. He asked for confirmation that the three totalled £1.2 million out of a settlement of £19.6million. He also asked if the legislative changes were ongoing pressures as this was not clearly stated in the report.
The Chief Officer – Finance Performance and Change replied that it was increasingly the case that new legislative requirements came with no new funding. There was some additional funding for climate change, but the detail was not clear. In relation to PPE and vaccination centres these were currently being funded from the Hardship Fund. There would be funding for these, but it would be included in the general settlement, and it was for the local authorities to estimate how much they allocated toward these costs. She added that there had been lobbying via the WLGA over the last year with regard to both Covid and the increases in demand on services. The Chief Officer – Finance Performance and Change explained that with regard to the teacher’s pay settlement, National Insurance (NI) contributions ... view the full minutes text for item 60.
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.