Agenda and minutes
Tuesday, 14th February, 2017 2.30 pm
Venue: Committee Rooms 1/2/3, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions
Contact: Julie Ellams Democratic Services Officer
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.
To present Cabinet with the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017-18 to 2020-21, which includes a financial forecast for 2017-21, a detailed revenue budget for 2017-18 and a Capital Programme for 2017-18 to 2026-27.
The Chief Executive sought endorsement of the Council’s reviewed Corporate Plan 2016-20 for 2017-18 prior to submission to Council for approval.
The Corporate Plan set out the Council’s priorities for 2016-20 and defined the Council’s commitments for 2017-18. It also set the Council’s well-being objectives under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and outlined how the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and other strategic plans would support the Council’s core business and priorities.
The current corporate plan was reviewed for 2017-18, the review focused on updating the Council’s commitments and measures of success for 2017-18 and defining and integrating the Council’s well-being objectives into the Plan. The Council’s vision, values, principles and priorities remained unchanged from the current plan.
The three corporate priorities were the Council’s improvement objectives under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and wellbeing objectives under the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The well-being statement, required by the Act, was embedded into the Plan. The commitments were the steps the Council would take to deliver the integrated improvement and wellbeing objectives in 2017-18. The plan also set out how the objectives made a contribution to the seven national wellbeing goals.
The aims of the first priority, “Supporting a successful economy”, were to help local people develop skills and take advantage of opportunities to succeed, create conditions for growth and enterprise and create successful town centres.
The second priority, “Helping people to be more self-reliant”, would give people more choice and control over what support they received by providing early access to advice and information, reduce demand by investing in targeted early help and intervention programmes, support carers in maintaining their roles and support the third sector, town and community councils and community groups to meet local needs.
The third priority, “Smarter use of resources”, concentrated on achieving the budget reductions identified in the MTFS, improving the efficiency of and access to services, making the most of physical assets, developing the culture and skills required and making the most of our spend on goods and services.
The Cabinet Member for Communities updated Members on progress with priority one, “Supporting a successful economy”. She had recently attended a session explaining the low carbon heat scheme in the Llynfi Valley. This was an exciting way to meet heating needs and was the first scheme in the country.
The Leader agreed that this was a pioneering project and Bridgend County Borough Council was the only authority in receipt of funding to pursue this at a time when fuel poverty was a major issue.
The Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration referred to the targets for apprenticeships and traineeships created by external contractors as part of the 21st Century schools and other BCBC projects and the number taken up by the residents of Bridgend. He explained the knock on effect this had on education and stressed how important it was to promote apprenticeships.
The Leader agreed that it was important to capture new apprenticeships and gave ... view the full minutes text for item 1057.
To seek Cabinet endorsement of the Council’s reviewed Corporate Plan 2016-20 for 2017-18 prior to submission to Council for approval.
The Section 151 Officer presented the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017-18 to 2020-21, which included a financial forecast for 2017-21, a detailed revenue budget for 2017-18 and a Capital Programme for 2017-18 to 2026-27.
The Council’s Corporate Plan was being presented to Council for approval alongside the MTFS 2017-21 and the two documents were aligned to each other, enabling links to be made between the Council’s priorities and the resources directed to support them.
The Chief Executive gave an outline of the budget narrative and advised that while the Council’s net revenue budget was set at £258.093m for 2017-18, its overall expenditure far exceeded this. Allowing for specific grant expenditure and services funded by the income generated, the Council expected a gross budget of nearly £400m in 2017-18. He stated that around £170m of this expenditure is spent on the Council’s staff, including teachers and school support staff. Much of the cost of the services provided by external organisations was also wage related, which included, waste collection agents, domiciliary care workers and foster carers. He also informed Cabinet that the Council faced both reduced Welsh Government funding as well as financial pressures, and the Council was required to find additional funds to meet inescapable increases in budget, such as the apprenticeships levy or an increase to the national living wage. He stated that the Council has adopted a corporate plan that sets out the approaches that it will take to manage these pressures whilst continuing to ensure that, as far as possible, services can be provided that meet the needs of the Bridgend community.
The Chief Executive advised Cabinet that the Council proposed to spend £108m on services delivered by the Education & Family Support Directorate in 2017-18, with the majority of it being spent by the 59 schools across the county, which represents the biggest single area of spend in the Council. In addition to the £87m budget annually delegated to schools, the Council has committed £24.7m in building and refurbishing schools as part of the 21st century school modernisation programme, which is match funded with £24.7 million of Welsh Government funding. He stated that the Council has a longer term goal to make the overall schools system more efficient, for example through making sure we have the right number of school places available in the right parts of the county. In 2017-18 all schools will be requested to make an efficiency saving within the year of 1%. The Council however recognises that schools, like other services, face financial pressures which they cannot avoid. Additional central funding however will be provided to meet nationally agreed pay awards and price inflation, which would mean that schools budgets overall, will see a very small increase. The Council will also continue to invest in a range of services that give early support to children and families, with 80% of these services being funded separately by typically short term grants from Welsh Government. These grants include Flying Start, Families First and Communities First, European ... view the full minutes text for item 1058.
To consider any items of business that by reason of special circumstances the chairperson is of the opinion should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency in accordance with paragraph 2.4 (e) of the Cabinet Procedure Rules within the Constitution.