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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.
The Chairperson of the Council’s Budget Research and Evaluation Panel (BREP), presented a report on behalf of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The purpose of the report was to present Cabinet with the findings and recommendations of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, in relation to:
By way of background information, he explained that in considering the challenges associated with continued budget reductions, BREP Members recognised the need for a ‘whole Council’ response to be adopted in managing anticipated cuts to services, against a backdrop of increasing demand and the challenging financial outlook.
The next section of the report confirmed the role of both the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee (COSC) and BREP in terms of both these bodies having the overall responsibility for budget monitoring throughout the year.
The terms of reference of BREP were outlined in paragraph 3.4 of the report.
He proceeded, by advising that the COSC considered the findings of the BREP and all Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees on 4 February 2020, in order to determine whether the recommendations should be forwarded to Cabinet as part of the budget consultation process. These were split into the above mentioned Appendices that supported the covering report.
The Chairperson of BREP then gave a resume of some of the key information contained in the report’s Appendices, following which, the Leader invited any comments or questions from Cabinet Members.
The Deputy Leader extended his thanks to BREP, all Overview and Scrutiny Committee Members and the Scrutiny section for their hard work in ensuring that proposal’s relating to the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) had been both shared and subjected to consideration and examination. He recognised the fact that Scrutiny in the Authority was cross party and therefore, any views fed back to the Cabinet on the budget, formed a ‘One Council approach.’ The recommendations of Scrutiny would be examined by Cabinet with support from the Corporate Management Board (CMB) and formally responded to as part of the main MTFS report that would be considered by Cabinet then determined by full Council. He also applauded the thorough way the Council’s budget proposals were scrutinised, which had been positively acknowledged as ‘best practice’ by the Council regulators.
The Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help referred to Recommendation 2 at Appendix A to the report, where reference was made to ‘there needing to be further work done to break the silo approach to budgeting.’ He felt that in recent years the Council had broken away from this ‘silo’ approach.
The Chairperson of BREP acknowledged this and the fact that the Council had in recent years improved in this area as the workforce had become leaner in response to cuts in settlements. He added however, that BREP and some other Members of Overview and ... view the full minutes text for item 471.
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.