Agenda item

Budget Monitoring 2023-24 - Quarter 1 Revenue Forecast



Councillor Huw David – Leader of Council

Councillor Jane Gebbie - Deputy Leader of Council and Cabinet Member for Social Services Health

Councillor Hywel Williams - Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Legal

Councillor John Spanswick – Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment

Councillor Jon-Paul Blundell - Cabinet Member for Education

Councillor Neelo Farr - Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing

Councillor Rhys Goode - Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Regeneration


Mark Shephard - Chief Executive

Carys Lord - Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change

Lindsay Harvey - Corporate Director - Education and Family Support

Claire Marchant - Corporate Director - Social Services and Wellbeing

Janine Nightingale - Corporate Director - Communities

Kelly Watson - Chief Officer Legal and Regulatory Services, HR & Corporate Policy




The Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change presented the report, the purpose of which was to provide the Committee with an update on the Council’s revenue financial position as at 30th June 2023.


The Chair thanked the Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change and Members discussed the following:


Council wide


·         The anticipated accuracy of financial projections and the challenges of unprecedented levels of inflation.

·         The prospect of scenario modelling for council tax collection and interest rates and alternative and challenging approaches to proposed budget reductions.

·         The possibility of a recruitment freeze, management of budgets at a Directorate and Corporate level and evaluation of Services.

·         The prospect of benchmarking against the experience of other Welsh local authorities.

·         The review and use of earmarked reserves.


Social Services and Wellbeing


·         In relation to children’s social care, an update regarding independent residential care and the exponential increase in quantum and complexity of demand.

·         In relation to adult social care, the impact of greater complexity of cases and the importance of preventative and reablement services.




·         An update regarding the consultation regarding charging Blue Badge holders for parking and the implementation of the 20 mile per hour speed limit.

·         Clarification regarding the timescale for the public consultation regarding the proposed closure of each of the Community Recycling Centre sites for one weekday per week.

·         The impact of proposed budget reductions on other areas of the Service.


Education and Family Support


·         Budget management of schools projecting deficit budgets and those currently projecting a surplus. 

·         The anticipated impact of the new Heronsbridge School and the capacity review of Ysgol Bryn Castell on the out of county learner support budget.

·         The impact of the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 on the ability to provide paid places on school buses.

·         Eligibility for the Authority’s generous home to school transport offer, the delay in the publishing of the Guidance from Welsh Government and the challenge of increased fuel and provider costs.

·         The overspend in catering, the volatility in costs relating to the provision of Universal Primary Free School Meals and which costs are covered by Welsh Government. 


Chief Executive


·         Whether the current underspend would be ringfenced for housing and homelessness and the anticipated increase in demand.


RESOLVED:                 Following detailed consideration and discussions with Officers and Cabinet Members, the Committee made the following Recommendations:


  1. That consideration be given to partnership working with local farmers to source fruit and vegetables for school catering potentially at a lower cost.


and the Committee requested:


2.    A graph demonstrating the exponential increase in the demand being experienced in children’s social care over a 3-year period.


3.    Copies of the case studies demonstrating the complexity being experienced in adult social care.


4.    Whilst recognising that it was too early in the year to provide a realistic projection of council tax income for this financial year, the Committee requested whether a best case, worst case and predicted case scenario model could be provided to give an indication of the likely income from the collection of council tax.


The Committee acknowledged that one of the most significant budget reduction proposals unlikely to be achieved in full in the Communities Directorate was charging Blue Badge Holders for parking (COM 2), due to the traffic management team currently being engaged in the introduction of the national speed limit in built up areas. The Committee requested that a message be circulated among Members advising of the timescale for the necessary consultation regarding the Blue Badge Scheme.

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