Public Accounts Select Committee - Thursday, 3rd December 2020 at 7:00pm - Lewisham Council Webcasting

Public Accounts Select Committee
Thursday, 3rd December 2020 at 7:00pm 

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1 Minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2020
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2 Declarations of interest
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3 Responses from Mayor and Cabinet
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4 Financial forecasts 2020-21
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6 Select Committee work programme
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  1. Webcast Finished

thank you are welcome everybody to a very important meeting of the public accounts Select Committee at Lewisham council we've got two main agenda items and we'll we'll introduce those so hopefully people who are watching alive on our web cast will be able to
I understand what is happening and where we're at of the that each item of the agenda just some announcements before we get going nope the meeting is being webcast and a recording will also be available on the Council website
I am
unless you're a member of the Committee of cameras should be switched off the net is and they're until it is your item on the agenda or I have asked you to speak or please keep your microphone muted until you are invited to speak and for please type A Q in the chap function to indicate you wish to speak as the fleeting and generally speaking if Members could avoid chatting in the chap function it would they would help me Chair the meeting if you get disconnected from the meeting due to technical difficulties
you should use the link he was sent initially to return to the meeting and just to warn you I've been having technical difficulties today was I think generally speaking I've been able to keep my sound on but that a couple of times I did drop out of other meted so we just have to keep an eye on that Tim the Vice-Chair isn't here at the moment clutter you an EIA untouched by by mobile well but we'll we'll find a way of dealing with let's hope we don't have any technical difficulties I'm Tim do we have any apologies

1 Minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2020

no apologies no apologies OK thank you and the first item then on the gender thimble of simplicity usually is to agree the minutes of the last meeting
do we have any queries on the minutes from the members
no OK so can we agree the minute you can show your hands those of your on-screen that yeah and gym and a pool you might want to bring yourselves onto screen
for the rest of the meeting that you OK so the mean the minutes were agreed do we have any declarations of interest

2 Declarations of interest

3 Responses from Mayor and Cabinet

Jane often does no on this occasion OK thank you know kept care yeah thank you there's no those toss if about to say will now go there's no declarations of interest in this on this agenda the fourth item is a standard item on the agenda which is responses from Mayor and Cabinet were referred things to them and the road there are no responses
at the moment and
they are due imminently regarding the Committee's referral some financial stabilisation and on the commercialisation and culture change review and I know they did discuss those
so when I want to move on to one of our two substantial items for this agenda we have kept the agenda to thus just these two items

4 Financial forecasts 2020-21

the first one is the financial forecasts for the end of this year looking at the way that the
the way the I think Jim has something he wants to say gym
his Surrey here I listened I thought we had some fairly robust comments about the state of the Council's finances at the last meeting and find it
parole officers are overstretched and I realise I've got a lot on their plate that we should really have had an answer on those given the we're now looking at budget monitoring and at the cuts yet so ever it's possible that they can address them officers can address some of those issues may be
during the meeting yap yap OK at that that's a further comment gym and am sure officers will have noted that and then hopefully we will have the redressed during the meeting
so yes but to introduce the item so this financial forecasts report which is looking at the way our finances of panning out there so far this year and attempting to forecast given as a lot a lot of things happening at the moment with council spending and trying to control it but there is an attempt therefore to forecast to the year end and that's what this report will be about and Cathy Freeman are executive director of corporate resources will introduce the report and then we'll we'll be able to question her so Cathy and to speak
evening thank you Chair for that such as going to give a very high level headline summary as an introduction to the forecast report for period 6 so this report is presenting an overspend as at the interfered 6 of two and a half million pounds on the Council's General Fund and the position as set out in a bit more detail in table 1 of the report it's important to say that this is 0 really fluid position right now and is likely and is subject to change so of the position includes 35 million pounds of government grants and related to cave it of which 29 million pounds is something fenced there are service pressures of 7 point 2 million and this incorporates delivery of the one of savings at members will have discussed during the financial stabilisation report in September this year or 5 point 4 million pounds so what we haven't included in this forecast position is the potential impact of the second wave of Cave it and it's something that we still very much working through at this stage the position also doesn't include the collection fund losses estimated to be around 20 million pounds and that's due to our inability or the difficulties that were experiencing right now in terms of ability to collect business rates and also council tax so what members will note through the report is that officers are working really hard at the moment to try and reduce the overspend as much as possible you'll see a shift in terms of the demand pressures and the overspend reducing on children young people services and the report sets out a series of measures that the exact director for children young people's taking in line with his service director looking at their own spending controls as well as complex care panel to name to the at a number of things that that's happening to help reduce the overspend so the Council also in order to manage down the overspend has sought to introduce a spending controls so that were only authorising essential expenditure at the moment as spending controls are that expenditure up to 5 thousand pounds are approved by Directors and anything over 5 thousand pounds is approved by Executive Executive Directors we've also got recruitment pad panels in place as well so before we go ahead and recruit in each vacant posts we really ask ourselves and passion of whether or not the post is really necessary and essential what the cover arrangements for backfill arrangements are within the team but are appetising that the Council power as as much as possible as well as the tapered response in terms of that process and just a couple of other things to mention really is that the report also sets out the position and the Council's dedicated schools Grant
they are crucial to do it
On special educational Needs and disabilities budget of possibly as high as 4 million pounds and that's coming through due to an increase in the numbers that we seeing of those requiring support at the further and higher education stages and then the last thing to note on the report is that the capital programme is most likely to slip add towards the end of the year as a lot of the work was paused during David and obviously were work to recover as much of that as possible but it's indicating that there are potentially will be slippy to the capital programme at the end of the year so stop there and I'm happy to take any questions and also joined by my colleagues from E M T as well as the Wirral here tonight and each of us will be answering two questions relating to ask specific service areas thank you Councillor Bob bearing queue for coffee I'd card did mean to them mentioned that everybody was here virtually tonight for me M and across the council and then but I was I suppose I was gonna benefit for the next item but Sir
thank you for reminding us so any questions from Committee members
could you put them in the Shattuck haven't got any at the moment sat mean there are no questions
OK
come in yeah that's from gym first
thank you very much so short of of contributions have not just trying to fill space I offered to its year I was got a good comment and questions than I thought they're getting quickens of just as comment not my first comment is is his actually to say that I welcome the way we all know the difficulties in an overt and some none of this should be seen as as really too heavy criticism for could because we know the difficulties and I do think that the efforts to get the overspend down in Children's social Care is welcome I think that's the first time I can remember it happening for some time and given that the overspend seemed to be escalating almost out of control at one stage I think it's worse welcoming by second issue though is to do that on social care and and I don't know whether the Chair this is the right place so whether it's equally under budget cuts but with Hazard Praxis reporters better it said in a context I'll Yaxley here assault of looking looking backwards and over the next few now I mean it's got have telling us what I'm saying is is probably useful to not so much get this out of the way but raise my concern before we then look at the proposed budget cuts some of them in they will all have concerns about how
how achievable or an adult social care I suppose I don't take us back a year or those two years now and when
I think we asked an and I never got I didn't think we ever really had satisfaction and trying to get to the answers is the given that adult social care has been protected a good deal more than children's social care it with the better Care Fund and I wanted to question I'm the it of the fact that I'm we seem you know we seem in spite of the cuts the over all of the Council's taken I think that adult social care funding has over the years remain stable now some of that is a or most of it is largely due to the better Care Fund but what it does mean is a don't think we have doubled you know we haven't expected them to double down on a demand management in the way we've so far unsuccessfully until perhaps does now on children's social care and so on
it is a very good been the introduction today to the
the proposed cuts which says are going to raise it there and then the which says that the TUC's could social care services take up 70 percent of our of our budget on which we have some discretion and I'm going to be asking all what was the but you know what was the proportion in 20 10 because I think it's only to be really careful I was as we not know how
the people who receive the service are but adult social care more than any other service in the council has been cushioned and and you know until an pro my for my wariness about the issue and gonna be asking some questions and I do think I'd like to know
and because the similar things did occur to me I'd like to know what how we compare to other
you know similar London boroughs in our spending another Addo step particularly as and I may be being acting under a misconception but I thought we were in a relatively young Borough and so if I if we're spending
more than than other London boroughs are on Adult social Care I have to ask I think we should be asking some pretty basic questions now Chair we were I understood we were going to have a thorough examination of adult social care let's come by the board because of the budget and I understand that so I'm using this opportunity to say we need those answers now and we need them almost before we finish putting this budget to bed otherwise we're going to you know we're not going to have got to the bottom of the issues in and around Adult social Care so before the end of this process and I'm going to want to review of adult set you know of adult at the way in which Adult social Care as manage because we we you know the last meeting Councillor Rathbone said in he took children's social services children's young and young people to task for not having achieved their budget cut well by comparison with that 0 so she Cathcart nothing at almost unfair because they traditionally not been protected to the extent that out of such carries so why because we haven't had the opportunity to look at adult social care in teacher I think we've got to make some recommendations out of this meeting and I don't know whether to this is the right place to do them or whether we wait for the budget cuts proposals
OK
thank you Jim that was sad could good long comment but I think I think well it's relevance of both papers and one in a way you know we could get confused by repeating ourselves perhaps we could come back me will come back to that in the next section but it is relevant to this paper I wondered if because because clearly we are seeing some
as Jim sad song
so we are beginning to bear fruit in the approach to cutting demand I think is what appears to be in the measures taken this year certainly in children's social care and I suspect Bar we were going to need to in adult social care as well so perhaps you could confine the people responded could confine their answers to how things are going this year and what that tells us about next year perhaps and then we can talk about imitator than an exception of media to and come out with a recommendation café or the one of the Directors may want to respond to that question seems a long long an important common thank you
Kathy thank you Councillor card and I think I'll ask scalp Tom Brown to come in and pick up the service points in terms of what we're doing on Adult social Care demand related savings but there are a number of proposals and that we're looking at in order to reduce the demand but to pick up your point about the proportion of adults and children's social care spend back in 2 thousand and 10 that was just over 50 per cent to compare to where we are now which is the 72 percent mark including so our public health but I'm going to hand over to Tom at this stage just to talk through some of the service demand pressures and how they're managing those
thank Catherine and been thank you Councillor by review of your Commons I do recognise that that the better Care Fund has help to support adult social care it I think it's it recognised nationally
but the there's been a degree of protection for social care services across the board at the expense of universal services there has been about 33 34 million pounds taken out of adult social care over about the last five years am and clearly a lot of that predates me the the focus has been actually on demand management for some time and most of the savings that have been achieved have been through effective demand management and that's including and not being not taking any increases for and the transitions so we have about a million pounds a year of demand and cost pressure that comes of from children Young people Services there's also I think we would recognise that part of the investments that the better Care Fund supported has been to develop deliver the end London living wage and the ethical Care Charter in our contract so as I think we need to it isn't a as a straightforward straight line projection all the time about the investment and we do recognise there are opportunities to do more round demand management and we also know that we are under pressure though to take ever more frail people out of hospital to support people with much more complex needs than would have happened even 5 10 years ago and and so we building all of that into a modelling both for the way that we work this in this unprecedented year which I mean everything is across almost all better off around and that demand months inside for this year but certainly the modelling for next year and the way that we are able to approach it is very much around how can we keep people out of social cases to the by early intervention give helping people to help themselves and make their own arrangements offering reablement as the default
and making sure that we've got the infrastructure locally to stop young people in transitions moving onto more expensive long-term residential placements out of borough where we can quite frankly lose track of them we want to keep them in Lewisham using our services so it
but I suppose in summary outside we aren't ignorant about budget I think actually it's that the core of what we've been trying to do for a number of years and of the work predates me we are continuing to do and we're forever looking for new ways to to do that driving them down the numbers of people in long-term care especially young people in long-term care is one of the key objectives
I think Councillor Carter and Bute
thank you thank you Chair and thank you very much and them we will come back to this Jim my think about what you've said and come up with the with a more another question later Councillor Masson's got a question
and
thank you Chair and why ship theme reported that were like him money out of covert are that was going to be one of my questions to I see what you're saying that we seem to be could I just add to that poll is that your own question
for now Chair fanatic that's just embellished pause question and would is referring to it does look as if we're going to get more money for extra covert expenditure than were actually going to spend in some parts of the report and I would be concerned are we going to be able to keep all that money and could be other comments on that I think that's where you're driving up all isn't it thank you
well I just not an ounce of first and they're not yet dry on again
thank you
thank you Maslin and thank you and thank you Councillor Muslim and and card for your your question so am I appreciate that the report does present it in that way but it's far too much a position in time and we've received a lot of funding up front in advance of US incurring quite a lot of the expenditure and the other thing to draw out is the report that we're reporting the 2 point 5 million pound over spend as a whole is on just the general fund and what it doesn't take into consideration is the collection fund aspects of which we are estimating or cause a loss of about 20 billion pounds due to the fact that as a result of Cave it with not being able to send an enforcement teams out to collect at debt that we would have ordinarily been able to do so we've not collected as much of our council tax income a number of businesses have struggled significantly through the various different lockdown measures as you can imagine that affected them in a financial or financial basis that has been meant that they've been unable to pay the business rates that there owing to us as well and also the I think a really big impact of Cave it has meant that a number of people have fallen on very hard times and had become quite vulnerable
which is extremely unfortunate and have then required additional support and services through the council and have fallen into the council tax and funding requirements as well so when we were previously budgeting for a positon in provide those further vulnerable residents with council tax support were having to set aside a bigger provision and a bigger sum to provide council tax support as well so on the face of things or they if you just look at the general fund side alone
it's it looks like and we've got more cash than what we've actually spent against but when you look at things in the round and taking into account the collection Fund aspects I've taught to just now
waste still suffering significant financial shortfall which the government have recognise and are looking to address
and hopefully that answers your question
sorry Councillor Carter CIL mute
neither good nor am I am the thank you pack
Kim right or Chief Executive I think wants to comment on that question as well thanks Councillor Carter actually was on the previous issue the caravan raised that's OK and the just also to that comment that that no other Members were aware that I was a Director of Adult social Services myself 11 years before I became chief executive here so have some understanding of their adult social care world of it the mark there so we'll be working with Tom and others to do exactly as has been explained by Councillor Mallory around the demand management and and looking at the outcomes of Finance of before Merkel to the how they they do edge Bach how they can compare with others of because there is a sense but there is more work that can be done to build on the work around demand badgers the that's been happening over the last few years as my my senses but there there is work that been done but there is still scope for more to be done as as Tom explained so I will be paying a particular close attention to the adult social care budget under do take the point about the comparison with the children's social care budget
thank you thank you give us very helpful it's direction without getting into sort of Two Ronnies type situation more people responding to previous questions but I'm I'm going to take Councillor massing first who wanted to respond to the to the point about the coven monies
girvan Paul
you're on your path
I beg your pardon and I take the point Chair but what I would say that based on the answer seems clear to me that table 1
flatters the actual position and is therefore consequently misleading
thank you an accelerating to add something to pause question again
because I didn't have just as an overall comment that the report I know it's a moving situation but the word times I was reading it thinking this is good things are going quite well and then add read something else or not be entirely sure so it would be get good to get clarity on on what perhaps Cathy fails will be given the caveat he did say the star with a lot of things happening at the moment difficult to keep track of them but what the current sense of what the final
outturn is looking likely to be at the moment for this year and one of the risks to that and pantone yeah and you know and is Councillor Mallory right in his assertion there Pascal could answer that first and then I know Jim wants to come back about the adult social care so people to keep track of this thank you of course and am firstly Councillor Maslin apologies if you find the report misleading that certainly not our intention by any means so what I would do is take a recommendation tonight myself to make the report clearer going forward so we are very explicit that this is just a general from position and it does mention that it's specifically just agenda from position that it refers to and also talked about the collection Fund deficit as well so it is within the report and it's also mentioned in the Executive Summary 2 but what I will do is to make that link and make it almost explicit as well so Councillor card in terms of an your question about what I think the end of year position will look like it's not something that I can actually answer at this stage unfortunately because the position is so complex and it is ever changing as well because there are various government announcements that are put forward almost weekly in terms of additional duties that we have to support us local authorities and comes with a sometimes an additional pockets of funding as well so it depends on what the new burdens are that were expected to deliver and an all of that and all of that will impact on what we have to to fund ourselves so that the most recent example is that they've just ask local authorities to
support the winter grants scheme and they asked us to distribute a million pounds worth of funding to ALMO's bundle of residence and I have a team of officers working really hard and and working long hours do work out what the scheme looks like what the scheme means how much support to give because it's very much a devolved process where they are leaving authorities to define ourselves so there's a lot of things like that that we're having to do was being asked to roll out the support of their local test track and trace system and or they they've announced that there will be funding and it's just very difficult at this stage to determine exactly how much it will cost to fully implemented to roll out that system are matched against the that the level of funding that they've given an indication to so it unfortunately it is when we are but we will monitoring the position extremely closely and keeping an eye on the financial position as well and an IFA auditor Grant announcements and that that are coming out and it is is a data he visit again I got the picture can't be fagged I noticed my am why 5 again it's a cut out there someone worried her gym would you like to ask your vote compared with on blowing the budget just in passing of on-site or keep because uses three from their own blackness about the wanted actually to try and and Radu Fimo time taking up later Phil but just in passing that his Calfee's first report and so I'm I think Councillor Malcolm was right and we weren't upfront enough about just how much of a whole were in been linking with the with it with the with the covert funding government is kicked promising and you have some of which we already have
but that is an effective way to Adult social Care did was I correct in understanding from the Chief Executive that a review is currently taking place or was she just looking into it because that would if I if I could get a clarity on that then I wouldn't be making a recommendation that we have a review but if if the review if it's just looking in to then I think we need to reinforce it either now or at a later stage
sort of on-site back but felt that the reasons are review underway at at the moment has had for now but it's certainly something that Tom an iron and Cathy have a disgusting pool turns back doing so young filings your road proposal when it under my nor compromise what it is we that we're only at very early stages of discussing in the outflow in fact
care can I just suggest now so that we get it over the way that we recommend that a review takes place of of of an event of social care in particular demand management but also issues in an around comparisons with other boroughs to make sure that out there and we've got the proportions right when it comes to Head of social care given the context of us been of as as a particular London Borough
I would agree with that or to other committee members agreed with that but Chair I mean you don't have the effect to keep the information I don't think we should make any comment on the outcome until we see the information because obviously the boroughs of different the populations of different so happy relative flavour
thank you
thank you to make a note of that so we can come back to that as part of our recommendations yes I have the up it thank you I'm by I've got a couple of questions in in the absence of any others so Charvy quick so
a couple of really Small specific ones I guess but I just wanted are we really able to count fusion switching to jail as covert related I wasn't entirely sure that wasn't if that was covered related perhaps she could some of the briefly explain that
garden waste I want to mention we put the prices up substantially last year and I will he was interested nasty we were playing about with prices and different services so some services report were we charge for them we put the price down and better remember got the ways we put the price of a brown bin up substantially and there was some concern that that would lead to people not renewing and I I wonder if fact was part of the cause for that rather than what it says in the report because I'm IT difficulties and got that aspect of the report from to me
but it seem to think it was more connected to covert in some way so just would like a comment on that and a third question which is more important really was that the end of the report and if people only have paper copies they won't see the colours but they might be able to tell what's going on in the that the sort of bits a sort of and appendix of the back of the report where it shows how we achieving or not net savings from last year and I thought that's also instructed for the future and it does come back to Adult social Care chills the say why pay services again but am were we had as looking of the sort of bigger cuts we were trying to achieve over the last year them so the more important ones but we had a number plate
in CYP that which has not achieved at all and some others in which a CON
she's communities director I guess COM 0 4 1 8 2 and 3 which from memory largely adult social care
but no surges all our all of unlike some explanations to why they just not achieved at all is it COVID or other factors thank you
thank you Councillor card and so in terms of the fusion termination and wherever not we can count their new contract with yellow as a cave it costs think the government has actually back at Nice and that leisure industries have suffered significantly through the various lockdown restrictions and they've themselves have allocated 100 millions pounds nationally to support local authorities for the provision of leisure and during the pandemic so I think that hopefully answers your question in terms of where we're coming from the contract that we've entered into with the LL is estimated Acourt member the top of my head but am it's it's well over a million pounds and the JLL have factored in a number of these costs related to the fact that their operating expenditure is going to be far lower their incomes are the operating legislate to be higher with all of the and the health and safety measures at the having to put in place whilst losing a significant chunk of their income so as a result of that has been recognised by Central government that as the in order to support the leisure industry that that there will be a national available are ago right in terms of theme that the garden waste question and apologies I'm not familiar with the detail of expectancy now on that and I'm not sure if Kevin Shields able to respond your around lump on year on year
I believe so yeah we we we did we put the prices up last year and actually the the values that we achieved were slightly better than he had anticipated so the pricing I didn't effect you know I was pleased that we were ahead of our relatively cautious projection on garden waste but you know I like everyone else this year one of the things that's happened right across the board in terms of income whether its commercial income from businesses or business rate saw that the collection rate people have prioritised what they spend their money on very very carefully because don't forget many of our citizens are you know either furloughed or out of work or a difficult circumstances so so I hope that the pricing strategy is still reasonable and I think it is and I think if if the economy comes back then I hope that we'll be able to collect again next year as reasonable right but you know it's very uncertain as to what will happen with the economy as you know so there's there's a there's a talking to my colleagues are empty yesterday we you know we recognise that income across the board is is an ongoing risk for us was the coin remains in such uncertain terms
thanks Kevin and atone for the other comments as F out thank you Chair so the the saving around the increase revenue from charging because covert came when it did at the at the end of March and we did not implement at that point the increase in M council contributions of people pay towards adult social care services we am as a consequence we only influence that in October once the initial them it's of pandemic crisis was with work being worked through so we get a part year effect of that
likewise the
the specific issues around ensuring value for money Optimising support plans
we haven't been able to undertake many of the reviews that we would routinely pilot take because we've been dealing with the pandemic we haven't been able to get out and put your eyes on a lot of folk as we would normally do and therefore those routine reductions that we would normally achieve about movement towards greater independence we just haven't been able to do in the way that we would have done it and Anon covert environment so those are absolutely legitimate costs as as a consequence of the pandemic
thank you thank it on this good to know so I am having some IT problems so I'm not getting comments in the chat on my laptop so if I am able to see them on my iPad of the moments are good too
so but I think are people happy to finish that item shimmer you happy for us to do one over all referral at the end of the two items to incorporate your other coming at yeah yeah

5 Budget cuts

OK so I don't think there's anything we want to refer back to marry cabinet based on that report which has with as we've noted is a moving feast at the moment anyway so we're going to move on to the more substantial item how up we will hear briefly I think from Councillor Amanda to Reich the cabinet member for finance and other things no doubt are forgotten your title Amanda sorry and and then Kaffee will introduce the report more substantially and I'll say a few words then just had to keep us on track for the way I'm going to to play the the sort of discussion afterwards so perhaps of Amanda could and the only thing I said this stages thank you to everyone who has attended this meeting I know many people have come for this item in particular but it's already been very helpful having the other Executive Directors here to to help us get more of a feel for what's going on an individual directorates and so your attendance is is very welcome thank you so Amanda I think he wanted to say a few words you have just very brief introduction from me because I know that to him
obviously the officers who talk through the detail and and these cuts have already been through the scrutiny process and hence the referrals that Members are here to also talk to just I think it is worth restating that you know none of us won't be in the position where we are making this scale of Crutzen contemplating the scale of cuts especially with a second round potentially in the new year and a second large round in the new year
I think that it is a very difficult for us as Labour councillors to be making the scale of cuts at the point when we know that our residents are needed more than ever and and that you know I don't I want to thank Members for the amount of work that they put him to the cuts process so far at we've had a series of really a good engagement sessions where we've kind of talk through the thematic approach that officers had taken for the cuts prices this year and sorry running out breath and also that you know this process carries on right up until are the
you know until the Council's budget meeting in February the car on the consultations will carry on the fact-finding will carry on and and obviously when the government publishes its local government settlement at Christmas then we will carry on with the calculations as well and you know just is a very difficult process and I acknowledge the hard work of officers and members in getting us to this state stage
thank you and I would like to come back at the end if you know if anything specific comes up
thank you I think it was the government had got us so they state a man that but so what
death cafe and you would you like to give us an overview of the of the report thank you sir thank you Councillor Carter and Councillor derived for that introduction so I am here with empty colleagues tonight as the fasting on to mention is that this has very much been a joint and collaborative effort where we've come together as services across cutting and organisational way to drive the budget process this year at so this reports being presented tonight following our discussion at 5 Select Committees during November and what we're after asking Members to do is to note that the budget will be prepared in alignment with the Council's recovery process and also to note the thematic approach that we've taken so members are also asked to discuss the cut proposals are set out in Appendices 1 to 7 of this report and also provide feedback having considered the referrals made by the fighter committees to Mayor and Cabinet on the 9th of December say that the Mayor and Cabinet can authorise officers to start the consultation processes either staff or public following the ninth as well as an authorise and delegate for officers to start the early implementation and preparatory and exploratory works before the final decisions are made in February
I'd say in terms of the substantive report itself at I recognise that this reports being presented at a very challenging time right now and as challenging not despair Lewisham but for all councils nationally and this has come on the back of 10 years of austerity measures we're funding cuts of 26 percent in real terms coupled with our population increase by 12 percent over the same period if you have a look at the our graph 6 point 2 of the report it really sets out clearly the difference between what I funding would have been had been and gone up in by inflation and what our funding is now and the gap is clear that we now spending 500 pounds less per resident than we were doing 10 years ago and Councillor Murray's already mentioned this in the earlier agenda item is that the profile of arís Mendota now compared to what it was 10 years ago is that were now spending 70 percent or over 70 percent of our spend on adults I children social care and public health compared to just over 50 percent
a decade ago so the impact of Cave it has been significant on our finances and although the government support to to see today is welcome it still short of of what we need and we had to take that into account when we step in terms of our Medium Term financial Prowse fat planning process and at the same time as preparing this report were also in the midst of the second wave pandemic responses well and we are supporting character homes in terms of the infection control Fund were working of hospitals on the discharge process as well as making a number of different grant payments to support businesses and our residents say this reports being prepared during
very very busy and difficult time right now so at the point that the report was written and we were forecasting an overspend of 10 million pounds which has now come down subject to the number of in-year measures that that we've taken so what we've done in terms of our medium term financial planning process is through that with identified a gap of 40 million pounds over or with 24 million of that falling in the first financial year and with added the persistent 10 million pounds of overspent she address so we have a stapler were able to go into 21 22 of us a stable financial footing so the approach of already mentioned has been different to this year and we've taken a thematic approach working in collaboration with empty Carney to also here to night as well and to
to to to support at the recommendations in this paper and we've really challenged ourselves in terms of how we're doing things and what we're doing and the six themes are set out in each of the appendices
I'm and leading up to the process of also held at a number of an informal discussions with Members will have listened to your ideas and with 10 taken those ideas back into feed into the process and we recognise that some of those ideas will take time to implement so will use the opportunity to capture everything and feed that back into the the recovery process said today members are presented with draft proposals of over 27 million pounds for three years we have 15 million pounds identified for the next financial year and based on our current assumptions we're left with a gap of about 19 million pounds which will be subject to a further round of cuts in January and at present officers are currently working up what those proposals and what those cuts will look like for discussion and consultation with select committees during January and the other thing I wanted to mention is that although the the working assumption is that the gap is significant still
but will depend on the outcome of the Local government Settlement which is due in about two weeks from now and the headlines from the comprehensive spending review last week look and appear positive because over all the course spending power for local government is increasing by four and a half per cent but within that four and a half per cent figure it's predicated on the fact that councils will have the ability to raise the Council Tax element for the social care precept of up to 3 percent so that within the four and a half per cent and we currently just don't have that firm certainty in terms of what the financial gap will look like until we get news and confirmation through the that the settlement being announced in a couple of months a couple of weeks' time so what I do want to say that and I have to emphasise we do have a legal responsibility to balance the budget by the 11th of March so and I also note that a number of Ferrell's have been made as by the Varis Alec committees which have been attached an in the Supplementary agenda so PASC at Members here tonight are to consider these referrals as well as make them a referrals before an presenting to Mayor and Cabinet on the the ninth and Section 8 of the report sets out the decision making processes and for two nights Committee as well
so in summary the gap for next year is about 34 million pounds of which we have 15 million pounds of proposals being presented now further cuts will follow in January and will go through this Select Committee process we following the same route as we always had that have done in terms of that the budget setting process and then the other thing to note is that in a couple of weeks sign we have confirmation of the settlement will be able to confirm the exact amount left and for officers to find so at this stage I'll stop and I'm happy to take questions as are members of empty or he with me also thank you
thank you very much Amanda and café
before we take questions I'm just gonna sort of explain how would it do do this bit if that's OK you know we all agree that this is a very difficult report I have to review and read but I think the officers as well writing all the different sections in the proposers for cuts
I've had a no doubt had you know their concerns about the implications of what is being proposed
but I think you know on in the main a very professional job has been done and as quite a lot of use would have formations clear people looked at risks and and that sort of thing and in the making of Schäuble have some questions were really more information or we don't necessarily agree with something or whatever
but as as Cathy said we as a Council need to set a balanced budget so it's it's a difficult job but we unfortunately have to go through with it I'm going to divide this approaches of into a few sections so firstly and will take any questions from members of committee I am sort of overall any clarifications any overview questions you know on the approach that's been taken that sort of thing
then absolutely I wouldn't want to just get into any details on particular cuts of that that point if that's OK to just general themes and things and you know and then we're going to hear if if they want to speak and I know that at least to at least one of them I think two of the other select committee chairs just want to tell us
I will the date already made which will just help to the Mayor and Cabinet which we will gather together and send up with our own referral so that may help our thinking as well we hear from them then we'll look at a number of then we can look at the actual cuts that is committees is sort of for been specified to this Committee delegate to this committee because each committee's looked at a range of particular putts they may have commented at other things as well at a time but that pits civil be tasked with that so we look at our own first and I'll try and tell people where they can find those quickly then will take General
I mentioned questions again and and
will will serve at some point within that from our Chair of Audit Committee as well I know wants to to ask him a question and make some comments
if there's any other far I think I don't think any other Councillor whose attending his tell me they want to speak but if someone does then that would be an opportunity for them
then we need to leave ourselves time to round up reflect on what we've discussed her make a refer bear of our own to Mayor and Cabinet we've already got one section for that so and and do our
a final budget
hello College the just me or as the Chair said if anyone else and said No he's definitely had Mr. lots of what you said Pat are now thank you yeah not to laugh 30 seconds
I carried the last bits from where again I've got a bad network quality could could Jim I think all I'm saying at that point is we're going to take over all questions questions on the overall report general comments clarifications just those sort of questions first please
I think Jim has got a general comment just from Committee Members firstly
Kim thank you Chair
I just wanted to say and I said it
the favourite stronger the other night is that I actually think the reports are very good report I think it's clear think it and I found it easy now though this is the worst set of proposals we've ever had a founded the easiest report to follow that we've ever had and I think it's put in part because of the thematic approach and we may cope at some of the proposals when we get to them but I think it's very good and I also think the introduction is terrific not least because a it mentions austerity and I think we have to we have been Rishi sooner against spending reviews said where we've said goodbye to austerity we certainly haven't as far as a Local government is concerned
and my second comment was that the and mentioned it earlier was just I thought that that comment about how much of the spending we now do on adult social care was a terrific context setter to have at the beginning it may it therefore makes makes it easier to look at just how much we have to to do in terms of those those services so those are my general comments
thank you Jim and cannot take I don't Millbank next jan thank you Chair and considered a long day so I'm looking I've just one of the clearing 1 9 what happens after its night
I have seen the table on page 74 and whatever dink be honest didn't quite understand it I understand obviously in terms of making some cuts has to be a number of consultations it depends what the cut is but am I correct in my understanding that Mayor and Cabinet next week and they won't my yes on own decisions on these cuts that there will be further information and the set final decisions will be made until the second mounds of sizes of being identity
so I am going to take place again in the February sorry I didn't quite stand thank you Castle you might be able to answer about maybe Amanda will speak at so I'll take that fast and I'm sure Councillor all was also want to comment so what will happen after the process to night Councillor Millbank is that we'll be taking a series of recommendations and referrals following on from that that meeting and what members would like to put forward for Mayor and Cabinet to consider on the 9th and will then ask Mayor and Cabinet as past the decision making process to authorise and allow for officers to commence the consultation process at where we have to engage with either members of the public or with staff as well and for other decisions to 4 and Mayor and Cabinet to or give delegated authority for officers to start doing the very early work around exploring the market understanding further that cost drivers looking at the impact of what the service cuts and will mean will also be an setting out this specific points of action that will need to take to be able to deliver this the saving in April so we'll be doing all of that following the marrying having ERT decision on Wednesday and there will come back to Members in February where the final decision will be linked to the overall budget setting process and I hope that answers your question and I don't know if at this stage Councillor de rightward like to come in and and common to
I don't particularly have anything to I think you know Members are rightly concerned given the scale of the cuts that that are normal processes being followed and are absolutely underlying the our normal process is being followed the budget is not the budget until it is agreed by members in February and isn't implemented until the that you know the new financial year so you know we have a budget for this year
we've got in-year cuts for this year which were agreed by Members on which our and away what we are discussing tonight is the budget and the cuts for next year and Mary cabinet next week is is part of the process of of beginning the preparatory work because as we know and as we can see when we look down that list of caught some of those are very difficult make and in order to get a full year effect on those cuts we need to do significant current preparatory work
thank you John appears to be reasonably satisfied that so Councillor muzzling
thank you Chair we've been told that some as a legal requirement for us to set her balanced budget Kang we just have that explained to us what that means bearing in mind the in recent years especially the budgets that we've set of just disintegrated on first contact with reality as witnessed by the budget monitoring reports that officers then compile and percent to us for common
thank you for all Kaffee of course thank you for your question Councillor Maslin so the legal requirement to set a balanced budget is set out in the like them at Finance Act I can't remember which year it's an sets out specifically but it is definitely a statutory requirement and in brief what it means is that at the start of every year and we have to agree through full Council by the 11th of March what our levels of Council Tax or be what our overall resources will be coming in from these spending review what baseline funding position will be and all of those elements as well as other Grants at income has to match Of the total level of expenditure we are estimating to incur at the start of the year the situation arises with overspends is that where we've made a series of assumptions and a different set of scenarios will happen or circumstances outside of our control such as an increase in demand or additional New burdens or changes in legislation that then requires for the council to take on additional duties that we don't always planned for sometimes we do overspend but I am the first to set a balanced budget at the start of the year is based on our original estimates and before the year begins to be really clear in terms of what our expenditure is what our income is what we're able to raise through our council tax and what were able to collect rent business rates all of those of got to match off with what we estimate for our expenditure to be and in terms of addressing the overspend point this year the gap is significant and sorry for it for next year the gap is significant because originally through the medium term financial planning process we've identified a gap every only of 24 million pounds but we've also recognise that in addition to those different assumptions we have also got a 10 million pound Persistence service overspend that we're looking to risk resolve and 2 am to to to put savings forward so we are able to address those overspends going forward and I'm not saying that right now I can guarantee you that we went overspend next obviously will try our hardest but throughout a year a whole different thing a whole host of things will happen some of which will be outside of our control but what I can give assurances that will monitor expenditure really closely will flag the risks walked mitigate the risks when they arise and we do what we can to reduce the overspend as as much as possible next it will be difficult because the economic situation is such that it's very very difficult right now so we're we're making assumptions in terms of what our council tax collection rates
are going to be and where we're making assumptions in terms of the number of people we need to provide council tax support for what our income is going to be coming in from business rates collection the level of need from our service and users and our residents all of that is very difficult to predict right now and also takes into account and that we've got quite a lot of one of support and funding to and for example support the rough sleepers to and provide them with an accommodation to prevent the risk of affection am spreading further or so our assumptions are predicated on those grants continuing say is a very difficult financial position and outlook and it's not just for Lewisham all councils are facing the same situation thank you and presume up bring pull-back inner sanctum presumably you know setting about his budget is a judgement as what you're saying and presumably is that one of the things on it as look out as well to check that we appear to be
go through the right processes in estimating that yeah of course so the auditors will look at our overall budget setting assumptions as well and I medium term financial planning process to assess the level of risks that we've we've taken into account which is why as part of the Mayor and decision at Mary cabinet decision on the ninth it's really important that officers are given the ability and to move forward and start with the it's phase the early planning phases so we can deliver a full year of savings because all of that affect our ability to deliver out budget our smelled bags coffee of got another question of blissful poll from bank fluent Bull
thank you Chair
what's your officers consistently underestimate future expenditure is it due to institutional bias
sued rue would like to answer that my Kaffee mine came might want to comment so I'll kick off I mean I I can't comment about their the history because I've been with the Council for out just under three months Anozie Kim what has got her hand up but overspends but to be honest aren't uncommon lots of councils overspend if you take the adults and children social Care position social care is such a volatile and demand driven service so I think I got away recently that 90 percent of the country are currently forecasting pressures on children social care and that's coupled with 10 years of our funding being caught and ongoing austerity measures so it's then very very hard to carry on delivering the services with the ever shrinking fine financial envelope say what I'm yeah I'm sure Kim will want to say a bit more on that femme
thank you I'm I'm I don't know what is meant by the comment around institutional bias
so I can't respond to what what is meant by that but out is going to make similar point Kaffee insofar as that the processes that are carried out here are similar in every council across the country in every council area in the Worthing and unfortunately with even the strongest whipping control over our jets there can sometimes be the circumstances where there are overspends or indeed underspend such as the fluidity and demand led service there's the that were often responsible fighting
thank you came out
I saw when you said that you didn't even quite their work councillors are meant I knew he'd be happy to clarify and he says he's happy to clarify the having a lot we don't want to spend a long time on this I think he added Spanish can I just say what I think we ought to move forward this is not a dialogue between an individual officer sod like customer forward plays an about was the point I was a batter I was slowing in everything we we having a long time to have a debate on speculation so much Paul you might want to explain what he meant
jet nothing 9 sinister in Cheetham just trying to and raised a point that especially in recent years we're continuing asked to vote on budget that simply disintegrate
within a very few months and we get a budget monitoring report which shows that they there are very large overspend so what I'm asking is that is there an institutional bias within the council to understate what people really view as realistic expenditure requirements for Directorates and resign evidence yeah and there is some evidence that that I think there is every chance that again I'm not wanting to criticise anybody because we're all part World sublime because I think that that some officers don't want to tell member since that they don't want to hear you know you can't expect anybody to believe anything that some their ability to continue to draw their salary doesn't allow and to believe you know an and the officers are not going to tell us things that were they going to get some very serious pushback I think it's right that I'm not wishing to criticise the officers until from Trott seek to raise a question about some our whole institutional outlook and our presence yet no process and country Jaco Kim John to make quick comments on that and we obviously got a move on again only to to say I think I'm very happy to spend time the Council of Azouli as ensure café to to explained that the process would be go through butter I would want to keep the
so shouldn't that Councillors don't want to have those card conversations and bring things to Members' attention that of the toughest may do we have and we will continue doing so
sorry it's a beauty up there's just one process for me on on the question yet I hear that and I know that the the process so far as Cathy mentioned has been a team effort in over at the people working together here across directorates and that's a good thing but that then does have a slight concern for me it's perhaps a little bit related to pause question that which is that is the then in a serious sort of probing of the reality of some of these proposed cuts perhaps perhaps came as chief executive Cathy then meet individually with Directors know how you assuring yourselves that you're not all talking yourselves into the same position in own people say our those marking your own homework so how do we know that that the you know there's another step to this to make sure these these proposed cuts are realistic and how and secondly how will we know come March Cust
and I can see there's gonna be some work done between now and March but how will you as chief executive publican and Calfee's director finance director tutored how will you be sure that the right progress is being made on these things as we move moved towards implementing them thank you
out occucopter if you like in and and and your Cathy kin can come in as well so 3 3 points to my police firstly because we taken a different approach this year and the themed approach has been led by Members of the empty who are outside of the service areas so can she in for some was led the demand management feed into but has been backed so to
asking of questions from the owner of the position of not knowing the service which I think is packed prone to pick some some stones upwards wouldn't otherwise been asked and secondly Kathy and I are planning to do some more detailed meetings with Directors where there are what we would cause them higher risk and savings and cuts proposals to drill down into the detail a bit more to go through a process of your show me the money show us the detail of of whether they cuts can be made and the plan but in place to live back though there that is going to be done with some rigour I kept an eye and then the third points in the bank his overall wrapped around all of this is an either robust programme management approach to be saving so there will have a proper plans with milestones of the moment monitored through strategic boards but will track the delivery of the savings will get early warnings when things are going off the tracks so that we can bring things back on to tackle or make alternative arrangements and also very importantly if there are an additional monies that can come out a proposal we would want to identify those through that rigorous corporate programme management approach as well so I think they are three very important that anchors that underpin a lot of this work this year
and just to come in barracks and that's Councillor coat if I may only this afternoon I met with the project management team to be very specific in terms of the approach that were going to be looking at to check the robustness of the proposals so I've actually discussed the what the forms were look like that will be arcing Directors to complete with the specific milestones and the timelines with details of who the responsible officer is for each of the stages was against be mapping out the various different consultation processes that we need to undertake both staff and public so we have a corporate overview of when various things will need to happen but noting that that the the final decision will be reserved in February when we sets the the that the budget as well but as I said in order for us to have the best chance possible of delivering a balanced budget and not overspend we need to give us as much time as possible to implement and deliver a loss of those proposals the was it be looking at risks and how to mitigate the the the risks to and that the meeting that them can refer to and will be looking at the different
what will also be an regulating the the different savings as well in terms of high medium and low risks and depending on the level of risk and the rating we assign will also determine the level of project management resource we put into supports the delivery of the saving
go thank you for that answer and for me so we move on to the next section now witches were going to quickly go through the referrals from other other Chairs they may want to speak to us to flag things with us specifically about specific areas that they're responsible for foot for scrutinising
and
and where we as the public house committee might want to ask them some questions but I think I know that sat Councillor Sauber wants to speak and I think Councillor mouth Muldoon wants to speak but son for for for for public counts committee members this is the supplement we've got a copy of everything in the supplementary papers somewhere in the last few days so if you got papers in front of you you may have we we also add these sent out by e-mail today from from Tim Andrew AM so there an attachment on an e-mail as well so I've now lost life
please excuse me
too many things going on
could perhaps Councillor saw but could speak first because I know is definitely going to speak from from children and Young People's Select Committee look
thank you Chair
the return referral relate are not specific cuts but to others got a shape and content of our future budget cuts and I won't expand on what's written in the document I think it's quite self-explanatory
we haven't submitted written referrals regarding or individual cuts so instead I am going to highlight two or three areas which occupied our Committee when we met last week and then I got a question to ask as well firstly
CN 0 7 is the cut in Short breaks provision and this affects the carers and parents of children with special needs who uses provision for for respite we are concerned that the threshold for eligibility for these brains has already crept up and therefore making it in practice more difficult to access the service already
and only the very most challenging children we feel are being provided for so we'd like the Committee to take into account that further cuts you know must sort of respect that context
the hasn't been when referring to cut were referred to appears to be that an existing changing practice and of course that would be exacerbated by reduction of the budget
but my my my longer point if you will bear with me and it is an area that's been mentioned several times by various members of the Committee and officers presenting to the Committee and that's F 0 7
I just want to make sure this committee that the committee which I chair has not been presented with evidence that suggests the current overspend in Children's social care placements is due to poor financial controls there's nothing to suggest that though we have I've heard it you so speculated on in various and places what I think one
can say with certainty is that children coming
intuition care in recent years have been skewing older and that means more adolescence with more complex needs and that means more costly placements and this is Sir reflected nationally crest Advisory the criminal Justice consultants have been warning only this week of the growth of county lines the drugs network and I could the quote is there are vulnerable children ripe for the picking by the criminals who exploit them and less social services protects them so that's one area in which demand is being driven higher through Carter societal changes
Anne Longfield who the Children's Commissioner reported last month that children entering residential care this is the most costly placement in England between 20 11 and 20 19 has risen 42 percent not fawn 14 42 percent
so for the private providers this has created a seller's market which means that not only do we have this volume of demand which is ballooning affecting our budget it's unrealistic to expect local authorities to be able to kind of go shake down prices
Chris supply-and-demand you know within a market is ina is affected everyone involved
the other significant factor is that to social care is a statutory obligation
so it means that the only legal and safe way to reduce placement overspend would be to invest more in early intervention which stopped the escalation and this has been included in a report that Mayor and Cabinet will be so deliberating over next week so that's an investment elsewhere not a cut in the Inner in the in the budgets within children's social care
that report includes the the phrase that things changes that will be preventative will take several years to take effect in terms of reducing the numbers of children coming into care so even when that report that strategy is is past we cannot expect an in budget reduction because demand will not go down
so I believe that the Children's social Care Fudger it it's not the department that's the architect of this financial crisis
I think come Cathy Freeman mentioned earlier we are the victims of a series of political decisions made by national government which are basically to underfund local authorities and its manifesting in this area where we do not have control over demand stint skill might have in other areas and so that's that's the the position that we have in the area the finally is just a quick question it's about the unknowns obviously certain assumptions had to be made to do the calculating to come up with his budget cuts and we've heard that was still waiting for the Local government financial Settlement
there have been elements in the comprehensive spending review that weren't known about when these calculators calculations are made for instance the troubled families grant is reappearing at 100 percent of value the assumptions worthy would only be 60 percent as a 300 million pound Grant for social care and of course we've talked about Council cap so my question is when this information materialises will there be a review of the calculations and war they possibly have an effect on the figures that we are seeing a in the children Young Peoples budget when it comes to cuts thank you for your time China it's been a very busy meeting thank you thank you thank you Councillor Sobel and for clarification when you said we heard from café about something and then you made a very political point she didn't actually make that point
but she was talking about that topic is one I think you were saying so
as you've asked the question I think it's it's it's right that question is answered Cathy
thank you Chair I'm going to bring out my colleague Penycae into pick up a number of those points around early intervention and investment and also the ongoing demand pressures for children's and young people's services
thank you Catherine furniture
yes Councillor Sobel I've had this conversation a number of times so if it is it's a very difficult process her in terms of managing demand there are issues for example and exploitation which we're not unique Barizan actually councils across the country are facing this he's quite right that in terms of the cost of a residential placement actually the cost of a independent foster carers as well there's been a very significant increase in the costs of those of those placements which is outside of the control of the Council the task that we have in terms of managing the budget is taking some very short term actions while at the same time also making investments the scan the structural and cultural changes that we need to make to balance the budget and in the longer term so the short term we have been reviewing placements particular high cost base and snapping doing that myself as the the Exec Director and through that process the average unit cost of a placement is coming down in addition so the action we're taking the moment is bringing bringing about average cost town
the number of children in care in Lucian is also coming down and that is a partly because we're ensuring that our social workers when they are working with a family and with a child are at the point that the having that contact they are making a difference to that child and Anathem minutes through a practice model signs of Safety which was introduced about euros OK before so is before I arrived in oceans are complete the credit for this that's a process that started over the last year or so and that is having an impact in terms of the children already in the social care system but ensuring that some of those children don't enter into the care system or if they're Indicator system supporting them more rapidly to come out of the care system we also looking to ensure that where other agency should be making an appropriate contribution to the cost of a placement that happens and at set that's led to some significant and movements in terms of the cost cost of those placements particularly from health and from the education budget Josse sits with me as well at the same time that word when we make in the longer term can have action so the sanitary Koch change programme for a social care service as had started years ago we are investing in that programme investing in our workforce development programme to ensure that our social workers and deliver a good service we've done a major programme of recruitment of new social workers and particularly senior staff to ensure a more permanent workforce when out to that 80 percent of permanent staff and that means that the quality and put his improved and also consistent gave a pretty time we've done a lot of work particularly addressing domestic abuse which in a lot of work around exploitation and also as look Sauber's pointed out a major piece of work around early help systems all of these things together mean we've got short term actions and long-term actions in place to address what's a very difficult issue in terms of managing that budget and that's the three new pointed me and that's what I'm seeking to
thank you because you don't that's helpful looks ask that question because I'm sure that's held put some flesh on somebody actions coming forward as well thank you did did any Committee member one to say nothing on that should be move on
we haven't yet and can't pack Councillor Muldoon did you want to say yes about her your referable yes Chop up because still
I the problems as well as shock and horror
so I'm
thank you for the opportunity to address public councillor committee I'll not rehearse Councillor Moura is well made points about adult social care and but before moving on to the items on your supplementary agenda I will just make a couple of comments on a couple of phrases it heard about demand led services I shall Councillor Murray will have heard the argument many years ago as I did when I was a manager in this Authority and I think the time has come to become ruthless about our understanding of the demarcation between want demand and need and I think it's tough times so he we are afraid going to have to become ruthless I also heard the phrase value for money used so and very happy that I was able to bring along tonight my copy of Button Palmer Ferry for money in the public sector which tear-stained over the years but is still always close to me moving on though to the specific recommendations that are where and similar from the Committee
the Committee of public councillor committee members will have noticed that we did comment on the and outsourcing of services and the a policy context 3 point 1 1 talks about the and the corporate strategy which again are is rarely far from my hand and pays 23 of the corporate strategy says when we are considering whether it commissioned services we will have an assumption that the Council is our preferred provider and in source our contracts now we did press Jen and are quite extensively at Health working to Select Committee and I it was a non council member of the committee who raised the question about the capacity and ability of the Council to monitor and redress any shortcomings in outsourced contract because of recent years recent months have not really giving us confidence in that three really want to be sure to crucial services if the decision by the Executive is to outsource and it was my council goes is trout so services that we have
the capacity to intervene early if things are going wrong insists on Ramonti and also be fair to our service users and the Stath and we also wanted to be an assured about the market and the because we do know adult social care market is full atoll and in sections very weak so you want to make sure that we understood that the market was able to deliver the quality of services we wanted and only if that were evidence could we have any confidence in supporting changes and my last point the last point from the committee wasn't bad engaging engaging with service users engaging with carers engaging with stakeholders the staff and the trade unions especially on these points and an
we call for multiple channels of engagement not just one favoured web based consultation to but they want people to be a freephone telephone and a free post door to door leaflets for example and just other people can actually communicate they don't have to go on line to make us emission we engagement with services and their carers through letters Babs any way the camp so people understand things don't come as a surprise and people most of all understand why we have to make these very very difficult choices at the hardest time in my lifetime
so Chair thank you that concludes my contribution tonight thank you thank you John and I think but the Committee will be noting what that the other Committees are saying and we may come back to those in our referral but we will obviously be passing all of these on but it's good to understand what the other Committees have been considering
so the next Committee Cher who may or may not I don't have any other Committee Chair did want to speak I know that I'm count no one could be here from sustainable development so that is in the papers we can see their referral there made some interesting points in their affair which is on page 8 of the supplementary report
we also have then the houses let committee and again they've made some general points about the about the next the next range of cuts sort of sinking more more information as much as possible and Shaw Ander I think I've heard from Peter that he isn't he isn't going to to speak tonight then we've had we've got the Safer stronger Communities Select Committee and and other council Julia Julieta yes and Rogerton Salen I don't if you wanted to say anything to us
really I think our Committee were was looking at the report from an equalities perspective and just was looking really for more information and a broader perspective on how equalities is being looked at so when we looked at a single cut individually from an equalities perspective it looks fine but when we look at the accumulative effect of the Equalities impact will find that some of the surfaces and some of the users of those services we'll be affected quite severely when these cuts are made or if these cuts go through so we asked that when cuts are made you know officers the work that they are doing it seems minute or exceeds very tiny but actually we need to be looking at taking mitigating action to address some of the accumulative impact of these cuts so across the nine protected characteristics and also for those people that live in poverty I think all living with poverty I think that that's one of the things that's what really what the Committee was looking at is really for when we're looking at the next when we looked at their next report can we have more detailed information of how you are mitigating those became the tape equality impacts thanks Chair
you are mute per
thank you Jo-Anne as I am very interested to hear from different Chairs thank you do that and them now states that was that clear and the very thing very clear indeed yes and it did shows the value of the different a range of Committees looking at these things I mean all main focus here is looking at the finances but you know we obviously need to be aware of all these other factors and so
the Committee other an owl are sought about from the floor to the members of the committee and then take or here also then from the Chair of the Audit Committee and any any specific cause they might want to make on what we've just heard but are also could we look at the specific cuts that have been allocated to this committee and again the something called a navigation sheet which have had copied to today but those of you have got paper
reports will have received at a shape which is in landscape or you can't see on the camera possibly but it's just a way of having all the the the proposed cuts that are specifically allocated to this committee in one place so they're all there in the in the major reports as well so any questions firstly an
On any any questions specifically let's festers take they will Council the whole here so let's hear from Councillor whole welcome hadn't seen your yet Palin they thank us of all followed by Councillor Millbank thank you thank you Chair am Alastair listening and avidly there throughout the meeting I just want it to widen and Councillor Muldoon's point them is where he says about contract monitoring and client in I think it's not just in the social Care or Children's social Care Adult social Care it's right across the council because them let me put it this way and not just be a very broad is our seen some beautifully written contracts that have been let with on many many stipulations about what must be delivered and of course if something goes wrong they clearly haven't been delivered and it's making sure that we as a Council we don't pay for that M and Councillor modern said these are tough times these are the proposed difficult times that we've ever been in so perhaps he is time that we change our culture here and we are tougher with with our contractors them where we have them and also I think that the point about service users in care services applies across the board and service users are the experts it's not down I mean officers who are trained in the services of course have expertise but the WRU experts other service users and we must listen and engage with them and so I'm hoping at the end of this meeting that that could form the basis of a referral to the Merricat Bernie and which will be constructive about how to achieve her these cuts have finally on the PAC their specific cuts rather than look at them all individually all I wanted to say is give you a little anecdote that there was a previous Executive Director of regeneration of Finance and her I sat down and I just remember her saying to me Alan I think we've cut too deeply the finance function and I said Will grey I'm glad you told me because it's our job then to make sure that it is though those that the money is there it so that you can do it I'm I don't know the fine convinced that that we do have them enough capacity in the final session to achieve that contract compliance monitoring and also some of the other more technical aspects of finance to do with the accounts and my warn is a financial failure is going to be the most catastrophic and the most politically damaging her thing that could happen to a Council thank you Chair
thank you and that so that there's one as a sort of common commenting up as the sectors that question as well about the capacity of the teen to properly manage and the Chief these cuts which which will seek an answer to Councillor Mill banked on to ask your questions well young just on that but short yes I think put that in part very thorough I'm I think that in a way it's kind of a bit of an obvious communism important question it's also be an obvious question that I think it's a question we shouldn't forget to cut of ask I'm going to break the trend of Olbia because I was looking over the papers of the then proposed savings that will asked to look at had some just and points of clarification things I out but aside
I saw that very are on the agenda Joan thank you OK but my mum is just a small point and really just for now to not not say for answer tonight but on a point 0 1 on the staff productivity obviously note there I think there's a lot of potential good stuff here but of course if we're expecting staff to work how much sought to make sure I'm sure that officers are doing this is factored in the cost of hand working because there will be a cost attached to that if if our staff are doing their homework in
I think there's a general point throughout their switches I'd like to know a bit more about the potential job losses and I appreciated been told earlier that a more works can have to be done on a number of these but I think on some of these are a for a four-way it wasn't tickly clear I like the move in direction about having more generic roles where there's some overlap I think that's that's that's good this is only a very small point the decks the reduction of paper usage absolutely I understand that from a whole range of reasons a bit more selfish point of view yours counsellors working at home on iPads and so laptops is not always easy to do the financial staff without Printemps I'll be honest I've got to print out to another tonight of all the cuts that that of all the savings which I find quite useful and I know last where it is talking about actually impact change in the IT system but I just wanted to flag up that point Chair that I'm not allowed I do it we have to go a new technology use all the time but sometimes some of the earlier reports were asked to consider particular financial reports and very difficult to do on an iPad or even a small laptop
right
yes I think 0 and I'm sorry Charvy might have been they are couldn't find D servant and D 8 in the papers so I'm not quite sure what if it's may or safety just got left off but they're not massive great savings but are just Edenic you've spotted that as well check out what they are high I could find those jam are OK but I'm looking at Piper coppers' maybe looking online
yeah maybe Megan OK well they're not though list the was more detail there on a day seven I was particularly reckless DE to that actually bestie to know it was the 7 I've definitely seen it I'll take our idea OK
I just need my comments there thank you Chairman semi-state glancing tonight just general points OK thank you so Fathi and I noted the Kim wanted to comment at something I think Councillor Hall said we also so if any quick comments somewhat Jonas said now would be useful I don't need to you can just out them and what Councillor Hall said and also Councillor saw but didn't get an answer to his possibility of recalculation if we get sort of better news on some of these potential sources of income
thank you
out of come back over the comment on Councillor halls points and I suspect the café will be able to answer in a much welcome even I on the recalculation point cassette technicalities around lack that to she knows better than I am capital Hall your your point around the
the contract management of autism as a client in their new your you are the point around the capacity to do this I think there's a link kitsch and across the two they resist them work but
we're embarking parliament of the I've already starting somewhere around of a piece of you recall back in February presented a report to full Council which set out the priorities for the organisation from my perspective as your head of paid service your Chief Executive and that they did talk about the culture change across the organisation and the role of our staff in the able to thrive in a businesslike in violent to be able to ensure that their their voices are heard herds are that we enable leadership to flourish across the organisation and on the back of that we have set up now a staff led improvement programme tis looking at amongst other things the over of inclusivity of a workplace for example and that the role of our staff in that the leadership I'm within amongst our staff so part of that role is around spending money wisely managing contract sensibly and ensuring that as a client we are getting the best out of the of the contract we've got to deliver the best outcomes for lotion resident so there is a broader culture change piece of work going on across the council amongst the staff that I think will will speak to a lot of your points I also would just reflect back when he can't around capacity I do think there has rightly been a focus very much on looking to protect front line services and in recent years I think that probably has been at the detriment of flows central some going back office and not so sure that that gives it the rights
telling myself I think now central services to support the delivery partners the Council so I do think you that the
capacity within the Central Services is something that his is at its limit now and that's why I think you'll probably seen the types of cuts that you haven't seen before found some those frontline services because we've cut as deeply as I my professional opinion we should and could have been able to on those those central thermoses now which is why some of those cuts are coming forward
appearing Cathy and on the calculation for them to that site
carried
thank you came and them apologies Katla silver for Norfolk NUT feel question earlier about the calculation so I just going to give an overview in terms of where we are in terms of on our financial position and the cuts process so we currently but need to find savings of federal million pounds for next year of which we're looking at 19 million-pound sorry 15 million pounds today that
a 19 millions pounds budget gap now in light of and what looks like a positive announcement following the comprehensive spending review last week about the Council's core spending power increasing by four and a half per cent I mentioned that my opening introduction that quite a lot of that is predicated on our ability to raise Council Tax for the social care precept
and and if we are able to put Council Tax up in relation to the adult social care element that could potentially reduce our gap the by about upped up two and three million pounds or so are a little bit over that we still don't have any certainty right now in terms of what the social Care Grant that's been announce is likely to be for us it very much depends on the type of formula the government uses to put this allocation forward and depending on the formally they use I've looked at different scenarios at best we get out probably 1 1 1 half 1 point 6 1 point 7 million but there are other scenarios where we don't do so well if they take into account
a distribution model that that that favours other other parts of the country with a slightly desperate different demographic profile so as seen models coming out that suggest that we could potentially end up with a couple of hundred thousand pounds from the new adult social care grant or the additional amounts so there's still lots of uncertainty but what I'm trying to say in summary is that despite all the funding coming forward and the fact that the comprehensive spending Review looks positive
we haven't really managed to close the budget gap yet which is why we're having to work very hard looking at proposals for the next round of cuts that will be taking forward through the secretary process in January
I don't know if that answers your question Councillor Sauber Felice I'm happy to and follow up any other points you going to raise
thank you I may up Reichert separately about a couple of individual a pot of money that affect children young people after the meeting
that's very welcome thank you look a case now I'm not the to any other Committee Member have any questions or points I wanted to raise on the individual
public accounts Select Committee cuts in particular or any other aspect of the proposed cuts
I haven't seen any others I might need to check my iPad sorry
no OK cycle yeah sorry Charia either just wanting and I've just wanted to know what the healthier so that committee said in terms of outsourcing I sit there was concern I had in terms of FO 7 in particular the Unite MOT service and I think obviously looked forward to further details about hell by outsourcing we'd expect that are savings to be made so I'm I'm phase that they raise that point thank you OK
so thank you Chairman and so we may come back to that and a undue noted that that is on page 2 0 to those particular things OK thank you I had Jeremiah sorry spoke very there were combined together so might have looked like it a separate point OK I've got a couple of questions which are
again will firstly I just wanted to say hello Jim said it at the start and I did sort of allude to ID'd find a lot of report very well written there was a lot of good information once you got into the detail and it did show the people a lot of thought into the so did help quite a lot and I had a number of queries on a number of things but I'll just just look at two of them are be await
which is to do with the service were by way
look after people's money under power of attorney I was concerned about this being withdrawn from very vulnerable people who were no doubt supporting and
it's so
there is a concern there and I just wondered an what thought has been given to the fact that if we withdraw the service how will people be looked after in that immediate need once the need is identified so that we can pass them on to somebody else at least and also I've got some thoughts about how local banks but that national banks but how banks may be able to support in this area wondered if the been any approach if you knew what other local authorities did and if it is a chance that the the cool procedural responsibility arm of banks might be interested in in helping with this with this agenda because I I do know that there is somebody needs to help look after these people's money such as wonder if there's any comment on that and secondly on on the funeral charges and I know this discussion takes place in the papers
but am I just wanted to ask again yet we reduce these last year to be more competitive with neighbouring boroughs
and you know there will have been in it that were now going in opposite direction again so I just wanted the one thing I thought was possibly missing we were looking at what other boroughs with doing but do we know what other borrowers are proposing to do next year as well and how that might affect us and our and our income thank you there might just to my comments
and it has the answers gratefully received
thank you Councillor Carter I'll pick up the money management cut proposal at way still in the various stages of looking at what this all mean for the residents and the understanding fully the impact will have on them were also exploring the current service providers out there who are able to charge more than what we're able to because we are restricted and confined in terms of the overall cost of the service that we provide say this is something that time we are having to put forward unfortunately as part of that the cuts process noting that it is very sensitive and and very difficult because there is a duty for a soup that protect I've unable residents so we're also well thank you for the suggestion as well about speaking to banks in terms of and looking at how their social corporate response but arm can help support on the this but it is something that will be a welcome indeed out and will be consulting with those impacted to as as part of the purses
I worked in banking a long time ago when you know the world is with different but her we were always very keen every branch of the bank I worked in to identify people in this situation and you know possibly to allocate a staff member to help the sort of thing so it is even possible that people could be if if we know they've got bank accounts
to speak direct to those in the before we withdraw the service thank you an could I also
the Panel mute again sorry I muted myself apologies I will also wanted to hear from Councillor Rathbone I know it's got a question perhaps some comments to make
jobs thank you Chair arm so some of the things I would have asked all wanted to talk about it being covered by other Members Pat
but for a variety of issues a traffic need raising and one really is that I'm not convinced rarely that Members have still not all members have grasped quite how severe situation is so what we're currently examining only includes 15 million of cuts being proposed for next year
which is less than half the total of what we need to make sure to essentially balance our budget and ensure that the Council could continue to operate as a going concern
arm if we were to not make significant cuts in health and social care areas arm as for example Councillor Sauber was I'd Ewing we needed to try to avoid doing to close the budget gap we're facing we'd have to cut 86 percent of all expenditure
in the other areas of the Council arm obviously problem we're facing is not of Lewisham's making it's not because we've been mismanaging our budget it's not because we've been spending too much but as a reason why both Bramley and will probably both Bexley and Croydon have
gone bankrupt within the last two months and as a reason why more local authorities will be following on arm
this was good but the reality is that we are going to have to go significantly further in what's being contemplated already there and I'm disappointed for officers aren't doing so I understand obviously but desire to avoid politically objectionable decisions and I certainly understand the view the hope that we will see something from central government in the next few weeks which will change the situation and avoiders hacking can make some of these decisions
but the reality is the only way that we can possibly balanced budget and maintain a going concern is but there are going to have to be significant cuts to statutory or non-statutory services that we are going to have to downgrade the level of provision we making both areas the Borough currently has 13 libraries which you are greatly loved by the public and have long provided excellent services but we now need to be asking us there was question how many libraries can we afford we've got free up with him learning centres we need aka so the question how many adult learning centres can we afford armed was a proposal to cut back on the Assembly's programme at this point in time when we have to cut just under 60 million pounds over the next three years the question of we need ask ourselves is can we afford to have an Assembly programme at all no I was going to be very severe impacts on the Borough from all this arm as part of Satan strong as community I was particularly keen for us to get fee Korty's assessment so he can be clear what the effects are going to be but we also need I think start planning to make these decisions there is no realistic way that we are going to be able to maintain ourselves as a going concern without removing up new closing down entirely some areas of service which the Council currently provides and stripping back of his down to the very bare bones of what we can do
and I suppose that's the point I wanted to make as I said to other things I would have raise which have already been touched on by colleagues
science James what you're really saying is now I'm trying to summarise the book you've been saying as a lot more cuts need to be identified and going to have to face up to that and and you're looking for some comment now perhaps from senior officers about our mood how we are moving towards that over the essential essentially yes Pat I mean I was disappointed to see that arm in this round we still weren't looking at for example which non-statutory service areas we would have to withdraw from entirely that is the situation we have now been putting by
there are entire areas of provision which the Council is going to have to withdraw but I don't see any other way that we can costly closes budget gap and avoid following Croydon Bexley yeah yeah it's it's it's a grim picture but you want us to face up to it and that came as it would like to reply our Chief Executive thank you thanks James
as Councillor Rathbone and as always I I find your your comments incredibly insightful and and powerful in impact they have on and no one's do and feel a position where we're not able to set her about budget and that will require some some very tough decisions and that's why there will be more proposals come forward to members in January and those proposals will seek to bridge that gap and will be containing options around cutting shutting and stopping things because we haven't got any other choices haven't got any other places to go such as the scale of the challenge and then such as the speed at which we need to work so I can assure you that that work is being done armies being done right now and we will be in this meeting in January having discussions ha having gone through the others select committee that will be outlining a start the Atleti of the choices and afraid that officers are working on to put forward to members
thank you can only it's it's not something I'm glad to hear I don't think any was glad to hear it but thank you for confirming that that's where we are right now
thank you for exchange raising that you know a lot of these sort grim discussions as I said and them
we don't want to be in this situation and talking of grit topics I raise few or fees which shows the the wide range of things that councils deal with and Tom did say would come back and be brief on an unresponsive to me hours wondering how we were if we knew what other councils were planning to do thank you thank you cared very briefly yes just to reassure you we all looking at what are our neighbours are doing and indeed what the the private sector providers are doing worse with ill trying to make sure that we are not overpricing ourselves for the residents but also we being fed to the Council of the can protect phase as well OK thank you and John Milbank thank you Chair I was going to respond to come for us and that the Chief Executive any dunnocks and appoints a covers thank you
I can at the moment I don't do I have anybody else wants to ask any questions or make any points we we we would not normally have to finish a meeting within two hours of gone over that
when it gets to half past we have to do something a notice suspending Standing orders but we're OK at the moment Jim Mallory
I care and
I suppose I was a little worried by Joan suggestion earlier in the meeting or her question and the answer we had from Cathy Freeman that somehow we were going to just these these proposals were going to be mulled over and considered by us tonight that would go to Marin capitalist as I understood it they would then undergo the competition in my view of it is as the variant on James Rathbone perhaps because I've been around longer than he has so I'd I do think you don't he and I don't think necessarily were going to wind up cutting all the services but I do
did say earlier in our more informal process that I was looking for a proposal which said no libraries advising Les Carter community aspect you know illicit developer can be Keker Community Centre in not suggesting that should have been the proposal but I am saying we need to take some of these sacred cows a bit more
seriously so what what I'm as possible unconcern high I my proposal and I don't know whether that's what you were moving towards Chair anyway but that's what they've got slightly worried that Iran was moving to of the Act as was was act of an army 9 I'm of the view that we agree in principle all these proposals and the so that they can go forward an action can be taken on them in order to to to to to to work through that the level the degree to which they that you know what happens as result of those that need consultation etc. I'm because otherwise to quote James in a in a slightly more crude sense we're in the whatever and and so it at an earlier I found one of the reasons I thought the report was particularly good was I thought the explanations at that you know any it are sufficiently persuadable that we should be taking them and my only query I suppose his
how many of them are absolutely deliverable but that's the question we ask every single year when I asked it at them about adult social care and this was the first tranche remember in Safer stronger Tom Brown assured me that they were achievable will if there are achievable than I hope that the second tranche will include
some follow up on that so are taking bearing in mind what Julia Campbell said about you know the need to make sure that we are taking account of where there's a double or triple impact on on on people when I mean obviously that has to be part of the process between now and when we finally agree the cuts however I I don't think we can do anything but say the in principle we agree the proposals and we we hope that the Mayor and Cabinet will now spend due deliberative time on working through the necessary consultation etc in order to get us to a stage where at least when the second tranche comes we work where you know where we we swallowed bit hard and swallowed and and and and and taken the first tranche there may be the odd little thing that somebody really has a concern about that they spot but in general I just think we have to progress these proposals in it and so on and can I add that we we we add to that that as far as Adult social Care is concerned we want a proper review to take place very my what Jim said were not determining the outcome of but a proper review to take place so that we do we are reassured or otherwise that you know that the certain that the demand management that is necessary is being taken in the right context
that's that's very helpful J because it's very clear what you would propose comes from this committee
I personally wouldn't disagree with that and I just wondered how other committee members respond to gyms proposal and 0 anything anybody
wanted to add to that from the discussions we've had in all of the all of the all of the other Committees referrals will of course be going to Mayor and Cabinet as well as our own but we may want to add something as well I think John has some to say there Councillor me ha yeah maybe I was on cloud of asking Cathy to clarify the decision making process because I'll be no give them but these are only part of caps and luckily half of what we actually need to find I'm just being clear when the actual innocence of final decision is actually made I'm not obviously I understand to pursue southern Asia they have to go out to consultation they have to look there's lots of these need to be investigated further so I mean we have to make cuts I do understand that you can and Jim on your point of whether they can be achieved enough but as she says we asked every year and noise of to get the answer of course
I think that was the purpose really of my question at the start about the what what being done to make sure we do achieve it and we did hear from Catherine Kim some of the process as their putting in place to try and keep a handle on it so that that was helpful for me these for for the confidence you know that perhaps but obviously the proof will be improved for pudding been eating any other comments from Committee Members called
yes Councillor Councillor Rathbone as a non-committee members other comment so I'll take that in a moment I just want to check if if I think torso have had to go to a meeting so isn't here any more core Maslin to do you want to add to that and then there's also a Alan Hall as well
Alan yeah thank you Chair of it as a tale as I said earlier I think he wouldn't do any harm to take it to further build on the healthier Communities M referral and just mention about the contract
monitoring and contract client in them it that because if the mere cabinet are engaging in a spot of contemplation between now and the budget and the officers did confirm that they are there is if there is further work to do here as well and to re-emphasise the fact that the service users are the experts and we do need to do engagement with them I I think is you know that's what we're all about so I would Chester are asked if they could be incorporated thanks Chair OK and so we just wanna make emphasised that we do want to make sure that aspect of the work is done Joan did you have to attend the gathering further says Councillor Maslany said no I didn't want to to add to that so am Councillor Rathbone wanted to suggest something for us to consider James thank you Chair arm sides jest if you are looking to make any kind of recommendation or about a man cabinet that you highlight the points raised by the other Select Committees particularly around studying the impact I think studying the impact reports girls being posed as very important so that we can effectively communicate to be residents of Lewisham what is going to happen and wide is happening and show them what consequences of continued government austerity are but at the same time arm for financial reasons arm I would recommend that this Committee support may proposed to Mayor and Cabinet would they agree on these proposals I do believe that considering the size challenge we are now facing but doing anything otherwise would be armed what I'm looking for irresponsible yes irresponsible her coach so you sense it's just sorry just take me back a little bit there James you've basically agreeing with Jim or you are saying what you say that we should exist there should be some sort of examination of the impact of the cuts out amongst the people most of the Select Committees have recommended that the effects of the cuts on equalities or a collective backing services are I think about work we want to happen I think we want to go to make it very clear to the public but what the effects of the next four years of austerity are going to be on Lewisham
but despite that work asking that work to repair I would also suggest that public accounts should recommend the Mayor and Cabinet agree the proposals I am XX here for girls even as was to come into that from the Committee and Councillor Bill Brown's an ex-officio member of the Committee and spoken yet fill with you like he wanted to say something there's please Chair did that they'd shout out what you did once Surrey engage lately a already tonight just on the point being made by Councillor Osborne to send a recommendation that all these proposed cuts are accepted no man cabinet men complete next week
as is the normal procedure that with the budget process they will agree a favour if they don't show that all progress needed consultations with staff with the service users etc. Any other work that needs to be done to check out financially etc would be authorised and then when did you put come through in January that decision actual decision on treating the cuts that have been presented for CIA now those that will be presented to us in the new game and will be brought together and that when we will and make the decisions formally on what coach will be drinking to don't I think jumping the gun somewhat
not just
erection yeah OK Go I think what I think James May of Crispin samovar emphasising what Phil said I don't think we need but Cesare Jim it said in the we're agreeing these proposals go forward to the next stage that's what has met but that what I was suggesting Pat are obviously very third constitute came out of Syria but I think it was my battles Gaffney's that's fine deficiency council and 50 and the Danes was James was saying he agreed with that but he wanted it to ask us forum asked us to endorse the fact that other Committees have been asking the now the we do properly understand the impacts and the able to communicate that to the rest of the Borough
so I think we've got a referral there which is what Bill what Jim has suggested the we agreed the proposals go forward and that we need a a review of the Adult services adult social care services as described earlier to Ms Tim Tim Robey rapid will be we'll be working this out but with its best clear as possible before the meetings ended and we
and that the we would we take on Alan holes point about service users and
we would also endorse that the impact assessments are done and explained to the public is that can I just make point that service users I've been I think of his in a number of them that he readily report there has to be consultation with the service users I think this they can't launched at the service users it's debate while you can say that but obviously in some setters that's going to be let her different than in another set in it's also about officer capacity as well so I think we just need to set up a little bit of caution because I do think like a say report really tells us is going to be consultation services so we endorse this of that the N C A
I want to make sure that the that the proper consultation with service users is done yet Alan
far K Ilan well I just said
fine good thank you and good
can we have a referral to which Tim could just bring to him his resolve and scrutiny manager and I I'll yesterday hit have you got sufficient there from us to to to know exactly what we're going to yes I think so and there's a couple of areas where perhaps Chair I'll clarify with you tomorrow but I think that's just a number of areas where you've asked that Merrick habit it seeks assurance that you know
users service users are being engaged or that's equalities impacts of being assessed cumulative impacts of being assessed so I like as I can work out the wording with the with you but I think I've got a good summary of what you discussed thank you we've got five minutes before we have to suspend Standing order so I'd like to close that element I think we are we make over just a couple of minutes but as I would like to hear briefly perhaps in a response to the meeting from Councillor to Ryk just wanted to to have say something to us at the end of the meeting having listened to walk of said yes I got thank you that would be really brief and just to say I welcome everyone's comments and their diligent scrutiny why I completely understand people's concerns and an and and reiterate that these are very difficult cuts that we're facing I particularly understand Members' concerns around creation of solutions with an end services with a service users I think that's very important at as I also absolutely underline the importance of the contract management across every single contract that the Council the Council uses I completely a completely agree with those comments I think yes it very difficult yes we do need to to progress with the work to prepare the ground to make these cuts after the February budget otherwise we won't get the full year effect I mean I know I said it at the beginning of the meeting but just for clarity you know we that the Mayor and Cabinet meeting next week will delegate authority to officers to undertake the consultations and the preliminary work that they need to do in order for the 21 22 budget to have full year effect from April 21 at that is these are not going to cut it again to be made now we are we need to do to precisely the kind of impact Equalities impact work that Members have talked about and thank you for everyone's time it's been a very valuable meeting and just to say also obviously that with the cuts that we will still me need to bring forward in January we will be doing the same all over again going through the scrutiny meetings and indeed will have in four more and formal conversations about members' concerns what when those proposals come forward

6 Select Committee work programme

thank you rather than actually takes us neatly into our firelighter which is just to note that in the work programme we will be in February looking of the budget cuts and the in again and the pan looking at the the budget as it looks for 20 21 to 22 we did intend to have at some point a particular look at the CYP budget and the improvement plan there and we're just going to need to
consider where we sit with COVID and response to that etc before we finalise the agenda I hope that's OK with members of we can talk outside the meeting and could I suspend Standing orders for about three minutes have which we may not even the goal three minutes just because we were we are currently at about 21 29
I've got a suggestion from Councillor Mallory but first of all sorry first of all you might want to suspend Standing orders even if we only used five minutes yes OK suspend Standing orders yes agreed agreed thank you and he get treated it's a suggestion it relates to the work well in terms of the work programme it relates to the next meeting he added that if the I don't think we can escape
I mean I'd at a thing only discussion has to be around the the the next round of budget cuts and the budget itself I think we can nevertheless incorporate expect of senior officers reports on you know the degree of progress in the Children's Improvement Plan and
or at the Adult social carry albeit extremely briefed it as part of the monitoring process as much as anything else because I don't see how we can look at the final budget without a slightly more up to date a monitoring and and and prospects for for dealing with some of the big issues yeah that makes sense Jim yet thank you and that is sort of what we try to achieve tonight as well actually so hopefully we we just about managed it given all that
moving parts that we've got at the moment with the government grants and all sorts of things happening
OK that's that's been very helpful I I'd like to thank everybody for attending all the members of the Committee all the other members of the Council Chris Barn and in particular who sat through the whole thing a bong point offered to say something like apologise Chris I didn't feel there was a need for you to add anything and to all of our officers have put in a very a whole load of work on this and it's been very helpful to us to understand what's happening
and to be able to to scrutinise the papers and we didn't get that too often in the papers so either I thought we were going to be getting lost continual and people say where are we Chair but not that didn't act too much so so good discipline from everyone's well I think thank you to everyone who attended and good night thank you
thank you