To consider recommendations in respect of amending the Medium Term Financial Strategy.
Resolved:- (1) That the proposed budget adjustment for 2016/17 summarised in section 2.6 of this report be approved.
(2) That the updating of the Medium Term Financial Strategy as set out in this report, be approved.
Councillor Watson drew attention to the Sustainability Strategy for Children and Young People’s Services and the pressures on funding, not just in Rotherham, but across the country, caused by the increased demand in Children and Young People’s Services.
Adoption of this recommendation would enable the Council to assist and help families maintain children in their care, rather than picking up the pieces afterwards.
Mover:- Councillor Alam Seconder:- Councillor Watson
Report of the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services
Cabinet Member: Councillor Alam
Commissioner: Myers (in advisory role)
Cabinet are asked to:
a. Note the contents of this report;
b. Approve the proposed additional resource allocations required by the Children’s Services Sustainability Strategy, Adult Social Care and Corporate Support Services as summarised in section 2.6;
c. Note that the additional funding requirement for the demand cost pressure in Children’s Services of £7.848m in 2016/17 will be subject to the final outturn at year end but is likely to require funding from reserves should the current year budget not be brought back in balance;
d. Approve that the specific investment proposals of £608k in 2016/17, summarised in paragraph 2.6 and detailed throughout the report, be funded in 2016/17 from the Transformation Reserve and for the addition of these items to the MTFS for future years.
e. Approve that all other corporate earmarked reserves, where there is no formal planned use in the current year, be earmarked for consideration as part of the funding strategy for the proposals in this report and the wider financial strategy as part of budget considerations.
f. Note the revised Estimated Funding Gap for the period 2017/18 to 2019/20 of £24.130m, £7.854m and £18.863m respectively, outlined in paragraph 2.6 in light of these proposed funding allocations and in advance of any use of reserves.
g. Approve that tight monitoring and control is implemented in relation to the investments and that the additional budgets are only allocated as the expenditure and investment action is secured and implemented.
Consideration was given to a report which set out proposals for additional investment in respect of Children and Young People’s Services, Adult Services and Corporate Support Services over the next three to five years and the impact on the Council’s current Medium Term Financial Plan.
The proposed investment over the current financial plan period was summarised as set out in the report and were requested in order to:-
· Provide the funding needed to deliver the Sustainable Children’s Service Strategy detailed in this report;
· Provide capacity to ensure delivery of the Adult Social Care Development Programme; and
· Fund Corporate Support Services both in respect of support for Children’s Services and to address savings assumed in the MTFS which have since been confirmed as undeliverable.
Allocating the additional funding requested would significantly increase the Council’s estimated funding gap in 2017/18 and then start to bring the gap back down over the life of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) as shown below. The actual final profile of the Medium Term Financial Strategy would depend on choices to be made as part of the forthcoming Budget and are further explained in Section 7 of this report.
It was assumed that the funding in the current year would need to be drawn from reserves and that the final value of this would depend on the overall outturn position of the Council as all services across the Council were attempting to reduce the overall overspend.
It was assumed in this report that in each of the subsequent years, the gap would be addressed through the budget process and further financial planning considerations. A review of all current planned use of reserves was underway and options would be brought forward for rescheduling this use in order to ensure a balanced budget and financial strategy going forward. However, inevitably there would be more savings to be made across the Council in order to fund these investments and cost pressures.
Councillor Watson, Deputy Leader, highlighted some of the reasons for the need for further investment into Children and Young People’s Services, largely around the increase in numbers of looked after children, compared to previous years, which without intervention was likely to rise even further, the changes to the performance management framework and I.T. system and the challenges in reducing unit costs.
Councillor Steele, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, confirmed this report had been considered as part of the pre-scrutiny process. The investment and spend for Children and Young People’s Services would be closely monitored and evaluated by the Improving Lives Select Commission.
1. That the contents of this report be noted.
2. That the proposed additional resource allocations required by the Children’s Services Sustainability Strategy, Adult Social Care and Corporate Support Services as summarised in section 2.6 be approved.
3. That the additional funding requirement for the demand cost pressure in Children’s Services of £7.848m in 2016/17 be subject to the final outturn at year end be noted, but is likely to require funding ... view the full minutes text for item 117