Venue: Council Chamber - Rotherham Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S60 2TH
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 16 January 2024 and to approve them as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 16 January 2024 be approved as a true record.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
Questions from Members of the Public and the Press
To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.
There were no questions from the public or press.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.
There were no exempt items.
To consider a report from the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services proposing the Council’s Budget and Council Tax for 2024/25, based on the Council’s Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024/25, budget consultation and the consideration of Directorate budget proposals. A review of the financial planning assumptions within the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) has been undertaken.
The Chair invited the Leader of the Council to introduce the report. Also in attendance was the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhood Workings and Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance.
Also present were the Chief Executive; the Strategic Director for Finance and Customer Services and Assistant Director of Financial Services; the Strategic Director for Adult Care, Housing and Public Health; the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment; and the Acting Assistant Director of Early Help and Business Support (representing the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services).
The report proposed the Council’s Budget and Council Tax for 2024/25, based on the Council’s Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024/25, budget consultation and the consideration of Directorate budget proposals. A review of the financial planning assumptions within the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) had also been undertaken.
The proposed Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy reflected the Council’s priorities as set out in the Council Plan 2022-2025 and Year Ahead Delivery Plan. The development of the Budget proposals for 2024/25 and the further update of the MTFS had taken into account prevailing economic factors and demand pressures, notably inflation remaining significantly high during 2023/24 and its impact on market pressures for CYPS placements, food prices for schools catering and increased base costs across Council services, along with significant increased demand for Home to School Transport. Following the Council’s technical MTFS updates and the impact of the Provisional Financial Settlement the Council had been able to propose a balanced budget for 2024/25 and faced a projected, potential £6.6m funding gap in 2025/26.
In setting the Budget, the Council maintained a focus on mitigating any adverse impact on residents as far as possible, ensuring the protection of basic services in order to support the community through a continuing cost of living crisis. In addition, the Budget provided some additional investments to help support people and delivering the Council’s ambitions for the Borough with specific regard to the environment and being family friendly.
In recognition of escalating cost pressures relating to inflation, transitions and rising demand for the service, the report proposed approximately £7.5m of additional funding to support the delivery of Adult Social Care services.
In setting the proposed 2024/25 budget, Cabinet would recommend to Council a 3.5% increase in Council Tax, made up of an increase of 1.5% in the Council’s basic Council Tax plus an increase of 2% for the Adult Social Care precept.
The Leader of the Council outlined that because of previous budgetary decisions, the presented budget proposed a comparatively low increase in Council Tax compared to many other authorities in the country.
It was noted that directorates were working towards a balanced budget position, which would require a small use of reserves over the next two years. However, in 2025/26, there was a projected budget gap of approximately £6.6 million.
The Strategic Director for Finance and Customer Services added that there was some uncertainty about future local government funding. However, in setting ... view the full minutes text for item 103.
To consider the Board’s Work Programme.
The Board considered its Work Programme.
Resolved: - That the Work Programme be approved.
Work in Progress - Select Commissions
To receive updates from the Chairs of the Select Commission on work undertaken and planned for the future.
This item was deferred.
Forward Plan of Key Decisions
To review and identify items for pre-decision scrutiny from the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period from 1 February 2024 to 30 April 2024. (Circulated by email and available online as publication date of the agenda preceded publication of the Forward Plan of Key Decisions.)
The Board considered the Forward Plan of Key Decisions 1 February 2024 to 30 April 2024 (as published on the Council’s website and circulated by email).
Resolved: - That the Forward Plan be noted.
To consider any issues referred for call-in from recent Cabinet meetings.
There were no call-in issues.
To determine any item which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.
Date and time of next meeting
The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held on Wednesday 13 March 2024 at 10.00am at Rotherham Town Hall.
Resolved: - That the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held at 10am on Wednesday 13 March 2024 at Rotherham Town Hall.