Agenda and minutes

Budget Amendments, Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee - Monday 12 February 2024 1.30 pm

Venue: Kennet Room - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Ben Fielding - Senior Democratic Services Officer  01225 718656, Email:


No. Item



To receive details of any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Jonathon Seed, Cllr Ruth Hopkinson and Cllr Johnny Kidney.


The following substitutions had also taken place with Cllr Tom Rounds attending the meeting in place of Cllr Johnny Kidney.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2024.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2024 were presented for consideration, and it was;




To approve and sign as a true and correct record of the minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2024.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.



Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


There were no Chairman’s Announcements.


Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.



If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.



To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on Monday 5 February 2024 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response, questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on Wednesday 7 February 2024. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.



Procedure of Meeting

Amendments will be taken in the order they are submitted and one at a time unless agreed otherwise. Although some of the amendments may be interdependent in that they relate to combined savings and/or growth, Overview and Scrutiny will want the opportunity to comment of each although with the ability to acknowledge their dependency if appropriate.


The running order of speakers on each will be:


·       Respective group leader/spokesman/individual to present the circulated amendment explaining the purpose, implications, intended outcome and link to the Business Plan;


·       The Leader of the Council and/or responsible Cabinet Member(s) to be given the opportunity to respond;


·       Corporate Leadership Team to comment (if appropriate);


·       Management Committee Members to ask questions of the proposer(s) and respondent(s) in order to gain evidence;


·       Clarification from statutory officers and other relevant directors (if necessary);


·       Contribution from any other Members (if invited);


·       Chairman to sum up and seek a consensus view of the Committee as appropriate.


Any consensus views of the Committee (and not of individual members) will form part of the minutes of the meeting for report to Council on 20 February 2024.



Wiltshire Council's Budget 2024/25: Amendments

To consider amendments from any political group or individual Members on the initial draft of the executive proposed budget.


Please note a report from the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee meeting which took place on 25 January 2024 will follow.


Any amendments that may be received will be circulated as soon as they are available.

Supporting documents:


It was noted that though the item was principally for the scrutiny of budget amendments put forward by opposition members; the first report under this item in Agenda Supplement 2 was an update on the administration’s Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy, as was agreed by Cabinet on 6 February. The Final Local Government Finance Settlement was announced on 5 February, and it included additional funding for Wiltshire over and above that included in the provisional settlement. A verbal update was provided on the implications of this at Cabinet and had now been provided in writing.


Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Clewer outlined that the funding was proposed to be used as follows:

·       £0.100m contribution to Air Quality monitoring in 2024/25.

·       £0.025m contribution towards volunteer recruitment by Libraries for residents in remote areas.

·       £0.603m funding for rural play areas to enable them to continue to be used by the local community that will lead to their transfer to the local town or parish council.

·       £3.798m funding for additional investment in SEND and children’s services early help and prevention support.


A budget proposal was agreed by Cabinet on 6 February 2024 for discussion at Full Council on 20 February 2024, following its consideration by the Committee at its meeting on 25 January 2024.


On 7 February 2024 proposed amendments to that budget were received from Cllrs Ian Thorn and Gavin Grant.


The amendments were presented as detailed in the Agenda Supplement.


Amendment A – Area Boards


The proposal sought a £0.003m increase in social welfare funding to each of the 18 Area Boards, and the establishment of a central fund of £0.036m that Area Boards can bid for extra social welfare funding.


Comments from statutory officers including the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer were set out in the agenda supplement with further clarifications set out in the appended Committee report.


Amendment B – Blue Badge Holders


The proposal sought to remove the income budget introduced in 2022/23 as a result of the saving included in the budget to introduce parking charges for Blue Badge holders of £0.040m.


Comments from statutory officers including the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer were set out in the agenda supplement with further clarifications set out in the appended Committee report.


Amendment C – VisitWiltshire


The proposal sought a provision of funding of £0.075m to enable partnership working with VisitWiltshire or an equivalent body in both 2024/25 and 2025/26.


Comments from statutory officers including the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer were set out in the agenda supplement with further clarifications set out in the appended Committee report.


The Committee discussed the proposed amendments as detailed fully in the report appended to these minutes, seeking details on the robustness of funding proposals, risks and impacts on the Medium-Term Financial Strategy, and confidence in growth assumptions. Other areas explored were the vulnerability and impact on residents/communities.


At the conclusion of discussion, it was,




The Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee agreed:


1.    To note the update  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Performance and Risk Report 2023/24 - Quarter Three

To receive the Quarter Three - Performance and Risk Report 2023-24, considered by Cabinet on 6 February 2024.

Supporting documents:


The Chairman noted that within the agenda pack was a report providing a quarter three update on performance against the stated missions in the Council’s Business Plan 2022-23. A Strategic Risk Summary was also included. The report had been considered by Cabinet on 6 February.


Leader of the Council, Richard Clewer introduced the report with reference made to how the report enables the Council to be data based and increasingly make efficient use of data through Performance Outcome Boards. It was noted that a Performance Outcome Board working in parallel from a corporate basis was also to be set up.


It was noted that written questions were received from Councillor Jo Trigg, which received the verbal responses during the meeting and would be attached to the minutes.


The following comments were received by Committee Members, which included but were not limited to the subject of childhood obesity and what the Council was doing to combat this, with reference to the daily mile. It was stated that leisure was part of the answer to this, and though the Council had limited levers, work was being targeted more towards those at the bottom end of the financial scale, with the examples of the FUEL programme and Street Tag cited. The need for the response to be a package incorporating food and exercise was suggested.


It was questioned whether repeat referrals to children’s services was on the rise, with it responded that Wiltshire data rates were low in comparison to others and whilst it had gone up, this was a moment in time and the data should rather be considered in longer periods of time. Recently the Council had had an Ofsted inspection and would continue to audit and review thresholds in this area.


Further detail was provided regarding Carbon Literacy training, with it noted that the success was measured by accreditation, with the Council currently having a bronze status and aiming for silver and then gold. It was noted that currently 117 officers had received the training and silver accreditation would happen once 750 officers had received the training. Detail was also provided about how those trained would partake in a pledge and therefore it would be important for the rollout to follow a logical sequence starting with senior officers responsible for teams.


A point was raised about new public vehicle charging points requiring a variety of adaptors to be used. It was agreed by the Director that this point would be taken away for a response as there was a contractual reason behind why different charging units require different adaptors.


Clarity was provided that generally there tends to be more potholes reported in Spring than in Winter, with 4,935 potholes reported last April compared to 1,943 in December.



Clarity was also sought as to who provides scrutiny for the service level risk registers, to which it was outlined that top level risks on the strategic risk register are discussed at Performance Outcome Boards, with the potential for anything coming from these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 13 March 2023.



Urgent Items

Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.


There were no urgent items.