Agenda and minutes

Special - Budget Scrutiny, Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee - Wednesday 5 February 2014 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Kieran Elliott  (Senior Democratic Services Officer)

No. Item



To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


There were no apologies.


Declarations of Interest

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



There were no declarations.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


The Chairman indicated that he would be taking a couple of urgent items at the end of the meeting in respect of the proposals for scrutinising youth services and parking.


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 above 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 above no later than 5pm on Wednesday 29 January 2014.  Please contact the officer named on the first page 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.


There were no questions or statements submitted.


Explanation of Procedure

A reportexplainingthebackground,purposeandproceedingsofthismeetingis attached.


Supporting documents:


The Chairman outlined the procedure by which the Financial Update would be presented and scrutinised, as detailed in the agenda papers.


Wiltshire Council's Financial Plan Update 2014/15

A report is attached from the Associate Director of Finance on the Council’s Financial Plan Update for 2014/15. 


Please note that Appendices of the Financial Plan are attached to this agenda as follows:


Appendix 1 –           Cabinet’s Updated Business & Financial plans 2013-15, which includes budget proposals for 2014/15 and budget book


Appendix A – Financial Plan Update

Appendix B – Service Budget summary

Appendix C – Strategic savings

Appendix D – 2014/15 Individual Service Budget Book

Appendix E – Assumptions used to set the budget

Appendix F – Capital Programme

Appendix G – Housing Revenue Account

Appendix H – Fees and Charges

Appendix I   – Public Health Grant planned expenditure


2 –                              Assessment of investment and increased cost pressures                       


3-                                 General Fund Reserves assessment


The Cabinet Member for Finance and Associate Director of Finance will be in attendance to introduce the updated financial plan, explain how it was compiled and to answer questions arising in relation to the context and rationale.


The Chairman of the Committee will then invite questions and comments on the presentation and report. This will be done section by section as follows:


·         Introduction – how the papers flow


·         2013/14 Budget Position (including reference to the key pressure areas identified in budget monitoring, and detailed further in the Associate Director’s report circulated with the budget papers.)


·         How much funding have we got?


·         How much do we need to invest for the Business Plan and are we sure it is enough/ not too much?


·         What has been the process to identify savings? (There will be more detail in the Associate Director’s report particularly relating to strategic savings)


·         Other budgets – fees and charges, Capital, HRA, Schools


·         Reserves


·         What does that mean for Council Tax and has it been calculated correctly?


·         Finally, there will be opportunity to ask any further questions on the budget papers.


The views of the Committee and any findings and agreed recommendations resulting from the meeting will be formerly reported to Cabinet and Council.


Supporting documents:


The draft Wiltshire Council Financial Plan Update for 2014/15 was presented by the Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Risk and the Associate Director (Finance) ahead of its submission to Cabinet on 11 February and Full Council on 25 February 2014.

Details of proposed investments and savings were outlined within the context of reductions in the government revenue support grant to the council and the planned freeze on council tax.


The Committee, along with other members in attendance, discussed the presentation as attached to these minutes as Appendix 1, and sought clarification on several issues as well as commenting upon the proposed budget, with full details contained in the report at Appendix 2 to these minutes.


Areas of discussion included the deliverability of proposed savings, the communication of those savings throughout the council’s management structure, the reduction in the council’s reserves for one year as a result of a technical adjustment, balancing the budget in the face of increased pressures upon vulnerable older person and young person services, and the proposed strategic savings as detailed in the report.


At the conclusion of debate, it was,




1)    To thank all those who attended the meeting and contributed to discussion and, in doing so, to acknowledge the work done by the officer team in drawing the budget documents together and the challenges faced by the Executive in difficult financial circumstances.


2)    To recommend that Council take into account the main points made by the special meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee as outlined within the attached report at Appendix 2 when determining the 2014/15 budget.



Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting of the Committee as 4 March 2014.


The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 4 March 2014.


Urgent Items

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


1)    Car Parking

The Committee considered an invitation from the Cabinet Member for Highways and Streetscene for a member of Scrutiny to participate in the forthcoming Car Parking Review through membership of the Project Board.


The Committee was thankful for the opportunity for there to be non-executive involvement at an early stage, but stressed that the presence of a non-executive member as the project progressed was in addition to the work of the Task Group already established by the Environment Select Committee again done at the invitation of the Cabinet Member.




To delegate to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to appoint a non-executive member to assist with the Car Parking Review, following consultation with all members for expressions of interest.


2)    Youth Services

The Committee considered a recommendation from the Children’s Select Committee to set up a task and finish group on the consultative options for Positive Leisure Time Activities for Young People following the decision of Cabinet.




To endorse the set up of the Positive Leisure Time Activities for Young People Task and Finish Group, following consultation with all members for expressions of interest.