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Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Tara Shannon  Email: tara.shannon@wiltshire.gov.uk

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Leader welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked attendees to introduce themselves.




To receive any apologies for the meeting.



Apologies were received from:


·       Mike Leigh, NASUWT representative

·       John Read, NAHT representative

·       Keith Roberts, GMB representative



Notes from the previous meeting

To receive the minutes from the last meeting held on 2 February 2021.

Supporting documents:


The notes of the previous meeting held on 2 February 2021 were received and noted as a correct record.



Wiltshire Council Financial Plan Update 2022/23

To consider the 2022/23 budget proposals.


The budget papers are attached.


Some hard copies will be available for trade union representatives at the meeting.


Supporting documents:


Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance provided an overview of the Council’s proposed budget for 2022/23.


In presenting the overview, the Leader explained that it was useful to look at the budget proposals over three years, rather than just the one year it was set for. The Leader explained that these were extraordinary times, with COVID preventing routine savings over the past two years; uncertainty regarding government funding; high rates of Adult Social Care inflation and transformations in the Adult Social Care system all having an effect.  The funding settlement received from central government was larger than expected at £12.5 million, where we had only forecasted receiving £5 million. However, future funding settlements were still uncertain and there were many unknowns. The budget equalisation reserve would be used to help address shortfalls. 


The Leader stated that Council Tax would increase 1.99% plus a 1% levy for Adult Social Care. Spending was not being cut, more money was being spent this year, although not always in the same places as previously. Difficult decisions had to be made and there were issues around car parking and staffing savings to consider. Overall, this was strategic budget with long term plans that Wiltshire Council could fund.


At the Leaders invitation Andy Brown (Corporate Director Resources, Deputy Chief Executive and s151 Officer) stated that the budget proposals were a three year plan, where financial resilience and sustainability were key considerations, and this budget improved on the position of previous years. For the next two years a balanced budget was proposed, however, there was still a shortfall at the end of three years that would need to be addressed.


The union representatives then had an opportunity to make statements and ask questions regarding the Budget.


John Drake (UNISON) highlighted the concern and anger of his members regarding the proposals. He stated that Union Members were facing a proposed hike in National Insurance, a cost of living increase, below inflation pay rises and the removal of enhancements and changes in terms and conditions. All of this made other authorities look more attractive to work for and may result in a loss of staff for Wiltshire Council.


Alan Tomala (UNITE) also stated that they had received a large volume of negative feedback from their members on the changes to terms and conditions.


Mike Osment (UNISON) stated that there had been some movement since December with the larger than expected government settlement and in light of that urged the Council to reconsider the proposals. Feedback regarding the proposed changes to the terms and conditions was the worst he had ever received.


The Leader responded that the various staffing proposals from officers included dealing with vacant posts and also the proposed changes to terms and conditions which were under consultation. He acknowledged the points being made and stated that the discussions and consultations should continue.


Mike Osment (UNISON) commented on the proposed increase in car parking rates and whether Wiltshire Council had fully considered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.




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