To consider a report from the Head of Democratic Services that introduces the Executive Board’s initial budget proposals for 2021/22 for consideration, review and comment on matters and proposals that fall within the Scrutiny Board’s remit.
The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report that introduced the Executive Board’s initial budget proposals for 2021/22 for consideration, review and comment on matters and proposals that fall within the Scrutiny Board’s remit.
The report acknowledged that Scrutiny Boards had already considered the proposed budget savings proposals that were approved by Executive Board in September, October and November and that a composite Statement summarising Scrutiny feedback during this first phase of consultation was presented to the Executive Board during its meeting on 16th December 2020 for consideration.
However, a further £5.2m of potential savings across the Council were also approved by the Executive Board during its meeting on 16th December 2020 and subsequently submitted for wider consultation with stakeholders, including Scrutiny. A copy of the relevant Executive Board report was therefore appended for the Scrutiny Board’s consideration.
It was noted that any additional comments or recommendations made by the Scrutiny Board would inform a further ‘phase 2’ composite Statement by Scrutiny to be submitted to the Executive Board for consideration at its meeting in February 2021.
The following were in attendance:
- Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Executive Member for Adults, Health and Active Travel
- Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles
- Cath Roff, Director, Adults and Health
- Victoria Eaton, Director of Public Health, Adults and Health
- Shona McFarlane, Deputy Director Social Work and Social Care Services
- Steve Hume, Chief Officer, Resources and Strategy, Adults and Health
- John Crowther, Head of Finance, Resources and Housing
- Jill Stuart, Principal Financial Manager
- Steven Baker, Active Leeds Business Manager, City Development
- Phil Evans, Chief Officer, Operations, City Development
The Chief Officer for Resources and Strategy introduced the report, noting that no additional budget saving proposals for Adults and Health and City Development had been identified in the December Executive Board report at Appendix 1 to the report.
Members discussed a number of matters, including:
· Leeds Sailing Activity Centre. Reference was made to the service review proposal surrounding Yeadon Tarn Sailing Centre as it was noted that the Phase 1 Scrutiny Statement to Executive Board had made reference to this facility predominantly being used by schools primarily within the Yeadon area. However, it was clarified during the meeting that while the facility is still predominantly used by schools, these are primarily from the North Leeds area. It was therefore noted that this correction would be reflected within the Scrutiny Statement being submitted to the Executive Board for its February meeting. In the meantime, Members requested the full list of schools who use the centre.
· Neighbourhood Networks. Reference was again made to the Strategic Commissioning (Older Adults) proposals to reduce funding to a number of third sector organisations, including Neighbourhood Network Services. While acknowledging that consultation with the sector on this proposal was still ongoing, Members were informed of the Council’s attempt to mitigate some of the impact on Neighbourhood Networks in particular by seeking to provide a £0.5 million one off payment through the use of the Test and Trace funding in recognition of the key support that the Neighbourhood Network Service gave during the pandemic. This was considered a significant amount in the context of the annual budget for the Neighbourhood Network Service being around £2.5 million.
a) That the 2021/22 budget proposals as presented be noted;
b) That the Board’s comments are reflected as part of the Scrutiny submission to Executive Board for its consideration.