To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Financial Services) presenting a number of revenue savings proposals following the review exercises which have been undertaken. The proposals fall either within the ‘Business as Usual’ category which can be implemented within the Council’s delegated decision making framework, or ‘Service Reviews’ which may require meaningful consultation with relevant stakeholders prior to any decisions being taken, with those decisions being informed by the outcomes of such consultation.
The Chief Officer (Financial Services) submitted a report presenting several revenue savings proposals following ongoing review processes which continued to be undertaken across Council services. The proposals were designated as either ‘Business as Usual’, which could be implemented within the Council’s delegated decision making framework, or as ‘Service Reviews’ which may require meaningful consultation with relevant stakeholders prior to any decisions being taken, with those decisions being informed by the outcomes of such consultation.
Members discussed the approach being taken by the Council with regard to Minimum Revenue Provision and also Council borrowing.
Responding to a Member’s enquiry, the Board discussed the service reviews taking place, and the approach being taken across directorates in relation to such reviews and savings proposals. In conclusion, the Member in question was offered the opportunity of a briefing on such matters, if required.
(a) That the ‘Business as Usual’ savings, as detailed within the submitted report, be noted, with it also being noted that decisions to give effect to them shall be taken by the relevant Director or Chief Officer in accordance with the Officer Delegation Scheme (Executive functions);
(b) That agreement be given for consultation to commence with regard to the two ‘Service Review’ proposals presented, with it being noted that decisions to give effect to them shall be taken by the relevant Director or Chief Officer, following any consultation period, in accordance with the Officer Delegation Scheme (Executive functions);
(c) That with specific regard to the ‘Review of Adult Social Work Provision’ Service Review as detailed within the submitted report:-
(i) Approval be given to the proposal to invest £660,253 to deliver a pilot that uses Occupational Therapy and additional Social Worker staff at “the front door” to maximise capacity to meet growing demand for information and advice and demand for a social care assessment of needs, embedding an “independence first” approach; with the Board noting that this investment could generate £1.552m cost avoidance savings during 2022-23;
(ii) Approval be given to the proposal to invest £646,323 to deliver a pilot of a new Community Reviewing Team that includes Occupational Therapy and Social Work staff to enhance the capacity of the current Adult Reviewing Team, in order to deliver an increased reviewing schedule; with the Board noting that this investment is anticipated to deliver £3.3m from 2022–2025;
(iii) That it be noted that when accounting for annual investment costs over the 3 years, total overall projected savings are £3.6m;
(iv) That it be noted that the impacts of the above proposals will inform a longer-term model of area social work for the city;
(d) That it be noted that the savings proposals for 2022/23, as presented within the submitted report, combined with the savings proposals brought to the Executive Board at its September 2021 meeting support a draft balanced budget for 2022/23 and the Council’s financial position for the following two years, as set out within the accompanying report submitted for consideration elsewhere on the agenda entitled, ‘Proposed Budget for 2022/23 and Provisional Budgets for 2023/24 and 2024/25’;
(e) That it be noted that further savings will be required in order to close the Council’s estimated budget in the years 2023/24 and 2024/25, and that related proposals will be brought to future meetings of this Board.