Agenda item

REPSONSES TO THE BUDGET WORKING GROUP REPORT 2024-25

Minutes:

Councillor Pascall, the Vice Chair, updated the Committee taking it through all eighteen recommendations and highlighted the following points;

 

·        In relation to the   Savings and Transformation Strategy, a report was due to be provided to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration at its meeting scheduled for 19th June 2024; and

 

·        That ‘spend and save’ projects should be broken down into select committee areas and the information be included in the quarterly financial monitoring reports that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee receives; and

 

·       The capital programme was reported as part of the quarterly financial monitoring reports. The Working Group recommended that the housing revenue account should be reported at the same time as the rest of the Council’s accounts; and

 

·        In relation to funding of the Notting Hill Carnival, Maxine Holdsworth Chief Executive of the Council, disclosed that she had recently met with representatives of the Greater London Authority, to look at the possibilities in relation to establishing a new funding mechanism. Ms Holdsworth said it was unfair that the Council, along with Westminster City Council, shouldered a disproportionate cost.

 

·       Ms Holdsworth, in response to Committee questioning, said that whilst the carnival did generate revenue for the Council, such as the issuing of street trading licences, they did not cover the cost to the Council of hosting it.

 

·        Two additional areas for street trading had been identified but increasing the number of street trading licences would be challenging given space constraints, maintaining the carnival’s character, as well as public safety. There were also legislative constraints.

 

·       Councillor Pascall planned to meet with Lisa Taylor, Director of Financial Management in due course in relation to the pace of £100 million investment in Council Net Zero 2030; and 

 

·         Regarding transformation programmes including the two percent staff savings., Councillor Pascall said that this was a matter for the Environment Select Committee to pursue.

 

·        Regarding the contract to refurbish Chelsea Bridge, the Environment Select Committee considered a briefing note on 18 March 2024 in relation to what it would entail, possible costs and risks. Councillor Pascall said that pending further information there was nothing further to report and that the Environment Select Committee should pursue the matter going forward.

 

·        In relation to proposed quarterly reports relating to the redesigning of delivery of children and family services to address future budgetary gaps, Jacqui Hird, Scrutiny Manager disclosed that the annual work programme for the Family Services Select Committee was being drawn up and this would involve liaising with the Chair and officers in relation to reporting. This would also include information on budget proposals relating to improving service efficiency.

 

·       The Family Services Select Committee was due to consider a report on the first year’s activities of the 0-5 Strategy on 9 May 2024.

 

·        Councillor Pascall said that the Working Group were supportive of the North Kensington Social Justice Archive. However, it was unlikely that a report for the Family Services Select Committee would be ready before Spring 2025. The Committee asked that the Family and Children Services Select Committee maintain oversight on progress until the report was ready.

 

·        Regular updates on the provision of temporary accommodation would be scheduled for the Housing and Communities Select Committee. The Chair clarified that it would be for the Housing and Communities Select Committee to determine the frequency of reporting. Ms Holdsworth recommended quarterly reporting owing to the volatility of available temporary accommodation.

 

·        Councillor Pascall requested that Ms Hird co-ordinate responses from officers for the Chair of the Housing and Communities Select Committee in relation to a report on the consolidation of the progress and impacts of budget proposals for the voluntary and community sector.

 

Action by; Scrutiny Manager

 

Councillor Pascall also requested that Ms Hird co-ordinate responses from officers for the Chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee in relation to Adults Social Care’s duty to provide services under the Care Act 2014.

 

Action by; Scrutiny Manager

 

Ms Hird drew the Committee’s attention to the to the ongoing consultation on mental health services in inner-West London. The final decision, which is due to be made later in July 2024. This would have implications for provision of mental health services in the Borough. The Inner West London Mental Health Configuration Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which was scrutinising the proposals, was due to hold meetings in June, July and September. Councillor Knight, in her capacity as, Chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee is a member of the Committee.

 

The Chair concluded the discussion.

 

 

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