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Declarations of Interest, if any.
There were no declarations were reported at the meeting.
[A period not exceeding 20 minutes for statements from up
to 5 members of the public on matters within the
Committee’s remit, proposing action(s) which may be
considered or contribute towards the future development of
the Committee’s work programme].
There were no public statements made at the meeting.
The Committee received a report on the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2020/21 – 2022/2023. The Director of Corporate Resources provided Members with an overview, stating that the Council had set a budget strategy for the next 3 years and the balance position for 19/20 was already known to be in deficit. It was stated that proposals had been developed in advance of the normal budget cycle to enable the Council to form a number of assumptions outlined within the report. This would ensure that appropriate consultation was undertaken with the public, staff and other groups so that the proposals would be ready for April 2020. An outline of the appendices to the report was provided to Members, highlighting the addition of Appendix G, which presented the level of service costs for each service area.
Following the brief overview, the Chair stated that the Panel had highlighted 4 areas to focus upon as follows:-
(1) To what extent are the Mayor’s proposals in line with central government policy, pressures and directives?
(2) To what extent will the Mayor’s proposal ensure that the Council is able to contribute to the outcomes detailed within Doncaster Growing Together & the Corporate Report bearing in mind the constraints detailed above?
(3) To what extent do the Mayor’s proposals take account of consultation or proposed consultation, research or other evidence?; and
(4) To consider the challenges and risks to the delivery of these proposals.
The Committee sought Officers views on whether the proposals increased pressure on Adult Social Care budgets. Members were advised that improvements were possible although it was essential that Doncaster residents received the correct support when it was needed. It was stressed that it was important to get the basics right which would enable a shift towards improving prevention. It was considered that it was important to note the significant investments being made by the Council in community support and have the right conversations with Doncaster people to navigate them to the right support within their local communities.
Reference was made to the workforce as the authority’s biggest asset and a need to provide greater clarity about the way they worked both within the Council and with partners across Doncaster, for example with the hospital and working early to intercept demand.
In reference to the Residential Short Breaks detailed with Appendix E, it was acknowledged that carers provided an invaluable role and the focus needed to be around how the short breaks facility could be made more appealing to the remaining 32% (of people who were not receiving the service of short breaks when there were facilities available). Further clarity was sought about the savings and whether the Council received payment if there was an increase to 100% occupied. It was explained that the cost in service would remain the same and it was about the cost of carer breakdown and people having to be accommodated elsewhere that was looking to be addressed.
Clarification was sought on the certainty or uncertainty with regard to ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
The Committee considered the Overview and Scrutiny work programme for 2019/20.
Each of the Panel Chair’s provided the Committee with an update of areas their Panel was focussing on since the last meeting.
A brief update was provided to Members on the work carried out in relation to the engaged and empowered communities and devolved locality budgets. It was explained that a review was being undertaken and that OSMC had agreed the Terms of Reference. Members were informed that further benchmarking had taken place through visits to other Councils and work had been undertaken on the LTP and Ward Alliance. It was noted that there would be further meetings being arranged as part of the review and updates would be circulated in due course.
The Chair wished to thank all those who attended Barnsley Council and informed Members that its’ intended for a further visit to take place to Nottingham for evidence gathering and would encourage Members attendance.
i. Consideration was given to the Overview and Scrutiny Work Plan for 2019/20 at Appendix A and noted that it is a living document and will be reviewed and updated at each meeting of the Panel to include any relevant correspondence, updates, new issues and resources available to meet additional requests; and
ii. Considered and noted the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions attached at Appendix B