Issue - meetings

Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20

Meeting: 29/10/2018 - Communities & Housing Scrutiny Committee (Item 4)

4 Medium Term Financial Plan - Implementation Plans pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Communities & Housing.

 

The Cabinet have been preparing its medium term strategy in response to its medium term financial plan. The latest update was presented in October. This frames the choices the Council will make about its budget both next year and in future years aligned to five key themes:

 

·         Getting more out of our spending;

·         Improving citizen experience;

·         Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

·         Sharing services with other organisations;

·         Enabling an organisation fit for the future.

 

This latest update is presented to scrutiny for consideration and is comprised of:

 

·         An overview report summarising the strategy and budget choices;

·         Appendix for each theme which outlines the strategic direction and ambition for each theme as well as a suite of proposals for 2019/20.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to:-

 

·         comment upon the strategic direction of travel outlined in the overall report and across the five themes; and

·         comment on the report and the proposals presented within the report relevant to the remit of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae on 0161 474 3014 or email: holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) seeking the views of the Scrutiny Committee in respect to the strategic direction of travel outlined in the overall report and across the five themes and to comment specifically on the proposals presented in the report relevant to the remit of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         Concern was expressed at the proposal that the waste collection calendar would only be available online in the future.

·         The consultation and discussions being held with trade unions in respect to any proposed staffing reductions.

·         Councillors requested that further information be circulated in respect to the evidence base for proposals relating to grass cutting and street cleaning frequencies. It was suggested that where possible wild flowers be planted to mitigate the impact of reduced grass verge cutting.

·         The Committee discussed the profoundly difficult situation that the Council faced due to the cuts in Local Government Funding resulting in a saving requirement of £47m in the forthcoming financial year’s acknowledging that very difficult decisions would need to be made which would affect the most vulnerable people in the community.

·         Concern was expressed in respect to proposals relating to the removal of Highways delegated budgets from Area Committees. A number of Councillors expressed the view that the Area Committee should retain this budget. Whilst acknowledging that some wards carried over funding on a regular basis, Councillors also recounted efforts they had made to progress schemes that had taken a considerable amount of time which made the spending of the budget problematic at times.

·         It was suggested, and a number of Councillors agreed, that if the Area Committees retained the Highways delegated budget in the future any monies left over or not committed at the end of the financial year be clawed back.

·         The Chair commented that she welcomed the proposals relating to fees and charges although she did express concern in respect to the proposals relating to public realm and asked that alternatives be explored.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted and that the comments be referred to the Cabinet Member (Communities and Housing) for consideration.


Meeting: 02/10/2018 - Cabinet (Item 7)

7 MTFP Cabinet Response: Our Budget Choices for 2019/20 (LDR68) pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To consider a joint report of the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance & Devolution and the Cabinet Member for Reform and Governance.

 

The MTFP Summer Review presented in August outlined a challenging horizon ahead for Stockport and the context for tough decisions ahead to ensure our Council is best able to meet the priorities and needs of our communities. This report is the latest update to the Cabinet’s approach to addressing these significant challenges. Building on the medium term strategy presented at the last Cabinet meeting, this paper introduces draft budget choices for consideration and further engagement.

 

This includes implementation plans across the five themes within the medium term strategy:

 

           Getting more out of our spending;

           Improving citizen experience;

           Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

           Sharing services with other organisations;

           Enabling an organisation fit for the future.

 

The Cabinet is recommended to:

 

      Discuss the progress outlined within this report;

      Consider the recommendation relating to Council Tax and the Social Care precept outlined in section 2;

      Consider the proposals outlined in section 3 and within the appendices and with regards to these areas:

        Note the commitment to share further detail on identified areas outlined in section 4 with Scrutiny;

        Commence appropriate consultation and engagement on proposals;

        Invite scrutiny committees to discuss and comment upon proposals relating to their remit.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae / Jonathan Davies, 0161 474 3014 / 218 1025, holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk / jonathan.davies@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance & Devolution submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Cabinet to agree the next steps in addressing the significant financial challenges facing the Council, building on the approach agreed by the Cabinet at the meeting in August 2018. The report introduced draft budget choices for consideration and further engagement and included implementation plans across the five themes within the medium term strategy, some of which would require implementation beyond 2019/20:

 

·         Getting more out of our spending;

·         Improving citizen experience;

·         Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

·         Sharing services with other organisations;

·         Enabling an organisation fit for the future.

 

The Leader of the Council emphasised the challenges facing the Council and their commitment to addressing them while seeking to protect frontline services and the most vulnerable members of the community.

 

The Leader of the Council highlighted that the approach adopted by the Cabinet was to seek to reform services and maximise opportunities to generate income in order to minimise the impact on Council Services but that inevitably, given the scale of the savings requirement, there would have to be cuts to services. He further emphasised the commitment of the Cabinet to minimise rises in Council Tax and the proposal to seek a 2.99% increase rather than the 3.99% rise the Council could agree before triggering a referendum.

 

Cabinet members stressed the importance of public and stakeholder engagement and consultation in developing final proposals, and outlined some of the specific challenges facing their portfolio. It was also commented that the MTFP process had also provided opportunities for the Council to invest in innovation, such as the customer experience, that should benefit residents as well as save money.

 

It was further commented that many of the difficult decisions the Cabinet would have to make in the coming months were not ones they wished to make but were the result of decisions taken out with of the Council.

 

RESOLVED – That in relation to the Medium Term Financial Plan Cabinet Response: Our Budget Choices for 2019/20:-

 

·         the progress outlined within this report be noted;

·         the proposals relating to Council Tax and the Social Care precept outlined in section 2 of the report be endorsed;

·         the proposals outlined in section 3 of the report and within the appendices be endorsed and with regard to those areas:

­   the commitment to share further detail on identified areas outlined in section 4 with scrutiny committees be noted;

­   the commencement of appropriate consultation and engagement on proposals be approved;

­   scrutiny committees to discuss and comment upon proposals relating to their remit.