To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance and Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus and Engagement
The report provides an update upon the Cabinet’s proposed approach to responding to the opportunities, challenges and uncertainty outlined within the review of the medium-term financial plan presented at the Cabinet meeting on the 21st September 2021.
Our focus remains on progressing our collective ambitions for Stockport by delivering impactful and outcomes-focussed transformational change for communities and businesses across Stockport. However, we have long recognised that a resilient budget is key to this by enabling us to face and respond to the unprecedented uncertainty ahead.
This report builds on previous updates to scrutiny and cabinet providing the latest considerations on how we intend to address financial and demand challenges, enable longer term transformation and shared ambitions.
The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.
Officer Contact: Holly Rae on 0161 474 3014 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Corporate Director (Corporate and Support Services) & Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the Cabinet’s proposed approach to responding to the opportunities, challenges and uncertainty outlined within the review of the Medium-Term Financial Plan which had been presented at the Cabinet meeting held on 21 September 2021.
The report included an update on the previous reports to scrutiny and Cabinet providing the latest considerations on how the Council intended to address financial and demand challenges, enable longer term transformation and shared ambitions.
The Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning and Governance (Councillor Tom McGee) the meeting to respond to Members’ questions.
The following comments were made/issues raised:-
· The impact of the increase in wholesale energy prices on the budget was raised.
· The reduction in AGMA fees were supported.
· The risks in the Care Market were highlighted. There was a need to ensure that the Care Market was financially sustainable and able to continue to provide appropriate and required care provision. It was noted that the Government had announced no new funding for its health and adult social care reforms.
· The deletion of some of the school crossing patrols needed to be assessed against where they were needed most. It was pointed out that the Council was experiencing difficulties in recruiting to some of the posts. Reference was made to the motion which had been approved at the Council Meeting on 15 July 2021 and included agreement to explore and identify where school crossing patrols could be reintroduced outside schools to further address road safety issues around schools.
· With regard to the Radically Digital programme of work, it was queried whether the Council had considered creating an Application Programming Interface (API) platform.
· The removal of newspapers and magazines in libraries would save a considerable amount of money, but access to them digitally was an important issue to be considered.
· With regard to Appendix 3 on ‘Robust Corporate Governance’, a Member enquired what organisational design work had been carried out as part of the Vacancy Management project and the challenges considered around workforce engagement. It was clarified that the savings from working in a hybrid workplace would be assessed as part of the Corporate Asset Review.
· It was commented that consideration should be given to reconsidering proposals to cut the highways discretionary budgets available to local area committees. Some of the Area Committees had been unable to spend their budgets because a moratorium had been put on new schemes.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.