Issue - meetings
Budget 2022/23 - Stage 2
(a) That the Committee supports the Social Services portfolio cost pressures;
(b) That there are no further cost efficiency areas identified by the Committee to be explored further; and
(c) That the Committee’s significant concerns around the scale of the changing and not fully quantifiable impacts going forward for services currently supported by the Integrated Care Fund and increases in National Insurance contributions be fed back to the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
The Chief Executive provided background information and context.
The Chief Executive and Corporate Finance Manager introduced the second budget stage report which detailed the forecast and the cost pressures which would make-up the total budget requirement.
A report to Cabinet and the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee in July provided an updated position on the budget for 2022/23. The cost pressures identified were referred to the respective Overview & Scrutiny Committees with a request that they all undergo a rigorous review. The details of the cost pressures for Social Services were included in the report.
The Chief Executive, Corporate Finance Manager, Senior Manager (Children and Workforce), Senior Manager – Safeguarding and Commissioning, and Senior Manager – Integrated Services and Lead Adults, provided a joint presentation which covered the following areas:
· purpose and background
· summary totals of cost pressures
o Social Services pressures
o School Budget pressures
· summary of all cost pressures
· out of county budget pressure
· strategic solutions
· update on efficiencies
· budget timelines
Councillor Dave Mackie referred to Social Services Pressures (1) in relation to the Children’s Residential Care home and suggested that as the Committee had agreed to this amount last year he suggested the Committee must agree to the pressure this year.
Councillor Hilary McGuill referred to the changes announced regarding National Insurance and that the costs would affect the Council as an employer and also the private sector and would have implications on the funding of the private sector going forward. The Chief Executive agreed and outlined the Councils’ position. He said this has been escalated to Ministers and would expect that key public sector bodies who commission and provide social care would get an extra enhancement to cover their own National Inurance costs. He added that the Council have put forward a case to Ministers with a view that the providers of Health & Social Care should be exempt from the National Insurance employers rate.
Councillor Carol Ellis referred to the pressure of £1.952m under Social Care Commissioning and felt that this did not reflect the current shortages and pressures regarding recruitment of staff – with pressures potentially much higher than £1.952m. She asked how much funding had been set aside in the MTFS to meet the ‘Real Living Wage’ and additional care provider costs and how much support the Council receive from Welsh Government (WG). In response the
Chief Executive advised that a letter from all six Council leaders in North Wales, supported by Police, Ambulance, Health and other partners, was being submitted to WG with a costed requirement around all of the issues raised to ease the pressure.
In response to a question from Councillor Dave Mackie regarding future business pressures in relation to the Children’s Services Group Homes, the Senior Manager – Children and Workforce advised that a business case had been developed which had identified a need to develop two new group homes for the next 3 years. He added that if the Council moved forward with that ambition the budget pressure would be ... view the full minutes text for item 35