Minutes of the meetings of Cabinet held on 22 November 2018 and 20 December 2018 (copies enclosed)
The Leader of the Council will ask members if they have any questions on the minutes taking each page in turn. Members should state clearly the minute number of the item concerned.
The Leader presented the minutes of the Executive meetings held on 22 November 2018 and 20 December 2018.
Mr J Airey asked the Leader to outline how the consultation had been launched, and how the public were being engaged in the process. The Leader responded to say that the consultation exercise had now closed and the responses were currently being analysed. He confirmed that the consultation exercise met all the statutory requirements for a budget consultation exercise. Members noted the outcome of the consultation exercise would be included in the budget paper to full Council in February.
Mr P Dew asked the Leader whether there was any intention to close any more care beds, especially in the Appleby and Kirkby Stephen areas. The Leader confirmed there were no current plans for any additional closure of care homes, or removal of care beds in these divisions.
Mr L Fisher asked re Minute 61 – Development of the MTFP 2019-23 Council Plan that in future the figures for increases for Council Tax Bands in the consultation document be shown for each council tax band in relation to the County’s share of council tax; not just the estimated value of the increase from the proposed council tax increase set out in the consultation document.
In relation to Minute No 70 (B) – Response to Referral from South Lakeland Local Committee Mr Brereton reiterated his thanks to the Cabinet for agreeing to reconstitute the Windermere Ferry Committee. He asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport whether it was his intention to attend the meetings.
The Cabinet Member responded to say he would be happy to attend the inaugural meeting of this group, but it would be an advisory group of South Lakeland Local Committee. The Local Committee would therefore establish the membership, and call meetings. The Cabinet Member would ask officers to bring a report to the next meeting of South Lakeland Local Committee to take this forward.
Mr N Hughes asked if the Leader had any idea when the details of the shared Prosperity Fund might be shared with Members. The Leader responded to say an announcement was still awaited from Government on when the consultation would be launched, however, members had been lobbying the LGA to ensure that any replacement for EU finding was adequately resourced and flexible enough to allow projects to continue.
Mr P Dew asked how the council would be mitigating for the significant projected overspend in 2018/19, what accounted for the overspend, and what plans were in place to resolve this significant issue.
The Leader responded to say that the areas of the Council’s activities which were subject to the greatest pressures were in the People Directorate, which included both children’s and adult services. Both of these services had seen increases in the demand for services, an increase in the complexity of cases and also a significant increase in the cost of procuring these services.
To mitigate this the Council was looking to procure additional provision within Cumbria to avoid sending users out of county, which was costly, and was also developing a programme of work to try to reduce overspend in other areas. However, members did not underestimate the task of trying to reduce the forecasted overspends. Figures published recently indicate that 88% of all local authorities with responsibility for Children’s Services faced the same difficulties.
Members shared the concerns about the increase in the cost of procuring the services.
Mr J Airey asked why the IRMP consultation was launched at the Cabinet meeting on 20 December and not the previous one held in November. In the past this consultation had been launched at the same time as the budget consultation.
The Leader accepted that in the past the IRMP had been launched at the same time as the budget consultation, outlining that the IRMP was a Risk Plan that was currently going through consultation and although there may be financial consequences from this, it was not part of the budget process.