Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Paul Pavia declared an interest as a consultant for Practice Solutions Ltd. who hold the contract for ADSS Cymru, the Association of the Directors of Social Services in Wales.

 

2.

Public Open Forum

Minutes:

No members of the public were present.

 

3.

Budget Monitoring: Scrutiny of the budget monitoring capital and revenue position at Month 7, setting the context for scrutiny of budget proposals. pdf icon PDF 919 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Tyrone Stokes presented the report and answered the members’ questions with additional comments from Jonathan Davies and Cabinet member Phil Murphy.

The Outturn forecast shows the deficit increasing from £24k in Month 2 to £180k in Month 7 – is that mostly from the pandemic?

To put this into context, we have a roughly £8m budget for the Adult division, so the overspend in relation to the total is very small. The overspend itself is not related to Covid but is due to the over-and-above budgeted pay award for staff, and not meeting the 2% efficiency for frontline operations. Salary budgets have a 2% efficiency saving taken off but for the frontline services can’t keep the vacancies open, which leaves them unable to make that efficiency saving.

For Social Care, Health and Safeguarding, there is a £69k overspend, largely due to the increased cost of care packages – what is the risk to care homes, and their financial state?

The Care market is being helped significantly by the Welsh Government Covid Hardship Fund, which allows us to make payments to Care Homes for any void beds that they have, and give them a £50 per week allowance to help them to get over the pandemic. We don’t see any significant risk currently because the Hardship Fund is in place until 30th March. We don’t know, however, what resources Welsh Government will commit as we come out of the pandemic – we won’t be able to go from the pandemic to the ‘new normal’ without some sort of transition.

Could a further breakdown be given of the overspend vs. underspend?

The Adult Select portfolio includes the Adult budget, which is an overspend of £180k, which is offset by a £4k underspend in Community Care, a £103k underspend in Commissioning and a £4k underspend in Resources and Performance. Adding them all together gives a net overspend of £69k.

What is the reason for the underspend in Commissioning?

Due to the pandemic, there are several schemes that can’t recommence e.g. day services, due to the close proximity in one building; we have done a lot of outreach support for those clients. We have therefore seen many natural savings such as building overheads, for example. Also, we have had a Commissioner Officer post vacant for over a year – plans to recruit to that have been delayed, and have added to the underspend.

Day care centres aren’t open as they were before because of lockdown. If there are savings in this area, can we ensure that when lockdown is lifted, these centres are still sustainable?

The savings will be there next year in order to facilitate the re-opening of day care centres, or whatever new provision we might decide to put in its place.

Regarding the capital slippage for Crick Care home, will there be any long-term problems as a result? Have the deadlines been extended?

Crick Road is a partnership with Aneurin Bevan via Welsh Government funding, which AB hosts.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Budget Scrutiny: Scrutiny of the budget proposals for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Please use this link to access the papers for this item - available as part of the 20th January 2021 Cabinet agenda. 

 

https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=144&MId=4793&Ver=4

 

 

Minutes:

1.       Budget Scrutiny: Scrutiny of the budget proposals for 2021/22

Jonathan Davies and Tyrone Stokes delivered the presentation and answered the members’ questions with Ian Saunders and Peter Davies.

This committee previously had a report that said the Disabled Facility Grant will be reduced to £600k from £900k?

The support for the £900k capital budget for DFGs has been in the proposals for a number of years now. So continuation at that level, above £600k, has been reported for a while, with £900k as the base budget. We aren’t sure which report is referred to but we can check that.

The Disabled Facility Grant includes Safety At Home, the amount for which is going up – is the £900k for DFG definite, and how much of it is the DFGs, rather than Safety At Home?

We try to be as flexible with that on a year-by-year basis as we can. We work closely with Social Care around that split because we know how important safety at home is. Around £100k of that budget goes to safety at home but we will be flexible, and will take our steer from OTEs and Care And Repair in relation to the levels of expenditure. In addition to our budget we also have Enable, which is a Welsh Government grant that helps us to build in some flexibility around adaptation.

Covid is splitting society – is the council acknowledging the number of people going through resultant difficulties, and what effect will this have on the budget’s distribution?

As we exit the pandemic, we don’t know what’s around the corner or what the new level will be. In terms of addressing the pandemic, the Welsh Government Covid Hardship Fund has allowed us to address the pressures in the Care sector as well – this is support across the board, covering younger adults (including those with physical and mental disabilities) and older adults (to help to stabilise the marketplace and address those needs as we go through the pandemic.) There was significant investment in this year’s budget for physically and learning disabled adults: £1.044m. We have tried to address all of the population’s needs, not leaving anyone behind, and are committed to continuing that.

The figures from Stats Wales don’t agree with Monmouthshire’s – can this be addressed?

The reason is that our budget, which we label as ‘DFGs’, should probably be ‘Disabled Adaptations’, so it has proved to be a bit misleading.

Regarding the increase in fees for residential and non-residential care: what effect would the £100 cap have on the residential side? How does the cap operate?

In terms of charging, we follow the Social Services and Wellbeing Act that was introduced in 2014 by Welsh Government. For non-residential services it covers care in the home or community (day centres and respite), and the amount that we can charge anybody is capped at £100 per week. To arrive at that, they go through a means-tested assessment. If they are assessed that they can  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 20th October 2020. pdf icon PDF 462 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were confirmed and signed as an accurate record.

 

6.

Adults Select Committee Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 499 KB

7.

Council Cabinet ICMD Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 198 KB

8.

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 16th March 2021