Agenda and draft minutes

Budget, Joint Select Committee - Tuesday, 27th February, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA

No. Item


Election of Chair


County Councillor J. Pratt was elected as Chair. 


Appointment of Vice-Chair


County Councillor M. Feakins was elected as Vice Chair.


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.


Final Budget Proposals



To scrutinise the Revenue and Capital Budget 2018/19 final proposals following public consultation.


Key Issues:

The Joint Select Committee met to consider the Councils response (savings) to the additional pressures identified during the budget process (most notably recurring overspends arising from month 7 revenue budget monitoring and the notification of APT&C pay award for 2018-19). The Joint Select meeting presented an opportunity for the proposals to be aired and scrutinised, as opposed to being agreed, which is a matter for full Council. The Joint Select meeting enabled discussion and challenge of the priorities across the range of services and therefore scrutiny of the budget.


The Cabinet Member for Resources, County Councillor P. Murphy provided a presentation on the budget proposals updated from the version consulted upon.  The changes made were highlighted. 


Cabinet Members were welcomed to the meeting to provide responses to questions specific to their portfolio area.  Officers were present for clarification of technical points.


It was resolved to allow a contribution from a member of the public, Mr. A. Crowhurst, representing Monmouthshire-based disability support group, CAIR.


Member Scrutiny:

Following the Cabinet Member’s presentation, questions and observations were invited.


Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, County Councillor R. John responded to questions. 


A Member asked, with the changes to Universal Credit due, if there were plans for the authority to transfer the administration of Free School Meals (FSM) to the Revenue Team as in Torfaen.  One of the outcomes of that change has been a 12% increase in take up of FSM that effects an increase in Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDG).  It was responded that the authority is considering the same course of action and confirmed that children eligible for Free School meals they should receive them. 


Disappointment was expressed at the £1 increase in fees for before school clubs to cover the child care element, noting that although some parents have well paid jobs, often other people experience hardship and for whom this facility is a great help. It was requested that consideration is given to ways of alleviating this pressure for families in most poverty. It was explained that this had been a difficult decision to take and the proposal had been reduced from £2 to £1 to be in the mid-range of charges made by other authorities.  Impact on the most vulnerable families has been taken into account and children eligible for FSM will not pay the additional charge that begins in September.


It was questioned if anything can be done to mitigate the impact of the increase of 35p for school meals on families who are just about managing especially in addition to the before school club charge and increased council tax.  It was suggested that the resulting cost due to the increase in school administrators’ tasks related to the changes would prevent savings in real terms.


The Cabinet Member provided assurance that the effect of the changes will be closely monitored and any adverse consequences to risk groups will be reviewed.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Integrated Commissioning and Section Agreement for Care Homes for Older People in Gwent Region pdf icon PDF 602 KB


Key Issues:


Partnership Agreement for Pooled Budget Arrangements for Care Homes for Older People in the context of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act (2014) which sets out:


·         Duties and expectations around partnership working.

·         A Regional Partnership Board (RPB) comprising ABUHB, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen Local Authorities, 2 county voluntary service organisations and representatives of the regional citizen’s panel and provider forum.

·         The RPB will undertake an assessment of population health and social care need, and developing an area plan to meet those needs.


A major priority for the RPB is the development of arrangements to pool funds for care home arrangements and the establishment of a partnership agreement (Section 33 Agreement) to enable integrated commissioning and pooled funds for care home

Accommodation to be in place by April 2018, subject to approval by all partners.


The Gwent region has been the pilot area for Wales to develop a Model Partnership Agreement (MPA) for pooled budget arrangements for older people.


The scope of the agreement, and its design principles, were aligned to the draft priorities for older people contained in the Population Needs Assessment (PNA) and the draft Area Plan which is currently the subject of consultation.


A 2016 national analysis of the current size and scope of the care home sector showed that in 2015/16 there were


·         nearly 18,000 placements by local authorities and health boards, which included 4,877 placements of people funding their own care.

·         There were 21,823 registered beds in care homes for older people on the census date and the combined local authority and health board spend was approximately £369 million excluding client contributions, third party payments and the fees paid by those individuals who fund their own care.


RPBs will be expected to develop written agreements concerning any formal partnership arrangements which involve a delegation of function.  Partners can make arrangements for the establishment and maintenance of a ‘pooled fund’ which is made up of contributions from the partners to allow payments to be made towards expenditure incurred in the exercise of National Health Service functions or health-related (Local Authority) functions in arranging care for Older People (over 65) in Registered Homes.  Any changes to this approach will require further approval by all partners to the agreement.


Initial market analysis, as at September 2017, shows there were a total of 95 care homes for older people in the Gwent region offering 3,363 beds. There is a mixture of sole providers that own and operate one home, medium sized providers that own and operate more than one home and a number of national companies that operate care homes across the region.  Few homes are registered solely for residential, residential care for people with dementia, nursing or nursing care for people with dementia. Many homes offer a combination of beds, across all types of care e.g. dual registration for residential and nursing or dual residential and nursing care for people with dementia. Appendix 1.

Current risks and challenges in the care home sector  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.