The Executive Member for Finance, Councillor T. Schofield, submitted a report that set out the outcome of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s consideration of the draft budget for 2017/18.
A minor correction was noted in that recommendation 12(f) on page 15 of the papers should refer to the ‘Chief Executive’ preparing a report, rather than to ‘the Executive’.
The report included the relevant statutory powers, the outcome of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s considerations, legal, financial and equalities implications, consultation undertaken and policy framework considerations. The Executive received the full report of the Committee and considered its conclusions and recommendations.
In introducing this report to the Executive the Executive Member thanked Councillor N.D. Harrison for his hard work in chairing the Budget Scrutiny Review Panel in its consideration of the budget for 2017/18. He also expressed his gratitude to the Members of the Scrutiny Review Panel and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their contribution to a very important process.
It was noted that the Panel conducted a thorough review of the budget proposals, aided as in previous years, by a high number of advance questions. The report and recommendations of the Panel were subsequently considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in December.
Following its deliberations the Committee made six recommendations for the consideration of the Executive. These had been carefully considered by the Portfolio Holder who reflected on the Committee’s overall positive conclusions about the provisional budget proposals.
The Executive Member emphasised that since the Scrutiny Panel and Overview & Scrutiny Committee meetings the issues raised in relation to Corporate Plan Delivery Fund expenditure and proposals to increase the Borrowing Limit had been discussed further.
Officers had reviewed the list of potential Corporate Plan Delivery Fund expenditure items for 2017/18 and concluded that no changes to the list would be proposed at this time. It was noted that some of the expenditure was already committed and the remainder would be discussed with the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council before expenditure was agreed.
In respect of a report on lessons learnt from the recent attempt to increase the borrowing limit, a paper was being prepared by the Chief Executive and would be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in due course.
RESOLVED that the report of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on the service and financial plans for 2017/18 be accepted and the comments noted.
Reasons for decision: To take account of the views of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on their consideration of the service and financial plans for 2017/18.
Alternative options: Request that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee undertake additional scrutiny of all or part of the service and financial plans for 2017/18.