SOMERSET County Council: 19.02.14

Questions for Public Question Time:




Q.1 Relates to the recent decision to proceed (Option 2c) to create Social Enterprise (SE) model/venture for the Learning Disability Service.


1 There was a commitment to “involve staff, service users and their carers as the options were progressed in future.”?


2 How/what governance will be used to allow for genuine and meaningful involvement of service/users and carers?


3 Will carers/service users have a veto like power in the governance structure if they are representative and believe proposals are not in the best interests of service users/carers?


4 Who will draw up an “article of association”?


5 What powers will the investors, service users and carers, public fund providers and staff have respectively? How will people get onto the governing body and be removed?


6 Is there a model draft constitution/board structure available?


7 What duties and “expectations” will be different from the Companies Act?


8 How transparent and accountable will the SE “business” be?


9 Will it be subject to Freedom of Information requests and who can Audit and monitor the “contract” ?


10 Will the business case be constantly revised and fully reviewed (and taking into account changes in procurement legislation?)


11 How will the Social Value Act (2012) be incorporated into the “business case”


12 Have the issues and Questions and Answers (including written) raised at Scrutiny and Cabinet been shared with the CCG (which meets today)?


13 What involvement have Housing organisations had to date and is anticipated? Will bodies like Housing Associations be involved in the planning, design, investment, property portfolios, profit (surplus) sharing and service restructuring?


14 What will be the process for “housing” service users near friends and families?


15 Why will there be a two tier workforce with different pay and pensions? (“Cost savings”). Who will pay (and provide) for the training and development of the current and future workforce (and CPD) including career paths in Health and Social Care?


16 Who will ultimately be responsible for pay cuts? Commissioners (client) or providers (contractor)?


17 How will the Capital and revenue (MTFP) being applied in this budget to the LD service be modelled/taken account of in the business case?


18 What mechanism(s) will be used to prevent private equity investment (Southern Cross etc)?


19 Will the business case run an In-House comparison for bench marking purposes (and as an alternative position)?


20 Have the Lessons been learnt from other joint ventures as discussed at the Audit Committee on 13.02.14?



21 Can the current risk register and risk and issue log be supplied?


Q.2 Relates to the MTFP 30% cuts in Finance and Performance and Business Development for 2015/16.


a What assumptions have been made for this level of reduction in expenditure and services?


b Will these “savings” appear as “expenditure” in contractual payments elsewhere, ie public funds transferred to the private sector? How will the transfer of funds (externalisation) be monitored and mapped?


c Have the risks of projected externalisation(s) been incorporated into the service plans “going forward” (and modelled realistically)?


d How will these “savings” improve public service delivery?  


Q.3 Relates to the NJC pay claim 2014/15


What are the current views on the pay claim (SCC/South West Councils and the LGA)? Will the 2014/15 pay offer match inflation?



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