Scrutiny Committees 30th January 2015: Public Question Time‏

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Q1 The Future of Southwest One (SW0)

The media has reported that Avon and Somerset Police and Wiltshire Police are moving towards sharing services (IT, HR and payroll etc.)

a)    Was Somerset County Council (as a partner in the Joint Venture Company-Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council, Avon and Somerset Police and IBM – known as Southwest One) consulted?

b)    Has this been included in the corporate risk log?

c)    What steps are being taken to ensure there is no detriment to Somerset County Council?

d)    What progress is being made to bring back (insource) services from SW0 as the contract ends in 2017?

Q2 This question relates to the MTFP (draft papers)

2015 January 30 Item 4B MTFP Appendix C(ii) Savings by Decision Type

and

2015 January 30 Item 5B MTFP Appendix C(ii) Savings by Decision Type

–       Cabinet

–       Cabinet Member Key

–       Cabinet Member Non-key

–       Officer Non-key

–       Alternative funding source identified – No change to service

–       Over achievement of previous years savings

–       Fee reduction – No decision

a)    Can the “savings” be identified by decision type (by the number of and amount per type)?

      b)  Can an explanation of the difference between “savings” and “cuts” be provided?

Q3 i) Please explain why the Council Tax 0% increase (freeze) “incentive” is not identified separately in the 2015/16 Service Control Totals and the Movement in Core Funding Streams (Annex A) in the 2020 Vision document – link below (when other similar politically controlled Local Authorities are planning a 1.99% Council Tax increase)?

http://www.somerset.gov.uk/policies-and-plans/plans/medium-term-financial-plan/

ii) Is the Council Tax Freeze grant approximately £2m?

iii) Can a separate budget paper be produced showing the element mentioned in i) and the impact of 0.5%, 1%, 1.5%, 1.99%, 2.5%, increase in Council Tax?   The 2020 paper shows that a 1% increase is equivalent to £1.8m?

iv) Would a £1.99% increase in Council Tax – on a par with inflation – help to alleviate the pressures in Children’s and Adults Social Care?

Q4 The government announced in a press release (29.01.15 –https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-funds-to-kickstart-joint-working-with-nhs-and-councils-this-winter ) that there is more money for social care. How much will this council get? Will the MTFP be amended for 2015/16?

“Q5 What steps and measures is SCC taking to address the difference between the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) spending power increase (+0.4%) for Somerset County Council with the 2020 Vision (P25http://www.somerset.gov.uk/policies-and-plans/plans/medium-term-financial-plan/ ) assessment of a reduction in spending power (-3.7%)?”

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