Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions
Contact: James Kinsella (Democratic Services) 020 8379 4041
Apologies for Absence (if any)
Members of the Council are invited to identify any personal or prejudicial interests relevant to items on the agenda. A definition of personal and prejudicial interests has been attached for members’ information.
No members of the Committee had any personal or prejudicial interests to declare in respect of items on the agenda.
Enfield’s scrutiny function has this year decided to pilot a new approach towards consideration of the Council’s budget consultation proposals. This has involved the establishment of a Scrutiny Budget Commission to consider the consultation proposals at a single meeting.
The Scrutiny Budget Commission is therefore being asked to:
(a) seek comments on and consider the London Borough of Enfield’s 2007/08 revenue and capital budget consultation proposals, as set out in the Council’s Budget Consultation paper;
(b) to prepare a response on behalf of the scrutiny function (taking account of any views expressed under (a) above) to the budget consultation proposals for consideration by Cabinet and Council as part of the budget setting process.
A programme for the Commission meeting has been attached as further background information. Pages 3 – 4)
Members of the Commission are asked to note:
· that all scrutiny Panel members along with the public and representatives from interested stakeholder and partner organisations have been invited to attend the meeting to participate in the budget consultation process;
· that Cabinet is due to consider the response from the budget consultation process at its meeting on 7 February 2007. The final response agreed by the Commission will be referred onto Cabinet for consideration as part of this process. The Council’s final 2007/08 budget proposals are due to be considered and approved at the Council meeting on 21 February 2007.
A copy of the 2007/08 budget consultation document has already been provided for all members of the Council, so no further copy has been included with this agenda. A copy will, however be provided for members of the public & representatives from stakeholder/partner organisations who have registered to attend the Commission meeting. Additional copies will also be available at the meeting.
If required, further copies of the consultation paper can be obtained in advance of the meeting by calling into the Civic Centre reception or contacting the Scrutiny Secretary (details provided above). A copy of the consultation paper is also available on the council’s website – www.enfield.gov.uk and reference copies in the public libraries.
1.1 Welcome & Introduction
Councillor Edward Smith (Commission Chairman) welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that the Commission was a new approach being piloted by the Council’s scrutiny function in considering the Council’s 2007/08 budget consultation proposals. The aim behind the approach was to:
a. provide a more structured and holistic way of looking at the budget consultation proposals; and then
b. prepare a response to the proposals, on behalf of the Council’s scrutiny function, taking account of any views expressed during the meeting.
The Chairman welcomed Councillor Rye (Leader of the Council) & Councillor Lavender (Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Finance & Corporate Resources) along with Mark McLaughlin (Director of Finance & Corporate Resources), who had been invited to attend the meeting in order to provide an overview of the budget proposals and respond to any questions raised during the meeting. In addition he welcomed the Directors, or representatives, attending the meeting from each of the Council’s other main service Departments.
The Commission was advised that their response on the budget proposals would be forwarded onto Cabinet (7 February 2007) for consideration as part of the overall response to the budget consultation process. The comments made during the consultation process would be considered by Cabinet as part of the process in formulating the final budget to be recommended to Council (21 February 2007) for approval.
Before moving on the Chairman outlined the programme for the evening and thanked all members of the public present for attending and supporting the scrutiny consultation process.
1.2 Introduction to the Council’s 2007/08 Budget Consultation proposals
Councillor Rye (Leader of Council) thanked the Commission for inviting him & the Deputy Leader to attend and advised that the Executive had welcomed the new approach towards the budget consultation process being piloted by scrutiny. As background to the Council’s 2007/08 budget proposals he highlighted:
a. that Enfield’s Council Tax was currently below the average for outer London and the Administration remained committed to maintaining this whilst keeping any increase in Council Tax in line with the rate of inflation.
b. the complexities and impact of recent changes to the Government’s formula for the allocation of grant funding to local authorities. As a result Enfield’s grant allocation for 2007/08 had been “damped” (reduced) by £4.4m (based on an assessment of the additional grant available under the new formula to meet community needs). This meant the Council would only receive an additional £4.1m of government funding for 2007/08 (an increase of 4.1%).
c. whilst the increase in government funding of 4.1% was marginally higher than the rate of inflation there was also a need to recognise the unavoidable cost increases and spending pressures faced by the Council for 2007/08, which were substantially higher than the level of general inflation. These included the cost of pay and price inflation; growing demand for services particularly in relation to Adult Social Care and the costs associated with increasingly complex care packages; increasing demands from external bodies e.g. North London Waste Authority. ... view the full minutes text for item 780.