Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee Budget Meeting - Tuesday, 15th January, 2008 7.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: James Kinsella 020 8379 4041 

Items
No. Item

835.

Apologies for Absence (if any)

Minutes:

None received.

836.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 27 KB

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.

Minutes:

No members of the Committee had any personal or prejudicial interests to declare in respect of items on the agenda.

837.

Consultation on London Borough of Enfield 2008/09 Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Enfield’s scrutiny function has decided to set up another Scrutiny Budget Commission this year to consider the Council’s 2008/09 budget consultation proposals.

 

The role of the Scrutiny Budget Commission is to:

(a)         seek comments on and consider the London Borough of Enfield’s 2008/09 revenue and capital budget consultation proposals, as set out in the Council’s Budget Consultation paper;

(b)         to prepare a response on the budget consultation proposals for consideration by Cabinet and Council as part of the budget setting process.

 

NOTE:

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 Wednesday 6 February 2008.  The final response agreed by the Commission will be referred onto Cabinet for consideration as part of this process.  The Council’s final 2008/09 budget proposals are due to be considered and approved at the Council meeting on Wednesday 27 February 2008.

 

A copy of the 2008/09 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 websitewww.enfield.gov.uk

Minutes:

1.1            Welcome & Introduction

 

Councillor Edward Smith (Commission Chairman) welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that the Commission had been set up to enable scrutiny to consider the Council’s 2008/09 budget consultation proposals in a more co-ordinated way.

 

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 James Rolfe (Director of Finance & Corporate Resources) & Sheila Dawson (Assistant 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 their representatives, attending the meeting from each of the Council’s other main service Departments.

 

The Commission was advised that their comments on the budget proposals would be forwarded onto Cabinet (6 February 2008) for consideration as part of the overall response to the budget consultation process.  These would be considered by Cabinet as part of the process in formulating the final budget to be recommended to Council (27 February 2008) 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 2008/09 Budget Consultation proposals

 

Councillor Rye (Leader of Council) thanked the Commission for inviting him & the Deputy Leader to attend in order to outline the Council’s budget consultation proposals for 2008/09.  As further background to the budget proposals he highlighted:

a.      that Enfield’s Council Tax was currently the 6th lowest for outer London and the Administration remained committed to keeping any increase in Council Tax broadly in line with inflation and below the outer London average.

b.      that the Government’s allocation of grant funding to local authorities now covered a 3-year period (2008/09 – 2010/11).  Whilst the settlement across London as a whole was poor, Enfield had received an above average settlement in recognition of the costs associated with meeting needs identified across the borough.  Grant floors and the associated damping mechanism had, however, remained a feature of the settlement with Enfield’s entitlement to formula grant being significantly reduced as a result.  The Commission was advised that this would equate to a reduction in the proportion of Enfield’s formula grant entitlement over each of the next 3 years of approx £5.4m, £5.1m & £4.7m respectively.

c.       the need to recognise the unavoidable cost increases and spending pressures faced by the Council for 2008/09, as detailed in section 3 of the budget consultation paper;

d.      in view of the ongoing spending pressures faced by the Council there would need to be a continued focus on the more efficient delivery of services and reduction of costs as a means of avoiding any substantial increase in Council Tax and improving the scope for further investment in services.  Over the last 3 years £36m worth of efficiency savings and cost reductions had been generated.

 

These comments were supported  ...  view the full minutes text for item 837.