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)
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Jonas Hall.
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 set up a Scrutiny Budget Commission to consider the Council’s 20010/11 budget consultation proposals.
The role of the Scrutiny Budget Commission is to:
(a) seek comments on and consider the London Borough of Enfield’s 2010/11 budget consultation proposals & Medium Term Financial Strategy, 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.
A programme for the Commission meeting has been attached. (Pages 3 – 4)
As members will be aware individual scrutiny panels have also been meeting, in advance of the Commission, in order to consider the consultation proposals within their remits and feed any comments onto the Commission for consideration. The Panels have met on the following dates and details of any any comments referred onto the Commission for consideration have been attached:
(a) Environment, Parks & Leisure Scrutiny Panel: 2 December 09 (Pages - )
(b) Health Scrutiny Panel: 8 December 09 (Pages - )
(c) Crime & Safety Scrutiny Panel: 9 December 09 – no comments identified for referral onto the Commission
(d) Place Shaping & Enterprise Scrutiny Panel: 10 December 09 (Pages - )
(e) Children’s Services Scrutiny Panel: 15 December 09 (Pages - )
(f) Adult Social Services Scrutiny Panel: 12 January 10 (Pages - )
(g) Housing Scrutiny Panel: 14 January 10 (Pages - )
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 10 February 2010. 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 24 February 2010.
A copy of the 20010/11 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 not already received one. 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 contacting the Committee Secretary (details provided above). A copy of the consultation paper is also available on the council’s website – www.enfield.gov.uk
1.1 Welcome & Introduction
Councillor Martin Prescott (Commission Chairman) welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that the Commission had been set up to enable scrutiny to consider and co-ordinate a final response on the Council’s 2010/11 budget consultation proposals. As part of this process the Commission would take into account comments made by the Scrutiny Panels who had met to consider the consultation proposals relating to their specific remits.
The Chairman welcomed Councillor Rye (Leader of the Council) & Councillor Hurer (Cabinet member for Finance & Corporate Resources) along with James Rolfe (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, who were attending the meeting to represent each of the Council’s main service Departments.
The Commission was advised that their comments on the budget proposals would be forwarded onto Cabinet (10 February 2010) 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 (24 February 2010) 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 2010/11 Budget Consultation proposals
Councillor Rye (Leader of Council) thanked the Commission for inviting him & the Cabinet member for Finance and Corporate Resources to attend in order to outline the Council’s budget consultation proposals for 2010/11. As further background to the budget proposals James Rolfe (Director of Finance & Corporate Resources) provided a brief presentation for the Commission. Members noted:
a. the level of ongoing cost pressures being faced by the Council in 2010/11 which totalled £21m and estimated cumulative budget gap over the medium term within a significantly more challenging economic climate.
b. Enfield’s 2010/11 Central Government formula grant settlement. The settlement across London overall (including Enfield) had been poor with Enfield’s award being reduced by £4.8m as a result of the Government’s “damping” mechanism. The concerns expressed about the impact of this reduction were shared by the Commission.
c. The action already being taken and planned by the Council, as part of its strategic budgeting approach, to reduce costs and make efficiency savings. Over the last 3 years this had resulted in savings, cost reductions and the generation of additional income totalling £30m. From 2009/10 onwards the Council had also introduced a major service transformation programme designed to secure further efficiencies known as LEANER. The Commission noted that the need to balance the approach in reducing costs and seeking efficiency savings against the need to maintain the quality of services and meet rising demand had been recognised.
d. The proposed areas of growth within the budget proposals relating to the introduction of a graduate trainee programme for children’s social workers, programme ... view the full minutes text for item 724.