Council Excellence Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 26th March 2013 Part 1 Spending Freeze, Overspends and Bad Debts

A report on the Council Excellence Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting (Wirral Council) of the 26th March 2013

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The agenda and reports for this meeting can be found on Wirral Council’s website and this blog post includes video of the meeting.

penguin with whipThe Chair welcomed everybody to the meeting, after a short discussion about filming he asked for any declarations of interest or party whip. No declarations of interest or party whip were made. The minutes of the meetings held on the 14th February 2013 and on the 30th January were agreed.

icicle Peter Timmins introduced the month 10 report on the overspend. He started by saying that they’d added £1 million to the budget of Adult Social Services, increasing the original overspend from £17 million to £18 million, however due to the spending freeze the overspend was down to just over £7 million, but that the month eleven report was just about to go to the Chief Officer’s Group which would add a further £200,000 reduction to the overspend.

Part 3 (page 9) of the report detailed the risks of overspends in adult and children’s social care and how they were in talks with Cheshire West and Chester Council about shared services. He felt they could do more on procurement to generate savings and clamp down on “rogue purchasing”.

sheep Cllr Gilchrist asked when the report on bad debts would be reported? Peter Timmins said it was going to a Special Cabinet meeting on the April 18th and that it had led to some interesting discoveries about the Pension Fund. He said they were looking at the processes involved.

Cllr Gilchrist asked about the changes in month ten compared to month nine. Peter Timmins said he would give Cllr Gilchrist the budget book which showed three years budgets which he hoped to have ready by the middle of April as it was now in draft form. They had also done a budget training session for councillors and planned to do more of these and were also training officers in budget management with aids to budget management put on their website. He described sending officers to budget management training courses using the metaphor of sending sheep to be dipped.

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