Agenda item

Surrey County Council's Contract budget reductions for 16/17 and 17/18 for Community Support Services

Decision:

RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the proposed way forward to meet the significant budget reduction of £197,000 from Surrey County Council over this current year and 2017/18 be agreed.  With regard to the operational impact, the Council meet up to £18,000 of the budget reduction this year, to allow a more timely review to take place;

 

(b)       the update in respect of other areas of Surrey County Council grant income, where reductions were still being determined, as well as the impact of any reduction, be noted; and

 

(c)        the Portfolio Holder for Social Affairs, on behalf of Elmbridge Borough Council, writes to Surrey County Council with regard to the value the Council’s robust Borough-based preventative services have on maintaining and reducing Surrey’s costs and that a detailed impact assessment be undertaken now ahead of budgetary considerations for 2018/2019; and

 

(d)       as part of the budget savings review with Surrey County Council, Elmbridge seeks clarification as to how the 2014 Care Act funding is being used in Elmbridge.

Minutes:

(Link to Council Priorities: A safe, caring and healthy Elmbridge)

 

The Portfolio Holder for Social Affairs introduced the item and advised Members that whilst the Council’s Community Support Services had received grant income for the last 23 years from Surrey County Council (SCC) to support vulnerable residents, the service was now facing a significant grant reduction.

 

The Cabinet was advised that SCC had confirmed that over a two year period they would be looking to reduce the Council’s grant by 25% in year one and 50% in year two, totalling £197,000.  The areas of core Community Support Services activity affected were those in respect of where Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were in place with SCC to deliver services to high need / vulnerable residents e.g. the Centres for the Community; Meals on Wheels Service; and Dementia Services.

 

The Portfolio Holder reported that in meeting the savings requirement, it was proposed to use some funding the Council was receiving from SCC this year under the Personalisation, Partnership and Prevention Plan Fund (PPP).  This funding had been vital to the development, enhancement and sustainability of discretionary preventative services and Community Support Services had always developed activity with the understanding that it was a five year programme.  In this regard, the Council received £180,000 a year and it was therefore proposed to use £60,000 of the £180,000 to reduce the savings to mitigate impact on the services.

 

In terms of seeking to meet the significant savings figure in 2016/17, the Council was looking to utilise £16,168 of savings from its budgets to ensure a more appropriate timescale was in place to implement service changes for 2016/17 and 2017/18.  In order to provide a contingency in the event that identified savings were unable to be achieved, it was proposed that a sum of up to £18,000 be made available in this regard.

 

In addition to utilising PPP funding, the Portfolio Holder reported that a number of service reductions had been proposed in order to meet the savings requirements, specifically:

 

·           not appointing to the post of Thames Ditton Centre Manager;

·           reducing Centre Assistant hours by 30.5 hours a week;

·           increasing the Relief Care Services charges;

·           withdrawal of the Alz Café transport;

·           closing down the evening and weekend Link Line; and

·           withdrawal of the monthly Outings Programme.

 

Given the uncertainty regarding the SCC funding position from 2018/19, it was suggested that the Portfolio Holder, on behalf of the Council, write to SCC highlighting the value that the robust Borough-based preventative services had on maintaining and reducing SCC’s costs, and that a detailed impact assessment be undertaken now ahead of budgetary considerations for 2018/19.

 

During her introduction of the item, the Portfolio Holder referred to the Care Act 2014 which gave local authorities (SCC) a responsibility to assess a carer’s need for support and to provide support options accordingly.  In this regard, the Portfolio Holder proposed an additional recommendation that, as part of the budget savings review with Surrey County Council, Elmbridge seeks clarification as to how the 2014 Care Act funding is being used in Elmbridge, which the Cabinet agreed.

 

During consideration of the item, the Cabinet acknowledged that whilst savings were required, there was a need to continue to support the Borough’s vulnerable and elderly residents.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the proposed way forward to meet the significant budget reduction of £197,000 from Surrey County Council over this current year and 2017/18 be agreed.  With regard to the operational impact, the Council meet up to £18,000 of the budget reduction this year, to allow a more timely review to take place;

 

(b)       the update in respect of other areas of Surrey County Council grant income, where reductions were still being determined, as well as the impact of any reduction, be noted; and

 

(c)        the Portfolio Holder for Social Affairs, on behalf of Elmbridge Borough Council, writes to Surrey County Council with regard to the value the Council’s robust Borough-based preventative services have on maintaining and reducing Surrey’s costs and that a detailed impact assessment be undertaken now ahead of budgetary considerations for 2018/2019; and

 

(d)       as part of the budget savings review with Surrey County Council, Elmbridge seeks clarification as to how the 2014 Care Act funding is being used in Elmbridge.

Supporting documents: