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Agenda item

Budget Proposals for Year 2023/2024

Report of the Executive Director, City Futures

Decision:

9.1

The report set out the budget pressures and risks facing the services that are the responsibility of the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee (EDSC), and a budget action plan to mitigate these as far as possible in the 23/24 financial year.

 

It provided recommendations for approval which will allow the services to contribute to Sheffield City Council’s ability to set a balanced budget.

 

9.2

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee:-

 

 

1.    Note the Council’s challenging financial position;

 

2.    Note the pressures and risks identified in relation to the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee budget for the 23/34 financial year and commit to work with officers to mitigate these risks where possible;

 

3.    Note the work undertaken over the summer to develop the Budget Action Plan; and

 

4.    Approve the budget action plan to deliver savings for 23/24 of £525K, against a pressure of £595K, for submission to the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee.

 

 

9.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

9.3.1

A balance has been sought to strike a balance between meeting the budget challenges in Committee and still delivering as much impact as possible for Sheffield’s economy and residents in line with the priorities set in the one-year plan and Business Recovery Plan. The contribution and commitment of the Service in supporting the city economy through covid has been noted, and losing the momentum built as we face a cost-of-living crisis would be damaging to the broader City economy.

 

 

9.3.2

Furthermore, removal of the services and budgets would also dramatically reduce the City’s ability to bid for and win external funding, which maximises the Council’s investment.

 

 

9.3.3

This is the preferred option as it allows the Committee to contribute substantially to the Council’s budget position. Further options can be considered by Strategy and Resources Committee with the EDSC, as the range of options across all Committees are considered together.

 

 

9.3.4

In setting this Budget Action Plan the intended outcome is to continue to deliver services which are pivotal to economic development within the city and support the wider regional economy and maximise our limited financial resource by working in partnership and bringing in external funding.

 

 

9.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

9.4.1

Do nothing

 

By undertaking none of the proposed actions, we would be unable to contribute to delivering a balanced budget.

 

 

9.4.2

Deliver Balanced Budget

 

Make further savings by accepting the options, currently rejected, by the Committee.

 

 

9.4.3

Offer greater budget savings by stopping services

 

Make further savings by stopping non statutory services.

 

 

 

Minutes:

9.1

The report set out the budget pressures and risks facing the services that are the responsibility of the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee (EDSC), and a budget action plan to mitigate these as far as possible in the 23/24 financial year.

 

It provided recommendations for approval which will allow the services to contribute to Sheffield City Council’s ability to set a balanced budget.

 

Councillor Ben Miskell informed the meeting that whilst Labour Group colleagues intended to vote in favour of item 1.4.3, entitled ‘more effective and efficient delivery of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities’, following discussions with Councillor Mick Rooney and Councillor Dawn Dale, Co-Chair’s of the Education, Children and Families Policy Committee, further assurance and clarification was sought.

 

Whilst the proposal fell within the scope of the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee, we understand that statutory responsibility for the impact of this proposal falls on Councillor Rooney, who under Section 19 of the Children’s Act 2004 is designated as the named Lead Member for Children’s Services. The statutory guidance for local authorities from 2013 stated that despite our current committee system, Councillor Rooney had political responsibility for ‘the leadership, strategy and effectiveness’ of the wider service and is democratically accountable’.

 

Councillor Ben Miskell raised that Councillors Rooney and Dale had flagged concerns and say that they were still awaiting a full briefing on the proposal. This was troubling, given the recent Ofsted inspection on SEND provision and the written statement of action that has been drawn up following this.

 

Kevin Straughan, Head of Service Lifelong Learning, assured Councillor Miskell that briefings of Councillors Mick Rooney and Dawn Dale were scheduled to take place, along with a briefing of the whole Education, Children and Families Policy Committee.

 

9.2

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee:-

 

 

1.    Note the Council’s challenging financial position;

 

2.    Note the pressures and risks identified in relation to the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee budget for the 23/34 financial year and commit to work with officers to mitigate these risks where possible;

 

3.    Note the work undertaken over the summer to develop the Budget Action Plan; and

 

4.    Approve the budget action plan to deliver savings for 23/24 of £525K, against a pressure of £595K, for submission to the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee.

 

 

9.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

9.3.1

A balance has been sought to strike a balance between meeting the budget challenges in Committee and still delivering as much impact as possible for Sheffield’s economy and residents in line with the priorities set in the one-year plan and Business Recovery Plan. The contribution and commitment of the Service in supporting the city economy through covid has been noted, and losing the momentum built as we face a cost-of-living crisis would be damaging to the broader City economy.

 

 

9.3.2

Furthermore, removal of the services and budgets would also dramatically reduce the City’s ability to bid for and win external funding, which maximises the Council’s investment.

 

 

9.3.3

This is the preferred option as it allows the Committee to contribute substantially to the Council’s budget position. Further options can be considered by Strategy and Resources Committee with the EDSC, as the range of options across all Committees are considered together.

 

 

9.3.4

In setting this Budget Action Plan the intended outcome is to continue to deliver services which are pivotal to economic development within the city and support the wider regional economy and maximise our limited financial resource by working in partnership and bringing in external funding.

 

 

9.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

9.4.1

Do nothing

 

By undertaking none of the proposed actions, we would be unable to contribute to delivering a balanced budget.

 

 

9.4.2

Deliver Balanced Budget

 

Make further savings by accepting the options, currently rejected, by the Committee.

 

 

9.4.3

Offer greater budget savings by stopping services

 

Make further savings by stopping non statutory services.

 

 

 

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