Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Dykes.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting. 

 

Questions specifically on reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on 12th January 2021.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions

4.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19 JANUARY 2021 AND MATTERS OUTSTANDING pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2021, excluding exempt information, were agreed and signed as a correct record.

5.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING pdf icon PDF 639 KB

To follow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

FSD22008

 

On November 24th 2021, the Executive received a report summarising the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the 2nd quarter of 2021/22 and agreed a revised Capital Programme for the four-year period 2021/22 to 2024/25. The report before the Sub-Committee highlighted the current position agreed by the Executive and the Leader in respect of the Capital Programme for the Children, Education and Families Portfolio.  The latest programme for this portfolio was set out in Appendix A of the report and detailed comments on individual schemes were shown in Appendix B.

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to note and acknowledge the current position in respect of Capital Schemes, as agreed by the Executive on 24th November 2021.

 

 

6.

CHILDREN, EDUCATION AND FAMILIES PORTFOLIO DRAFT BUDGET 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 376 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CEF22008

 

The report considered the Portfolio Holder’s Draft 2022/23 Budget which incorporated the future cost pressures and initial draft budget saving options reported to Executive on 12th January 2022. Members were requested to consider the initial draft budget being proposed and identify any further action that might be taken to reduce cost pressures facing the Council over the next four years.  Executive were requesting that each PDS Committee considered the proposed initial draft budget savings and cost pressures for their Portfolio with the views of each PDS Committee be reported back to the next meeting of the Executive, prior to the Executive making recommendations to Council on 2022/23 Council Tax levels.  There were still outstanding issues and areas of uncertainty remaining. Any further updates will be included in the 2022/23 Council Tax report to the next meeting of the Executive.

 

In opening the discussion, the Chairman noted that at the last meeting in January 2021, the Committee had considered issues around the minimum funding guarantee, the slowing of the rate of increase of Education Care and Health Plans (EHCPs) which it now appeared had not happened, and the ending of the (Covid) redeployment of health colleagues who would be returning to their substantive posts.  It was also noted that the Committee had previously considered the potential deficit in future years.  Members noted that the Chairman of the PDS Committee had circulated a report which had recommended establishing a specific contingency fund for children’s social care to address cost pressures arising from placements.  The Chairman noted that the current position seemed similar to the previous year.

 

In response to a question, the Director of Children, Education and Families confirmed that no specific amount had been set aside for Covid catch up activities for children looked after, although a Government Grant was available for Covid catch-up.  Evidence suggested that children looked after were doing well and continued to make progress in all areas.  The progress of children looked after was kept under review, especially in terms of attainment, and these reviews were undertaken every six months.  The Sub-Committee noted that the issue of Covid Catch-up had been raised by both the Living in Care Council (LinCC) and the Bromley Youth Council (BYC).

 

In relation to SEN Transport, the Sub-Committee noted that mitigations to address the ongoing cost pressures continued to be a work in progress and there were a number of areas that were being reviewed.  A Transport Group had been established to look at a range of options, although the Sub-Committee noted that none would have an immediate impact on the ongoing budget pressures.  The Director of Children, Education and Families highlighted that pressures within SEN Transport were a national issue and as such a range of approaches were required such as travel training, personalised budgets, and options around the delivery of the in-house fleet.  The Sub-Committee also noted that the Service had recently procured software to assist with route optimisation to enable the most effective routes to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

2022/23 DEDICATED SCHOOLS GRANT pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CEF22009

 

The report provided an outline of the final DSG allocation for 2022/23 and an overview of how this would be spent.

 

The Head of Education and Children’s Social Care Finance confirmed that no funding had been transferred between the Schools’ Block and the High Needs Block.  The Local Authority followed the strict guidelines from the DfE for the distribution of funding to schools under the National Funding Formula.  The Sub-Committee also noted that the Minimum Funding Guarantee was set at 1%.

 

In response to a question, the Director of Education confirmed that the School Admissions Team was resilient and whilst it was the Team’s busiest time of year, staff were holding up well in terms of the pressures.  The Sub-Committee noted that an experienced Admissions and Transport Manager had been recruited.

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to approve the Dedicated Schools Grant allocation and the methodology of its distribution.

 

 

Original Text: