Agenda item

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF REPORTS DUE FOR DECISION BY THE LEADER

Members of the Committee are requested to bring their copy of the reports due for consideration by the Leader on or after 14th October 2020.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following Part 1 reports for decision by the Leader on or after 14 October 2020.

 

(3)  ALLOCATION OF COVID-19 GRANT FUNDING

Report FSD20076

 

The report sought agreement to release the ‘ring fenced’ funding for the Next Steps Accommodation Programme, the second tranche Infection Control and Emergency Assistance. The report also sought delegation for approval of any further tranche or new grant funding relating to Covid-19.

 

The Chairman highlighted the need to ensure that regular reviews concerning the use of the funding were undertaken to ensure that the taxpayer received value for money.

 

The Committee noted that earlier in the day a supplementary paper had been circulated setting out the final allocation for the General Covid Fund which had increased to £2,357,000 (an increase of £541,000).  The Director of Finance highlighted that funding was being carefully managed because the funding received by the Council was less than the amount currently being spent in terms of the impact of Covid.

 

The Director of Finance provided an update to the Committee explaining that the allocation for the Self-Isolation payment had been received, although the situation remained fluid.  The total funding allocation was in the region of £230,000 and included a discretionary element.  There was a requirement to distribute the funding from the week beginning 12th October.  The Director of Finance reported that there were a number of grants that required quick action on the part of Local Authorities which was why delegated authority was being sought.  Members noted that the Council had also received additional funding of £145,000 for Street Marshalls.  The Director of Finance confirmed that the next Budget Monitoring Report would provide a list of the grants that had been received. 

 

In relation to the Infection Control Grant, in response to a question the Director of Finance confirmed that the majority of the grant was passported to Care Homes across the Borough.  The Committee noted that the funding received was to enable the Local Authority to respond to the current situation and, as such, there was still uncertainty around what would happen in terms of responding to any second wave.

 

In response to a question the Director of Finance confirmed that one of the challenges with grant conditions was that some providers may use funding more effectively than others and there is a monitoring requirement on the Council.  In terms of whether staff would need to be diverted in order to administer the grant funding for Infection Control, the Director of Finance confirmed that staff had responded very well although there was clear pressure on staff who were working hard to ensure that support was being delivered to vulnerable residents across the Borough.

 

Turing to lessons learnt from implementation and issues around some providers finding compliance conditions “unhelpful”, the Director of Finance explained that there was a requirement to monitor and it was therefore likely that the lessons would come out through monitoring.  The Committee agreed to an additional recommendation requiring the provision of regular updates on the effectiveness of the funding.

 

In respect of carer respite, a Member highlighted that there needed to be greater emphasis within the discretionary 20% on the level of pressure on carers which was currently exacerbated by the Covid pandemic resulting in a more acute need for respite.  This would enable a greater focus to be placed on carer respite through the upcoming winter season which was likely to be very difficult.

 

RESOLVED: That the Leader be recommended to:

 

  1. Approve the utilisation of  

 

(a)  Next Steps Accommodation Programme Funding of £391k;

(b)  The second tranche infection control funding of £2,357k;

(c)  Emergency Assistance Grant of £279k.  

 

  1. Agree that the utilisation of any further funding made available to deal with the Covid-19 situation is approved by the respective Chief Officer, in consultation with the respective Portfolio Holder, Leader and Chairman of ER&C PDS Committee.

 

  1. Note that the outcome of such decisions will be included in future budget monitoring reports to the Executive.

 

  1. Agree that regular updates on the effectiveness of the grant funding be provided.

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

 

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