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Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Llangefni
Contact: Ann Holmes 01248 752518
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest by any Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.
No declaration of interest was received.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting PDF 265 KB
To present the minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on 22 November, 2022.
The minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on the 22 November, 2022 were presented and were confirmed as correct.
Budget Setting 2023/24 (Revenue) - Initial Draft Proposals PDF 1 MB
To present the report of the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer and the Scrutiny Manager.
The report of the Scrutiny Manager was presented for the Committee’s consideration. The report outlined the context to the 2023/24 Budget setting process along with the key issues and questions for Scrutiny in evaluating the Executive’s initial revenue budget proposals. The report of the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer to be presented to the 24 January, 2023 meeting of the Executive setting out the provisional revenue budget for 2023/24 was attached at Appendix 1.
Councillor Robin Williams, Portfolio Member for Finance, Corporate Business and Customer Experience in presenting the initial budget proposals for 2023/24 reported that the proposed budget of £171.438m represents an increase of in the region of £14m on the previous year’s budget with inflation being the primary factor and an ongoing challenge for the Council and residents alike. Although the provisional funding settlement for local government announced by Welsh Government on 14 December, 2022 was better than anticipated for Anglesey, there remains a funding gap of £5.396m (before any changes in Council Tax) in 2023/24. A number of options to bridge the gap were considered in reaching the proposed budget taking into account the level of net expenditure based on the draft settlement form Welsh Government and options relating to the level of Council Tax. The proposed budget aims to strike a balance between reducing services and raising Council Tax which is an approach generally endorsed by the outcome of the public consultation reported on separately to this meeting. Funding the deficit through the Council Tax alone would mean raising the Council Tax by 12%. In order to reduce the increase in Council Tax it would be necessary to utilise the Council’s own reserves or to implement revenue budget savings. It is estimated that the Council will have around £14m in reserves at the end of the current financial year of which £9m will be retained in line with the Council’s general policy of holding 5% of the net revenue budget as a minimum level of general balances which leaves £5m which could be used to make up the funding shortfall. Whilst that is an option, given that the financial projections for 2024/25 and 2025/26 are not encouraging it is considered that it would be imprudent to fully utilise the available reserves in 2023/24 and instead to draw on only part of the reserves to balance the 2023/24 budget. The budget that is being proposed therefore combines savings of £1.393m, the use of £1.758m of Council reserves and a 5% increase in Council Tax. It is also proposed that the second homes premium be increased from 50% to 75% in line with the Executive’s policy of incrementally increasing the charge over time. Despite the proposed increase in Council Tax, Anglesey’s council tax remains among the lowest in Wales and based on information to date, will be the lowest in North Wales in 2023/24.
The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer confirmed that although the financial position is much improved to that forecast in the Medium Term ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Finance Scrutiny Panel Progress Report
Chair of Finance Scrutiny Panel to report.
Councillor Dafydd Roberts, Chair of the Finance Scrutiny Panel reported on the outcome of the Panel’s 12 January, 2023 meeting as referred to in the narrative on item 3 above.
The Development of the Council's Strategic Priorities 2023-2028 PDF 3 MB
To present the report of the Head of Profession (HR) and Transformation.
The report of the Head of Profession (HR) and Transformation setting out the outcome of the process of engagement and resident response to the consultation on the strategic priorities outlined in the draft Council Plan 2023-28 was presented for the Committee’s consideration.
Councillor Robin Williams, Portfolio Member for Finance, Corporate Business and Customer Experience presented the report which represented the culmination of an engagement and consultation exercise with staff, residents, partners and stakeholders which has been ongoing since the start of the 2022 calendar year when the Council carried out its initial engagement exercise between February and March, 2022. The aim was to gain an understanding of what the residents of Anglesey hoped to see as the focus of the Council Plan for the forthcoming 5 year period. The results of this engagement and subsequent development work identified six strategic priorities which were then consulted upon from 20 September, to 14 November, 2022. The response rate provides the Council with a 95% confidence level in the findings with more than 8 out of every 10 respondents being in agreement with the draft strategic priorities.
The Programme, Business Planning and Performance Manager said that the in excess of 2,500 responses across the year testified to the engagement and consultation approach having been comprehensive and effective in engendering a response from the Island’s residents.
In the subsequent discussion the following matters were discussed by the Committee -
· Whether assurance can be offered that the consultation and engagement process is inclusive and meets the statutory requirements.
The Committee was advised that the outcome reflects the work undertaken by the Council with regard to consultation and engagement over the course of recent years which has recognised the importance of giving people a voice in the Council’s decision making process. It has been structured and put in place following the establishment of a Corporate Consultation and Engagement Board some years ago with Medrwn Môn and is also the result of the work on the previous Council Plan and it sits comfortably with the sustainable development principle of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act which emphasises the importance of including the public in the decisions of the Council. It is also linked to the work undertaken as part of Place Shaping and the community hubs. The report shows that the Council has created the environment in which people are willing to participate. To ensure as much inclusivity as possible multiple means of engagement were adopted including online and digital, face to face and by distributing paper copies of the survey including an easy to read version to Council establishments, with the process being publicised through social media, press releases, radio and e-mails directly to partners.
· The extent to which the proposed strategic priorities remain relevant and achievable.
The Committee was advised that the process has shown the priorities to be relevant as actions that support both the Council’s statutory duties and its aspirations for the Island. Whether they are all achievable over the five year ... view the full minutes text for item 5.