Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions
Contact: Karen Shuker Tel: 01270 686549 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: THIS MEETING WILL START SHORTLY. Please note that the number of seats available for members of the public are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Apologies for Absence
To note any apologies for absence from Members.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor A Burton. Councillor C Bulman attended as a substitute.
Declarations of Interest
To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, other registerable interests, and non-registerable interests in any item on the agenda..
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 January 2024.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2024 be approved as a correct record.
Public Speaking/Open Session
In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Council’s Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes each to speak, and the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting.
Mr Steve Nichols attended the Committee meeting on behalf of the Rossendale Trust, to speak in relation to item 5 - Medium Term Financial Strategy Consultation 2024/25 - 2027/28 Provisional Settlement Update. Mr Nichols requested that care providers receive the appropriate level of financial support in respect of Cheshire East Council’s 2024 - 25 budget setting process. The Rossendale Trust and other care providers has a special relationship with Cheshire East Council with 86% of service users located in Cheshire East and without the financial security of large businesses with a wider geographic disposition this made the Trust particularly vulnerable to the low fees paid by the Council.
underfunding over the past five years was having a detrimental
effect on sustainability which made it difficult to do any
meaningful future planning.
The impact of the demise of Rossendale Trust on its staff and service users was unthinkable. As well as placing a huge burden on the Council’s social care teams, the reputational risk to Cheshire East Council would be massive. Mr Nichols asked if the Council had the financial resources and manpower to meet the CQC regulations If the Trust was to fail. Cheshire East’s strategy of underfunding their complex care and supported living providers in comparison to both surrounding local authorities and its own care home and domiciliary care rates, is putting all of this at extreme risk.
Mr Nichols asked the Council to address the unfair
strategy before the 24-25 budget was set in
Dawson attended the Committee meeting on behalf of 1st Enable, to
speak in relation to item 5 - Medium Term Financial Strategy
Consultation 2024/25 - 2027/28 Provisional Settlement
Update. Mr Dawson requested that care providers receive the appropriate
level of financial support with regards to the 2024 and 2025
Mr Dawson described the very positive relationship
they had with the Council, in particular with the commissioning
contracts, legal and social work teams. The support previously
given was outlined and there was a willingness to do whatever they
could for its local authority colleagues.
Mr Dawson expressed his concerns in respect of all
Councils and the NHS feeling the same pressures therefore it was no
longer appropriate or viable for them to continue to subsidize the
work they do in Cheshire East for much longer.
The organisation was recruiting, managing and training staff whilst waiting for the Council to come good on previous conversations had in respect of services being put on an equal footing for those local authorities, with almost identical or even demographically less challenging conditions in supplying safe, responsive, well led effective and caring support, a pre requisite for maintaining their ... view the full minutes text for item 54.
To consider the proposals within the budget consultation relating to the Committee’s responsibilities.
The Committee received a report on the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for 2024/25 – 2027/28 and the revenue and capital proposals contained within the MTFS relating to the Committee’s responsibilities. As part of the consultation process the Committee was asked to provide comments and feedback to the Corporate Policy Committee on proposals related to the responsibilities of the committee.
It was reported that the High-Level Business Cases would be presented at the Corporate Policy Committee on the 13 of February.
The Committee asked questions and provided comments in relation to the proposals, summarised below:
· Pay Inflation – The Committee noted that a 3% increase had been used for the 2024/25 forecast compared to 2023/24 where a 5% figure had been forecasted. It was stated that the final pay award allocated for 2023/24 was 7.5%. Officers confirmed that the 3% increase had been agreed across all Service Committees.
· National Minimum Wage –members queried if enough growth had been invested into the service as the impact of national living wage increase would particularly impact the staff within the Adults and Health Committee remit. Officers reported that around £2.5m growth would be available to cover unexpected pricing expenditure during 2024/25, however the estimated costs of implementing the national minimum wage across the Directorate was £5-7m.
· Risk Management - Members acknowledged the precarious financial position of the local authority and queried what the major risks facing the service were. Officers stated that the key risks included: implementation of the national minimum wage, the number of young people transitioning from children’s to adults through the SEND process, and the increasing activity taking place in the NHS and the subsequent impact this had on adult social care.
· Members noted that the service provision responsibilities placed upon the Adults and Childrens Committees significantly impacted individuals across the borough. Members queried whether there had been adequate encouragement across all committees for savings to be identified that related to more generic services, that did not specifically impact on individuals. Officers confirmed that the Corporate Leadership Team, through CEBERT, were taking all necessary steps to identify savings across all committees.
A list of additional budget proposals put forward by the Conservative Group were circulated to the Committee. The proposals included:
(ai) Identify and evaluate Cheshire East Council assets and their potential as short, medium and longer-term care provisions to reduce the Borough’s dependency on out of area providers for high-cost adult social care and health provisions. This dovetailed with similar proposals discussed with the Children and Families Committee on 31.01.24.
(aii) High Level Business Cases (HLBC) should be developed to progress activity for future provision.
(aiii) A clear schedule for the short, medium and longer-term development of appropriate sites must be included in the Work Programme for Economy and Growth, Adult Social Care and Health Committees, with clear KPIs and Project Management oversight throughout the life of the projects.
(bi) That the committee requests that the Corporate Policy Committee work collaboratively with the Adults and Health Committee to explore the ... view the full minutes text for item 55.