Agenda and minutes

Resources Scrutiny Commission - Thursday, 10th January, 2019 4.00 pm

Venue: The Council Chamber - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions

Contact: Johanna Holmes 

Link: Watch Live Webcast

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 98 KB


The Chair led welcome and introductions.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Cllrs Steve Pearce and Margaret Hickman



Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.


Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.



Councillor Kent stated that his wife was part of a group that had submitted one of the public forum statements.  



Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair


The Chair expressed his concern about the lateness of the reports for the meeting.  Other Members then also expressed their frustration about this.  Cllr Brain said that the meeting was unconstitutional and it should therefore be postponed.  After further discussion the Members agreed to continue with the meeting but the Chair stated Members reserved the right to request a future meeting and ask further questions. 



Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item


Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-


Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5pm on Friday 4th January.


Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 9th January.



The following Public Forum Statements were received:

·       PFS 1 - Bristol Independent SEND Community (present)

·       PFS 2 - Julie Boston (not present)



Budget Consultation - Report of Findings pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:


The Senior Consultation & Engagement Officer introduced the item to Members and took them through a set of presentation slides which explained what the process had been this year and what results and information had been gathered from those whom had participated in the consultation.


Scrutiny Commission Comments

Members were encouraged by the following;

  • The broad array of communities that officers sought to engage with and the steps taken to achieve this. Members were particularly impressed by the fact that officers had proactively gone to shopping centres, cafes and libraries and other public areas with their IPads to obtain opinions from a much wider cohort than is usual in such consultations. This approach led to a considerable increase in response rates (especially from those who are often ‘hard to reach’ groups).
  • The valuable insights and high quality data gained by the consultation process.


The Commission commended officers on the high standard and achievements of this piece of work.



Adults, Children and Education (ACE) Directorate Savings pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Finance presented the published information on the up to date schedule of savings to the Commission.  Members made the following comments:


  • Members noted the high costs currently required to care for people with learning difficulties e.g. over £200,000 per person each year.
  • Members were encouraged to see that the costs of Adult Social Care (ASC) for those 64 years and over were now considerably lower than they were. Officers predicted that the budget for ASC for 64+ was to be reduced from £71 million to £59 million over three years.  The Commission Members were encouraged by this although a number of them were sceptical that these figures could actually be achieved.
  • It was acknowledged that some of the issues in this spending category were influenced (both on the income and expenditure side) by matters outside the control of this council.    
  • Members considered that they did not have enough detail with regards to what sits below the headline budget figures i.e. how do the savings break down and how are savings going to be achieved? It was recognised by Members that it was difficult to scrutinise information when only the headlines figures are provided because of the timing and circumstances.
  • Members were pleased that an apparently balanced budget had been achieved.  They did however express concern about likely future pressures on this budget item.  


Adult Social Care:  Officer Presentation and Comments by Commission Members

The Service Director - Care and Support – Adults presented the published information to Members. 


The following key points were explained and comments were made:

  • The costs for Adult Social Care (ASC) for over 64 year olds have been reduced by over a million pounds.
  • ASC for 18-64 year olds – Bristol has an average number of individuals but some of the individual costs are high, especially for people with learning difficulties.  Of which there are currently 2,000 people of working age.  There are some instances where costs are as high as £200,000 per year.  The costs of care packages are something that officers are looking to reduce going forward.
  • Officers said the delayed transfer of care situation was much better than it was the previous year.
  • Members were encouraged to hear that no additional savings were being proposed and that it appeared that things are moving in the right direction.
  • It was the Commissions understanding that holistic actions have brought the costs down for the ASC for 64+ provision.


Dedicated School Grants (DSG): Scrutiny Commission Comments

The Service Director, Education, Learning and Skills presented the published information to Members.  Some of the points that were discussed were as follows:

  • Members were of the strong opinion that despite the provision of additional funding financial resources in this area were still inadequate.  
  • Members understand that the numbers of children and the complexity of their needs have increased and that this is increasing costs and generating a cumulative pressure on the High Needs Budget. They did applaud the fact that officers specifically confirmed that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 125.


Period 7 Budget Monitoring Report - Information Item

-        Report to follow


This report was for information purposes.


Report from the Chair of the Scrutiny MTFP & Budget Task & Finish Group - Information Item pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Stevens provided a short overview presentation of the work of the Budget T&F Group.  This explained the key areas that the group had looked at plus what Councillor Stevens considered the main risks to be.  


The presentation slides have been up-loaded with the meeting papers.


Please note, this item was taken at the start of the meeting after Public Forum



Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Update - Information Item pdf icon PDF 144 KB

-        Please note, this report was first published for the 4th December 2018 Cabinet meeting.

Additional documents:


This report was information only