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
- 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
- Members were pleased
that an apparently balanced budget had been achieved. They did however express concern about likely
future pressures on this budget item.
Social Care: Officer Presentation and Comments by Commission
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
- 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
- Officers said the
delayed transfer of care situation was much better than it was the
- Members were
encouraged to hear that no additional savings were being proposed
and that it appeared that things are moving in the right
- It was the
Commissions understanding that holistic actions have brought the
costs down for the ASC for 64+ provision.
School Grants (DSG): Scrutiny Commission Comments
Director, Education, Learning and Skills presented the published information to Members. Some of the points that were discussed were as
- 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 Council
budgetary process did now seem to be based on the anticipated needs
of children and not the anticipated spend.
- £58.2 million
is the likely spend, resulting in a £3.3 million forecast
deficit; Members appreciated that this figure had
reduced. Questions were asked about
borrowing from the future and comments were made about the risk
- Members would require
further clarification but currently understood that the £2
million transferred across to the High Needs Block was from the
Growth Fund (money for expansions of existing
and new schools) and heard officer’s
reassurances that this is being monitored and does not affect
schools’ abilities to deliver mainstream
- The Commission Member
stated that schools still appear to be underfunded and that there
should be more clarity that the responsibility to fund them
properly actually lies with central Government. The costs of
education (both mainstream and SEN) should not need to be funded
and subsidised by other areas of the Council.
- It was agreed that
the Transformation Programme would be scrutinised by the Adults
Children and Education (ACE) Scrutiny Commission.
Commission thanked the officers for their time.