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Agenda item

Budget and Business Plan

Members are requested to bring the Member’s Information Pack with them to the meeting


The Chair invited Cllr Billy Christie, Cabinet member for Finance and Corporate Services to introduce the report.


Cllr Christie thanked the Chair for the opportunity to introduce the business plan updates from the October, December, and January Cabinet meetings.


The Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services also thanked officers for their hard work and expressed his confidence and pride that the budget updates, growth proposals and the savings proposals are robust, reasonable and sustainable and that the Council has been able to put forward a balanced budget for the next two financial years.


The Chair invited feedback and questions on the October and December Cabinet reports that were included in the Members information pack.


Responses were given by Directors and Cabinet Members.


Closing Eastways Day Centre - We have had extensive discussions with the Alzheimer's society, they support the proposal and they are looking forward to working with us on the new proposal.


With regards to respite care for carers – We will look at an individual assessment for every single person that's affected and alongside that we will look at carers assessments. All will be looked at on an individual basis.

We are seeing an increase in double up care and our proposal is to review the people that are currently having double handed care to see if we can find means to make them more independent, using new types of equipment etc using money from the Better Care Fund.


The Chair invited comments on the January Cabinet additional savings included within the supplementary agenda.


Duke of Edinburgh award - This saving is not until the following year to give us time to do the consultation. Most London boroughs use the London Team to coordinate the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and it's likely to be a lower cost for the coordination from the London team, so we don't see that there being an additional cost to schools. We do currently organise some of the trips but there are other providers that can organise and deliver those trips, but schools could also provide those trips themselves. Part of the consultation and preparation for this saving is to work with schools to ensure that smooth transition.


The £2m cost of living fund is money that Merton Council has put aside specifically to support residents during the cost-of-living emergency.


We are not stopping road safety training for children. We are repurposing it to see if it can be done with an outside body. Road safety for children is important and the proposition is to reprovision it and it will continue. We also have an idea for using our Public Health to provide that service so there is no stopping the service that's an absolute commitment.

We will not charge licensed coaches offering free training or charitable organisations to use public tennis courts.


Brightwell Centre – The Director of Children, Schools and Families explained that with regards to this saving the Council will work with our service users and our parent care forum to ensure that when we draw up the specification for the procurement of that service to be commissioned elsewhere, that we're really clear what is needed. That information will go in the specification to ensure that we get a comparable, if not better, service which is what we're hoping to do through this saving.


Members chose not to send a reference to send onto Cabinet.


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