Home In focus On the agenda at Cabinet this week

On the agenda at Cabinet this week

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet will meet on Wednesday, 21 September at 5pm.

The agenda and papers can all be found on the council’s website – but to give you an idea of the items up for discussion, we’ve summarised the items on the agenda for you.

Members of Knowsley Council’s Cabinet are being asked to consider the following items:

2015/16 Capital Outturn and 2016/17 Capital Monitoring

This report looks at how much the council has spent against its annual predictions – in the previous financial year and in the current year to date.

Councillors will be asked to note the reallocation of some money from last year which was not spent as expected, due to delays in some projects. This money will be carried over to this financial year and the report sets out which projects and priorities to which this relates.

Similarly, members will be updated as to the council’s expenditure so far, some new projects which have been added to the plans for this year, and any movement of money from this year’s budget to 2017-18 where it no longer expects projects to complete before the end of March.

Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2016-2020

Cabinet will look over the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and decide whether to endorse it, before sending on to Council for formal approval. The strategy is the key document which will show how health and wellbeing is to be improved in the borough, and has been consulted upon widely with partners and residents. It sets out two priority areas of focus for board over the next four years; promoting mental health and emotional wellbeing and promoting healthy living.

Implementation of respite policy

Cabinet will be asked to approve the revised Respite Policy for Adult Social Care which sets out how carers of adults over 18 with care and support needs can access respite support.

It outlines the different types of respite support available, such as day or residential care, as well as social and leisure activities for carers. It also clarifies the assessment process, and states that almost 100% of carers are eligible for support to take a break from their caring role.

The council is proposing to maintain its commitment to not charging for carers’ respite services in non-residential settings.

Knowsley Carers’ Centre, Healthwatch Knowsley and the Carers’ Partnership Board have been consulted on the policy which, if agreed, will be shared further with the disabilities and older people’s partnership boards.

Extra Care Sufficiency Strategy

The future need for Extra Care housing in Knowsley will come under the spotlight this week.

The borough’s Extra Care Sufficiency Strategy, being considered by Cabinet on Wednesday, will be used to plan and identify sites for future developments, potential partners and sources of funding.

Extra Care housing is similar to sheltered accommodation – offering older people and adults with support needs independence, plus the peace of mind of on-site care, security, as well as social and leisure activities. Extra Care enables many older people to live independently for longer, reduces loneliness and is more cost effective than placing people in residential care.

There are currently four Extra Care developments in Knowsley at Bluebell Park and Cranshaw Court, Huyton, Derby Court, Halewood and Bailey Court, Kirkby, with new developments in the pipeline in Prescot and Stockbridge Village. It is anticipated there will be 427 Extra Care units across Knowsley by 2020, against a predicted need for 592 places.

Council Leader Cllr Andy Moorhead has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government expressing the council’s concerns about the Government’s current review of the Local Housing allowance which may lead to Extra Care rents being capped, and a reduction in new developments.

Medium-term financial strategy: Efficiency plan

Councillors will decide whether to accept the Government’s four-year funding settlement offer, and a proposed efficiency plan for the council which will be needed to meet the conditions of the offer.

Knowsley and all other local authorities have been given the offer of a four year funding settlement, which would mean it would know how much money it will receive in the Revenue Support Grant from Government up to 2019/20, rather than the uncertainty of working on a year by year basis. For Knowsley, this amount is £122m, and in order to guarantee this amount, the council must prepare an Efficiency Plan – a draft version of which will be considered by councillors at the meeting.

What next?

We will keep you updated following the meeting about which of the items are agreed by Cabinet. In the meantime, more information is available in the meeting’s papers.