Here’s a quick summary of what was discussed.
Revenue budget monitoring
Members of the Cabinet were asked to note the council’s financial position at the end of 2017/18. They also approved an investment of £1m – taken from available one-off resources – in the improvement of provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities in Knowsley.
Knowsley Parks and Green Spaces update
Councillors considered the work that had been done to explore alternative management and funding for Knowsley’s parks and green spaces, and formally agreed that all work to establish an independent Trust to take over this role will now cease. Councillors stated that this would now mean a lot of work to go through the council’s budget to identify other options to make the savings need instead. However, Councillors felt that feedback from the community had been clear, and that they had listened to that.
Adult provider services update
Cabinet were updated on the latest position regarding Adult Provider Services which includes adult day services, older people’s day services, shared lives, respite and supported living. It was formally agreed that a partnership with Sefton New Directions would no longer be explored, and that work to develop a locally based alternative was now underway.
Financial strategy update
As the council approaches the final year of the three year budget agreed in March 2017, Cabinet were given an update on the impact changes to financial forecasts may have on the council’s financial strategy.
Growth in Business Rates and Council Tax receipts is expected to offset much of the impact of new spending pressures, although the report also highlighted that both Adult Social Care and Children’s Social Care face great uncertainty in the longer term as no long-term financial solutions have been put forward by the Government.
The report detailed sufficient certainty to inform the 2019/20 budget setting process which will ensure that savings in service budgets are identified on the basis of clear priorities and performance measures.
Cabinet Members agreed the allocation of available one-off resources of £1.440m which will allow officers to develop business cases for allocating these resources to address emerging budget pressures and priorities.
As reported to the Council in March 2018 financial forecasts confirm significant budget shortfalls in 2020/21 still need to be addressed and there remains significant uncertainty in relation to the longer term.
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All the information and papers for this meeting can be found on the council’s website.