Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite, County Hall, Exeter

Contact: Charlie Fisher  Email:



Note No. Item



Items Requiring Urgent Attention

Items which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered at the meeting as matters of urgency.

Additional documents:


There was no matter raised as a matter of urgency.



Public Participation

Members of the public may make representations/presentations on any substantive matter listed in the published agenda for this meeting, as set out hereunder, relating to a specific matter or an examination of services or facilities provided or to be provided.

Additional documents:


There were no oral representations from members of the public.



Budget 2024/25 and Capital Programme for 2024/25 to 2028/29 pdf icon PDF 405 KB

Overall Approach


The 2024/25 service area budgets will be scrutinised by Scrutiny Committees, with the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee considering both its own budget responsibilities as well as any issues raised by the Children’s Scrutiny Committee and the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee and will produce an overarching set of recommendations.


This approach enables all Scrutiny Members to question and challenge the budget proposals across services, to better understand the implications of the budget proposals across the Council and to make effective recommendations to Cabinet and Council.


The proceedings of all Scrutiny Committees will be livestreamed and publicised through normal channels.


The Council must have full regard to and consider the impact of any proposals, as set out in impact assessments, and any identified risks and mitigation action required.


Public Participation


There will be an opportunity for members of the public to address each Scrutiny Committee meeting and make oral presentations on any matter relating to the proposed budget, in line with the public participation scheme.




At this and other Scrutiny Committees in the current cycle, Members are asked to identify salient issues within each Committee’s areas of responsibility, to examine the general thrust of the budget and make recommendations on an overview of priorities and prospects.


At this meeting Cabinet Members/Directors/Heads of Services will report on


·       the Cabinet’s Target Budget for Services and likely implications of the 2024/25 target for individual areas of service and how those areas have been prioritised;


·       any comparisons between the current year and next year’s proposals for the service areas, to illustrate the scale of change within those activities and how the budget has been allocated across services in those years (to illustrate changes of emphasis or priority);


·       any “alternative delivery models” or other initiatives contemplated for given services and how it is thought that these may reduce costs; and


·       impact assessments undertaken in relation to the draft budget.


Report and Budget 2024/25 Impact Assessment


Joint Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value and Chief Officer for Children’s Services (DFP/24/03) on the proposed budget for Children’s Services  for 2024/25, attached.


NB: An overview of the impact assessments for all service areas entitled Budget 2024-2025 - Impact Assessment ( has been made available to all Members of the Council so that Scrutiny Committees have access to all assessments undertaken as part of the budget’s preparation.  Members are asked to consider the contents and retain it for future meetings, accepting that individual assessments may be updated with time.  Members must have full regard to and consider the impact of any proposals in relation to equalities for this (and other) budget meetings prior to making any decisions.  Scrutiny Committees will no doubt wish to be assured that risk assessments and projections are adequate and that the evidence supports the assumptions made in the formulation of the budget.


Additional documents:


The Committee noted that the proposed budget for the 2024/25 financial year would be scrutinised by individual Scrutiny Committees.


The Chairs of the Children’s Scrutiny Committee and the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee would present an overview of resolutions to the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Committee.  This Committee would also consider the draft budget proposals within its own remit, providing an opportunity for Scrutiny Members to comment on proposals for the Council’s Budget in its entirety. The resulting resolutions from Scrutiny will be reported to Cabinet and Council.


This would follow the opportunity for individual Scrutiny Committees – at this meeting – to have an initial overview of the budget proposals and examine them to identify any specific issues or areas of interest that might be considered at the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Committee for incorporation into any recommendations to Cabinet and Council.


The Committee then considered the joint report of the Director of Finance and Public Value and the Director of Children and Young People’s Futures (DFP/24/03) on the provisional financial settlement made by Government and the spending targets set by the Cabinet for each service area which included inflation, commitments and any service reductions. The Report also detailed the proposed medium-term capital programme for the Children’s Services and how it was funded.


An amended page 14 of the Report was tabled at the meeting, which should correctly read: Savings total (8,586) and overall Total 21,507.


The Cabinet, at its meeting of 10 January 2024, had set Revenue Budget targets for 2024/25. That Report had presented the proposed service budget targets for 2024/25 totalling £743.4 million, a net increase of £43.8 million or 6.3% compared to the 2023/24 adjusted budget.


In terms of the Budget for 2024/25, inflationary pressures continue to be felt across the economy, local government and partners and social care was particularly impacted by increases to the national living wage. Senior Leadership Team had worked extensively to develop plans to manage net service costs within affordable financial targets in light of local authorities across the country continuing to face financial challenges due to high inflation and interest rates as well as demands on local service provision.


To enable the authority to set a balanced budget, savings, alternative funding and additional income of £49.6 million had been identified. Overall, there was additional funding of £43.8 million or 6.3% for services next year.


It was not currently planned to support the proposed budget targets by using general reserve balances. In recognition of the SEND Deficit and Safety Valve considerations, it was anticipated the Council would need to set aside funds in 2024/25 – and in subsequent years in the Medium Term Financial Plan – to increase the SEND Safety Valve Reserve. An update on the SEND position would be reflected in the proposed budget presented to Members in February 2024.


The Capital Programme for 2024/25 to 2028/29 would be presented to Cabinet at the February Budget meeting.


On 18th December 2023, the Rt Hon Michael  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124.