Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite, County Hall, Exeter

Contact: Charlie Fisher  Email:

Note: View the live stream here: 


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 2023/24 and Capital Programme for 2023/24 to 2027/28 pdf icon PDF 405 KB

Overall Approach


The 2023/24 budget proposals will be scrutinised with consideration of relevant service area budgets 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, to 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 in relation to equalities prior to making any decisions, as set out in equality 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 representations/presentations on any matter relating to the proposed budget, in line with the public participation scheme.


This Meeting


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 take an overview of priorities and prospects.


At this meeting Directors / Heads of Services will report on


·         the Cabinet’s Target Budget for Services and likely implications of the 2023/24 target for individual areas of service (e.g. in percentage terms compared to current levels) and how those areas have been prioritised;


·         any comparisons between the current year and next year’s proposals for the major 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 2023/24 Impact Assessment


Joint Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value and Chief Officer for Children’s Services (DF/23/04) on the proposed budget for Children’s Services for 2023/24, attached.


NB: An overview of the impact assessments for all service areas entitled Budget 2023/24 Impact Assessment has been made available to all Members of the Council so that Scrutiny Committees have access to all equality impact 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 meeting 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  ...  view the full agenda text for item 72.

Additional documents:


The Committee noted that the proposed budget for the 2023/24 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 any relevant resolutions and an overview of those issues arising 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 Chief Officer for Children’s Services (DF/23/04) 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 prioritisation reductions. The Report also detailed the proposed medium-term capital programme for Children’s Services and how it was funded.


The Cabinet, at its meeting of 11 January 2023, had set Revenue Budget targets for 2023/24. That Report outlined the targets in paragraph 3.8 which represented a net increase in service budgets of £66.2 million, which was a 10.5% increase.


As detailed within budget monitoring reports, significant pressures had been and were continuing to be experienced within Devon and across the country. The cost of living and geopolitical situation had created huge financial pressures nationally. As a consequence, the authority had faced unprecedented price and demand pressures in the current year and although significant savings had been found to offset this many had been one off measures. In addition, there had been much more uncertainty in terms of central government funding to local government, combined with the most challenging budget round that the Authority had faced in recent decades.


Budget monitoring at month 2 identified an unprecedented forecast overspend and therefore since the month 2 report, a Financial Sustainability Programme had been set up to address the level of overspending. The programme had been successful in containing some expenditure and making savings, which was reflected in a significantly improved outturn forecast by month 8.


The Capital Programme for 2023/24 to 2027/28 would be presented to Cabinet at the February Budget meeting.


On 19 December 2022, the Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, released a written Ministerial statement to Parliament setting out the provisional local government finance settlement for 2023/24 financial year. This was in line with the Spending Review 2021 and updated for the announcements made in the Autumn Statement of 17 November 2022.


The provisional local government finance settlement for 2023/24  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.