Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions
Contact: Simon Trevaskis Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes of the Previous Meeting PDF 125 KB
To approve the Part A and Part B minutes of the meeting held on 23rd January 2023 and the minutes of the meeting held on 30th January 2023 as an accurate record.
The Part A and Part B minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2023 and the meeting held on 30 January 2023 were agreed as an accurate record.
Disclosure of Interests
Members are invited to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and other registrable and non-registrable interests they may have in relation to any item(s) of business on today’s agenda.
There were no disclosures of interest made at the meeting.
Urgent Business (if any)
To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.
There was no urgent business for discussion by the Scrutiny & Overview Committee at this meeting.
Budget Scrutiny 2023-24 PDF 105 KB
The Scrutiny and Overview Committee is asked to:-
1. Note the Cabinet report presenting the Administration’s proposed Budget for 2023-24.
2. Consider the conclusions of the Committee on
2023-24 budget, to be submitted to the Cabinet meeting on 22 February 2023, including:-
a) Are the savings deliverable, sustainable and not an unacceptable risk?
b) Is the impact on service users and the wider community understood?
c) Have all reasonable alternative options been explored and do no better options exist?
d) Consider whether there are any further conclusions on the 2023-24 budget the Committee would like to bring to the attention of Cabinet.
Note: The Cabinet report is to follow.
The Committee considered a report set out on pages 35 to 38 of the agenda and the accompanying supplement which presented the Mayor’s proposed budget for scrutiny prior to its consideration by the Cabinet on 22 February 2023. Following its receipt by the Cabinet, the comments of the Committee along with the Cabinet response would be reported to the Budget Council meeting.
The Committee agreed that it would focus its questioning on reaching conclusions for the following three areas: -
· Are the savings deliverable, sustainable and an acceptable level of risk?
· Is the potential impact on service users and the wider community understood?
· Have all reasonable alternative options been explored and do no better options exist?
Mayor Jason Perry, Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Jason Cummings, Chief Executive, Katherine Kerswell, Corporate Director for Resources & Section 151 Officer, Jane West, Assistant Chief Executive, Elaine Jackson, Corporate Director for Children, Young People & Education, Debbie Jones, Corporate Director for Housing, Susmita Sen and Corporate Director for Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery, Nick Hibberd, attended the meeting for this item.
The item was introduced by Mayor Perry who highlighted to the Committee that Croydon had gone through a difficult time over the past few years and it was against this backdrop that the decisions taken in formulating the budget had been made. The budget included a proposed Council Tax increase of 15% and given the potential impact this would have upon residents and council staff, the decision had not been taken lightly. It was costing the Council approximately £50m per year to service its debt which was not sustainable. The proposed Council Tax increase would be a step towards fixing the Council’s finances.
Following the introduction from the Mayor, the Committee had the opportunity to ask questions on the budget. The first question asked for more information about how the decision to increase Council Tax levels by 15% had been reached. It was advised that conversations on the level of rise needed had been ongoing since the Section 114 notice was issued by the Section 151 Officer in November 2022. A formal request to allow the Council to exceed the 5% referendum cap, along with a debt write-off, had been submitted to the Government in January, with permission received to increase Council Tax on 6 February. The Administration received confirmation of the permitted increase at the same time it was made public by the Government.
As a follow-up, it was questioned why the Mayor had opted for a 15% increase when the two other authorities given permission to increase Council Tax above the referendum cap, namely Slough and Thurrock, had opted for 10%. It was confirmed that the level of increase requested by other authorities was not considered when permission was requested for a 15% increase, which was based on the responding to the financial situation in Croydon. Reassurance was given that this level of increase was a one off and had been proposed as part of a range of action targeted at returning ... view the full minutes text for item 18/23
Scrutiny Recommendations PDF 88 KB
The Scrutiny & Overview Committee is asked to
1. Approve the recommendations made by its Sub-Committee’s for submission to the Executive Mayor for his consideration.
2. Review the response provided by Mayor to recommendations made by the Scrutiny & Overview Committee.
This item was not considered by the Committee at the meeting and will be added to the agenda for the next meeting for consideration.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:
“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”
This motion was not required.