5.1 The Overview & Scrutiny Committee thanked cabinet members for attending and presenting the 2019/20 budget and made the following recommendations:
1. That Overview & Scrutiny Committee should receive a report on the impact to service users of the reviews of special guardianship orders and care packages.
2. That Overview & Scrutiny Committee welcomes the protection of the community safety budget and recommends that if the scheme for local authority purchasing of police officers is withdrawn, the council should consider how to make best use of the available budget to support the work of the community safety team.
3. That a robust monitoring system is put in place in respect of changes to library opening hours so that the equalities impact may be analysed – this should be reported to Overview & Scrutiny Committee 6 months after implementation.
4. That income raised from environmental measures in the budget are fully aligned with the council’s green policies and are communicated to residents in a manner that promotes positive environmental behaviour.
5. That Overview and Scrutiny Committee welcomes the efficiency saving in respect of LED lighting in the council’s Tooley Street office and asks the cabinet member to explore whether similar measures can be brought forward across other council buildings.
6. That Overview & Scrutiny Committee supports the rationale for a one year budget for the coming year and asks the cabinet to consider refreshing the council’s budget principles in preparation for the next budget cycle in order to take account of the economic context in which the council is operating. The committee calls on the council to take every opportunity for lobbying and advocacy around local government finance.
7. That Overview and Scrutiny Committee requests an illustrative outline of how the Brexit support fund (budget reference 424) might be spent, supported by an explanation of the underpinning assumptions and risk profiles.
8. That Overview and Scrutiny Committee should receive the equality impact assessment for the budget and this should be part of the agenda papers in future.
Requests for information
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee requests:
1. Data on numbers of primary school pupils eligible for free school meals but not enrolled in the national scheme.
2. Information about the projected income from the leisure centres contract.