The Finance Business Partner introduced the
report and outlined changes to the format in response to feedback.
The Panel were invited to comment on the Draft Budget and
Medium-term Financial Strategy and the specific proposals within
the remit of the Panel. The Panel highlighted the need to have
information specifically related to destinations for
post sixteen-year olds. The
Finance Business Partner agreed to note the comment and consider
the level of detail when producing future reports.
The Finance Business Partner outlined an
analysis of the budget for children and young people services. The
majority of the spend in education was funded by the Dedicated
Schools Grant which is a ringfenced for specific
activities. It was reported that 24%
(£56.9 million) of net revenue expenditure budget was for
services for children and young people. The Panel made the
following comments on the specific budget proposals.
The Head of Service - People, added that a
significant amount of the budget expenditure was on service
transformation work. Wolverhampton was performing much better when
compared to regional and national trends. The Head of Service
explained in the budget proposal for Transforming Children’s
Services that £500,000 of the predicted budgeted spend would
no longer be required due to range of activities that was expected
to reduce demand on children services. The Head of Service People
gave an example of the longer-term benefits of early investment in
speech and language services for children which would reduce demand
for more specialist services in the future. The Head of School
Organisation commented on the planned consultations about funding
options that would be discussed at the Schools Forum.
The Panel queried the options being considered
for Towers Outdoor Activity Centre. The
Head of School Organisation advised the Panel that no decision had
been made about the possible options for the future of the service.
The Panel discussed the importance of investment in speech and
language therapy services for children.
The Panel comments on the Draft Budget and Medium-Term Financial
Strategy 2020-21 to 2023-24 and the draft budget proposals relevant
to the remit of the panel to be included in the response to
Scrutiny Board for consideration.
A final response to be finalised by the Chair and Vice Chair.