Agenda and minutes

Special Scrutiny Meeting - Revised Budget, Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 29th April, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham

Contact: Joanna Morley  01572 758271


No. Item




Apologies were received from Miss M Jones.




In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Act 1992 applies to them.


Councillor Oxley declared a personal interest in respect of PLA-042 Arts Development Support as Arts for Rutland gave a grant to the Rutland Morris Men for their visit to Albania. He advised Councillors that he would not take part in any debate on that item.


Councillor Begy declared a personal interest in respect of Arts for Rutland as his wife used to be a member of the group. He advised Councillors that he would not take part in any debate on that item.




To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the Virtual Meetings Regulations (s1 2020 392) and the subsequent RCC Procedure Rules agreed at Council on 20 May 2020 and revised by Council on 14 September 2020. (Please see link: Revision to Virtual Meetings Protocol.)



No petitions, deputations or questions had been received through Governance but Councillor Fox stated she had received emails from members of the public, which she had forwarded to committee members prior to the meeting. The emails were in regard to the arts budget and would be read and considered during the discussions.




To consider any questions with notice from Members received in accordance with the provisions of Procedure rule No. 218 and No. 218A.


No questions with notice had been received.



BUDGET SAVINGS 21/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive Report No.61/2021 from the Strategic Director for Resources.


Report No.62/2021 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources.


Mr Della Rocca, Strategic Director for Resources, introduced the revised budget report and gave a short presentation to attendees. During the discussion, the following points were noted:


·       The previously approved budget had highlighted a gap of approximately £2.4m, which would have been covered by using the Reserves, but this was poor financial practice as the reserves should only be used to cover unforeseen pressures and not be used to balance core expenditure.

·       A target had been set to reduce the £2.4m deficit by at least £1m

·       Officers had undertaken a line-by-line review of services to see where costs could be reduced or even stopped completely.  

·       Long-term projects such as the waste and leisure projects had already started but others needed to start so that reductions in cost and savings could be made as soon as possible.

·       Funding for 2022/23 was uncertain and additional pressures were emerging.

·       Councillor G Brown queried the overall year-end financial position and the £328k spending on external support. Mr Della Rocca stated that the year-end financial position could not be confirmed due to the complex events of 2020/21 but that he hoped to have a definitive figure for when the final report went to Cabinet.  He also stated that the use of external support was vital to enable long-term projects to begin and result in long-term cost savings. There was not the capacity or resource within the Council to undertake this work in-house. 

·       Councillor Begy queried whether the external support costs for the listed projects would go to the relevant Scrutiny Committee for discussion before approval. Mr Della Rocca stated that it would depend on what decision Council made as to who would be responsible for the management of the funding. Cllr Waller felt that it was essential to have funding that could purchase any expertise that the Council required to further long-term projects.

·       Short-term cost saving proposals identified by Officers were detailed in Appendix B

·       RES-001  Finance (inc. Revenues and Benefits): the posts would be held vacant for a year which would give savings of £40,000 as the service had managed without the resource for some time and this would have a minimal impact on the provision of service.

·       RES-012  Customer Services (CST): customer services to be closed and cash payments no longer accepted but face-to-face meetings would continue via an appointment service whilst a walk-in service would be available for emergency services only. This would result in a cost saving of £10,000, which was a significant saving for such a small team. Mr Della Rocca confirmed that the Council ruled several years ago not to accept cash payments, but this had not been enforced and the actual sum received in cash was very low.

·       RES-006  IT Hardware: service to stop replacing/refreshing IT hardware after 4 years and instead only replace existing hardware when it was broken or unusable.  This would result in a revenue cost saving of £20,000.  Mr Della Rocca confirmed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.