Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance
“I’m sure that most people will be closely following the story around coronavirus COVID-19 and the Government’s response. It’s an unprecedented situation that we all find ourselves in and one that is changing rapidly.
Our own internal Incident Management Team working closely with Public Health England continue to manage the situation to plan and mitigate against the outbreak.
Our priority as a county council is to protect the most vulnerable, that is the elderly, the disabled and children in our care which we continue to do. Many of our nonessential services like libraries, the school crossing patrol service and day centres have had to be temporarily suspended. Staff from these services are now being asked to provide support to adult social care and children’s services.
As part of our response we have also launched a Coronavirus Kindness campaign to support those staying at home – particularly the high-risk groups such as the over-70s, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women.
In other news, our economic growth programme continues to create and protect more jobs and it’s encouraging to see that we continue to have near full employment. Completed and current projects within the programme have created and safeguarded a total of 9,099 jobs and delivered 2,390 houses up to Q4 in 2020. Our work to secure better skilled, better paid jobs for our residents continues which means we remain a leading location to live, work and invest in.
Following a successful visit from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, a further £1.7m has been secured for the Building Resilient Families and Communities programme for an additional 12 months. This means we can continue to work with vulnerable families with complex needs. The need for children’s social care continues but our focus on preventative measures has resulted in a slight reduction in the number of children in care.
Public engagement around children with special educational needs is also underway with families being asked to help shape the new approach.
The Urgent care of elderly people still remains a challenging picture, with too many frail older people still being admitted to hospital and staying there for too long. The Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee is now planning wider scrutiny of urgent care as part of its work programme later this year.”
Philip Atkins OBE, Leader of the Council
“We continue to ensure that all county council finances are managed carefully and effectively. Alongside this, our drive for further efficiency savings continue across all county council operations whilst ensuring ongoing support for our more vulnerable residents.
The latest revenue forecast outturn shows a forecast overspend of £1.728m (0.3%), compared to the forecast overspend of £4.360m (0.9%) at Quarter 3. We continue to carefully monitor expenditure across the whole council, but rising costs pressures within Adult Social Care and Children’s and Families services continue, and which remain particular areas of risk.
Be assured, wherever Staffordshire county council spending is necessary, we will always try and get the best value for money ... view the full minutes text for item 125