Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources
“Creating the right conditions for businesses and our economy to thrive remains a priority for the county council while managing the inflationary pressures we continue to face.
Our here to Help campaign and dedicated webpages which launched in October continue to signpost families to help and support with rising cost of living pressures. The Holiday Activity and Food programme also ran over the Christmas holidays helping families by providing eligible children with a healthy meal and positive activities.
The next phase of the successful Staffordshire Warmer Homes scheme (Sustainable Warmth Competition) is underway and is helping residents by installing measures to make their homes more energy efficient. This scheme will be able to help people across the county and will run until March 2023.
We continue to face challenges in both adult social care and children’s services including in recruitment and retention. Due to the delay in the adult social care charging reforms until 2025, the recruitment of additional capacity has been paused, however work to streamline pathways and explore digital solutions continues.
We continue to support our local businesses to start up, survive, and adapt, including supporting five hundred individuals through the Staffordshire Start Up Programme. The number of business start-ups in the county have been increasing and are now in line with the national average for the first time. Businesses started within Staffordshire are also more likely to survive compared to the national average.
Despite the inflationary pressures facing councils like ours, we will invest to keep growing the county in a sustainable way to make a positive difference in the lives of our residents”.
Alan White, Leader of the Council
“Significant progress has been made across the organisation during Quarter 3, however inflationary, recruitment and retention pressures continue.
Levels of demand also remain challenging, particularly in children’s services where there remain areas of financial risk. However, there have been improvements in some areas of adult social care over the quarter.
The latest revenue forecast outturn shows a forecast overspend of £16.135m (2.74%), prior to additional funding for inflationary pressures being taken into account. Once this one-off funding is included and an allocation from the Inflation Reserve is assumed, the overspend reduces to £11.635m (1.97%). This is compared to an overspend of £6.408m reported at Quarter 2.
Like many local authorities, we still face financial challenges, but we are a well run council and continue to keep our finances in as strong a position as possible. Well managed finances means we can continue to invest in our future, grow our economy and improve people’s lives.”
Ian Parry, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources
Reasons for the Decision – To consider an overview of Staffordshire County Council’s progress, performance, and financial position in delivering against the Council’s Strategic Plan and Delivery Plan
Decision – (a) That the report be received.
(b) That the use of the remaining £4m of Contingency plus £1.189m of earmarked reserves be approved.