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25/01/2023 - Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023 - 2028 ref: 3446    Recommendations Approved

To update Cabinet on the Medium Term Financial Strategy and to ask for approval for the 2023/24 budget.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 25/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 26/01/2023

Effective from: 01/02/2023

Decision:

 

 

“We are proposing spending more money than ever before on supporting residents, while still investing heavily in the long-term future of our communities.

 

Millions of pounds are earmarked for schools, roads and backing businesses large and small, so residents can take advantage of good well paid jobs in Staffordshire.”

 

Alan White, Leader of the Council

 

“Despite the recent pressures brought by unexpected inflation and the rising cost of fuel and energy, this authority remains financially stable and able to put forward a balanced budget for the coming year which supports people, communities and businesses.

 

We will work closely with partners to make the most of how we spend our money and to provide the best services for our residents in the most cost-effective way”.

 

Ian Parry, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

Reasons for the Decision – To consider the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for the period 2023 - 2028 and the draft budget for 2023/24.

 

Decision – (a) That the updates to the financial plans, as set out in the report, be noted.

 

(b) That the comments of the Director of Finance on the adequacy of reserves and robustness of the budget be noted and that the County Council be asked to take note of these comments when considering the budget and council tax.

 

(c) That the comments and recommendations of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and the Executive’s response thereto, be noted.

 

(d) That it be recommended to the County Council on 9th February 2023 that they consider and approve the following:

 

(i)                a net revenue budget of £649.663m for 2023/24;

(ii)               planning forecasts for 2024/25 to 2027/28 as set out in Appendix 11 to the report;

(iii)              a contingency provision of £15.000m for 2023/24;

(iv)             a net contribution from reserves of £2.108m for 2023/24;

(v)               a budget requirement of £647.555m for 2023/24;

(vi)             a council tax requirement of £432.196m for 2023/24;

(vii)            a council tax at Band D of £1,471.23 for 2023/24 which is an increase of 4.99% when compared with 2022/23;

(viii)           This results in council tax for each category of dwelling as set out in the table below:

 

Category of dwelling

Council Tax rate

£

Band A

980.82

Band B

1,144.29

Band C

1,307.76

Band D

1,471.23

Band E

1,798.17

Band F

2,125.11

Band G

2,452.05

Band H

2,942.46

 

(ix)         that the Director of Finance be authorised to sign precept notices on the billing authorities respectively liable for the total precept payable and that each notice states the total precept payable and the council tax in relation to each category of dwelling as calculated in accordance with statutory requirements;

(x)          the Financial Health Indicators set out in Appendix 10 to the report.

 

(e) That it be recommended to the County Council on 9th February 2023 that they consider and approve the following recommendations which are included within the Capital and Minimum Revenue Provision Strategy 2023/24, the Treasury Management Strategy 2023/24 and the Commercial Investment Strategy 2023/24 (Appendices 9a to 9c of the report):

 

(i)                Approve the Minimum Revenue Policy for 2023/24 as contained within the Capital and Minimum Revenue Provision Strategy 2023/24 in Appendix 9a to the report;

(ii)               Approve the Prudential Indicators as set out within the Capital and Minimum Revenue Provision Strategy 2023/24 at Appendix 9a to the report;

(iii)              Approve the 2023/24 Treasury Management Strategy, based on the 2021 CIPFA Codes (Prudential Code and Treasury Management Code), and 2018 MHCLG (now DLUHC) Guidance (on Local Government Investments and on Minimum Revenue Provision;

(iv)             Adopt the Annual Investment Strategy (AIS) 2023/24 detailed in paragraphs 63 to 109 and Annex A and Annex B of the Treasury Management Strategy 2023/24 (Appendix 9b to the report);

(v)               Approve the policies on reviewing the strategy, the use of external advisors, investment management training and the use of financial derivatives as described in paragraphs 110 to 120 of the Treasury Management Strategy 2023/24 (Appendix 9b to the report);

(vi)             Approve the proposed borrowing strategy for the 2023/24 financial year detailed in paragraphs 41 to 62 of the Treasury Management Strategy 2023/24 (Appendix 9b to the report);

(vii)            The Treasury Management Strategy recommendations will operate within the prudential limits set out in Annex C of the Treasury Management Strategy 2023/24 (Appendix 9b to the report) and will be reported to the Cabinet Member for Finance, with respect to decisions made for raising new long-term loans, early loan repayments and loan rescheduling;

(viii)           Approve the Commercial Investment Strategy for 2023/24 (Appendix 9c to the report) and note the circumstances under which commercial investments can be made;

(ix)             Approve the governance arrangements that are in place for proposing and approving commercial investments;

(x)               Approve a maximum quantum for commercial investments of a further £20 million in 2023/24;

(xi)             Approve a maximum limit for an individual service investment loan of £10 million in 2023/24;

(xii)            Any upwards change in the amounts of the limits specified in recommendations (x) and (xi) be delegated to the Director of Finance in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.

 

(f) That the Director of Finance be authorised to adjust the contingency provision to reflect any grant and local taxation changes announced in the final 2023/24 Local Government Finance Settlement.

 

(g) That the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and the Director of Finance be authorised to challenge Cabinet, the Senior Leadership Team and services to manage and deliver the current five-year plans and to identify further cost reductions and income generation opportunities, as appropriate.

 

Divisions affected: (All Divisions);

Lead officer: Rachel Spain


18/01/2023 - Decision Making for Looked After Children/Use of Unregulated Placements – Update ref: 3445    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 25/01/2023


18/01/2023 - Health and Care Winter Update ref: 3437    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 25/01/2023

Decision:

A person with blonde hair Description automatically generated with low confidence

 

“The NHS has been under extraordinary pressure this winter due to people unwell with respiratory virus infections and staffing issues.

 

The Council has worked hard to ensure that the number of people in hospital waiting for social care remains low.

 

We will continue to work with the NHS to facilitate timely hospital discharges and to support those residents who need adult social care.”

 

Julia Jessel, Cabinet Member for Health and Care

 

Reasons for the Decision – To receive an update on pressures facing the NHS this winter and the additional and ongoing services commissioned by the Council to facilitate timely hospital discharges and support those residents who need adult social care.

 

Decision – (a) That the pressures facing the NHS this winter be noted.

 

(b) That the additional services commissioned by the Council to facilitate timely hospital discharges and support those residents who need social care be noted.


18/01/2023 - Forward Plan of Key Decisions ref: 3442    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 18/01/2023

Decision:

The Forward Plan of Key Decisions for the period 15 February to 21 June 2023, which detailed the following issues, was approved:

 

Subject Matter

Contact

Diversity and Inclusion – Progress Update

Name: Kerry Dove

Tel: 07855 679112

Empowering our Communities

Name: Catherine Mann

Tel: (01785) 278320

Integrated Performance Report - Quarter 3, 2022/23

Name: Kerry Dove

Tel: 07855 679112

Our People Strategy 2023 and Beyond

Name: Sarah Getley

Tel: (01785) 854265

Capital Programme for Schools 2023/ 2024

Name: Ian Tuner

Tel: (01785) 277228

Highways and Transport Capital Programme 2023/24

Name: James Bailey

Tel: (01785) 276591

Staffordshire County Council Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

Name: James Bailey

Tel: (01785) 276591

Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing Strategy 2023-2028

Name: Andrew Jepps

Tel: (01785) 278557

Joint Coroners Service - Legal Framework and Financial Protocol

Name: Catherine Mann

Tel: (01785) 278320

 


18/01/2023 - Decisions taken by Cabinet Members under Delegated Powers ref: 3441    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 18/01/2023

Decision:

Decision – That the following decisions taken by Cabinet Members under delegated powers be noted:

 

Cabinet Member

Decision

Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture

In approving the transfer of an item (Petrol Locomotive 0-6-0, No.800) from the Staffordshire County Museum collection.

Cabinet Member for Health and Care

In approving the expenditure of the County Council’s allocation of the Adult Social Care Discharge Grant.

 

 


18/01/2023 - Staffordshire Means Back to Business - Oral Update ref: 3436    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 18/01/2023

Decision:

Decision – That the oral report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills giving an update on “Staffordshire Means Back to Business” activity including the following matters be noted:

 

·       The Council’s commitment to support Staffordshire’s local business community and to continue to make representations through our MPs to encourage government to seek a fair and growth-based approach to business rates to support jobs and investment. 

 

·       The claimant count, which saw a further increase of 335 claimants over the last month, with the total number of claimants in the county now standing at 14,640. The main contribution to the overall increase in claimants this month came from those aged 25-49 years of age with this group seeing an increase of 225 claimants.

 

·       How the Council was continuing to play a key role in the delivery of local plans across Staffordshire. These plans were vital in supporting sustainable economic growth in Staffordshire, not least through allocating land that will ultimately lead to the creation of new homes and jobs. 

 

·       The economic growth programme through which the Council, working with partners, continued to support and directly deliver sites such as the Chatterley Valley enterprise zone, Redhill and i54. 

 

·       The Council’s intention to contribute to a piece of work to further consider the need and potential location for large scale strategic employment sites across the West Midlands region. 

 

Innovation activity within the county had increased substantially in recent years and particularly within our universities.  Work was already ongoing on a number of further innovation projects within the county, including as part of the Hydrogen Technologies Valley proposal.  Working with our district and borough partners through the Leaders Board, the Council was also beginning to consider further projects that could drive innovation activity across the county.


18/01/2023 - Minutes of the meeting of the Property Sub-Committee: ref: 3435    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 18/01/2023

Decision:

Decision – That the minutes of the meetings of the Property Sub-Committee held on 7 December 2022 and 4 January 2023 be received.


18/01/2023 - Leader's Update ref: 3434    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 18/01/2023

Decision:

Decision – That the oral report of the Leader of the Council giving an update on a range of issues including the Staffordshire residents who were recognised in the King’s New Year’s Honours list; the importance of getting vaccinated against Covid and Flu, if eligible, to protect yourself and ease demand on the NHS; the support available for those hit hard by the cost of living, including through the Council’s Here to Help campaign; the commencement of resurfacing works on the A34 near Stone, and the ongoing work to repair potholes; investment in the Staffordshire economy including the £3.5m investment at Chatterley Valley West in Newcastle; the official opening of Fradley Primary School in Lichfield; and the news that the Council’s Chief Executive, John Henderson, will be stepping down later this year; be noted.


18/01/2023 - Sale of Surplus Property at Scotch Orchard Lichfield ref: 3444    Recommendations Approved

To agree the sale of the former residential units at Scotch Orchard following an informal tender process.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 25/01/2023

Divisions affected: Lichfield - Lichfield City North;

Lead officer: Ian Turner


18/01/2023 - Future Social Care Workforce Strategy ref: 3438    Recommendations Approved

The Strategy for the Future Social Care Workforce in Staffordshire has been co-developed with partners to address challenges facing the social care sector. The aim is to develop a more resilient care sector that enables more effective recruitment and retention in adults' and children's social care, based on person-centred and innovative ways of working.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 25/01/2023

Decision:

 

“People working across Staffordshire in both children and adults social care, do an amazing job protecting and supporting the most vulnerable people in the county and we are committed to working hard not only to attract the best staff, but to keep the best staff.

 

We recognise that nationally we have seen unprecedented challenges in recruitment and our mission is to develop a more resilient care sector that enables more effective recruitment and retention of care staff.

 

In developing this new strategy, we have worked together with partners including the NHS and the independent sector and staff themselves, to look at what matters most to them and how all employers can do their very best to recruit, retain and develop their own workforce.

 

This includes encouraging more training and career progression opportunities as well as offering work placements and apprenticeships to attract more people starting out on their work life into the profession.”

 

Julia Jessel, Cabinet Member for Health and Care

 

Reasons for the Decision – To receive an update on the development of the partnership Staffordshire Social Care Workforce Strategy, timescales for publication and the approach being taken to implement the key activities to achieve the outcomes.

 

Decision – (a) That the Staffordshire Social Care Workforce Strategy be endorsed.

 

(b) That the timescales for publication and launch, and arrangements for implementation, be noted.

Divisions affected: (All Divisions);

Lead officer: Andrew Jepps


18/01/2023 - Staffordshire Sustainability Board Communications Plan 2023 ref: 3440    Recommendations Approved

A joint communications plan has been developed with the Staffordshire Sustainability Board in conjunction with all district and borough councils to help residents to reduce their carbon emissions. During 2023, several joint activities have been planned across the county to promote national awareness days, increase residents carbon literacy, run local events and launch a consultation to hear our residents’ thoughts on climate change and the barriers they face to be greener.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 25/01/2023

Decision:

“We are on a mission to make Staffordshire sustainable. Engaging with our people about climate change is key to reducing the county’s carbon emissions and reaching our net zero target.

 

As a local authority we are only responsible for a small proportion of carbon emissions in the county, but our position allows us to set an example, raise awareness and inspire people to make more sustainable choices.

 

This joint communications plan will help us to share clear, consistent messages with our residents, businesses and communities about the climate change challenge and how they can make an impact.

 

We achieve much more by working together. Working closely with our local authority colleagues and collaboratively with our residents, communities, and businesses, we can really make a big difference.”

 

Simon Tagg, Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change

 

Reasons for the Decision – To consider the joint Staffordshire Sustainability Board Communications Plan 2023 which has been developed with the Staffordshire Sustainability Board in conjunction with all district and borough councils to help residents to reduce their carbon emissions.

 

Decision – (a) That the progress of the Staffordshire Sustainability Board in developing a unified 2023 programme of activity across the county and eight district and borough councils, to tackle climate change and work towards our net zero targets, be noted.

 

(b) That the Staffordshire Sustainability Board joint communications plan (attached as Appendix 1 to the report), which sets out our 12-month programme of climate change awareness-raising and behaviour change activity, be approved.

Divisions affected: (All Divisions);

Lead officer: Clive Thomson


18/01/2023 - Staffordshire County Council's Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy ref: 3439    Recommendations Approved

This report details the work undertaken in developing a Staffordshire County Council Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy, and requests approval from Cabinet to the adoption and formal publication of the Strategy.


Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 18/01/2023 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 25/01/2023

Decision:

 

 

 

 

“The UK is already embarking on the transition towards electric vehicle use which is good news in terms of our combined efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

 

As national legislation draws nearer it’s important that we take steps to enable the right infrastructure is in place across the county. We have an important role to play, working with our district and borough colleagues, to determine what this will look like based on the evidence gathered.

 

David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

 

“Our strategy helps us to identify where the most appropriate places for charging points could be and how we will work with the private sector to facilitate successful delivery. We can work with businesses to encourage workplace charging and residents to support off-street charging, in addition to people and organisations making planning applications.

 

We understand that electricity may not be the only type of alternative power for vehicles in future years, but this strategy needs to focus on national policy. We anticipate funding will shortly become available from the Government to support our work to put the strategy in place.”

 

Simon Tagg, Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change

 

Reasons for the Decision – To seek approval for the adoption of a Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy developed by Staffordshire County Council working with the Staffordshire District and Borough Councils.

 

Decision – (a) That the adoption of a Staffordshire County Council Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) be approved subject to the amendments proposed by the Leader of the Council as to: (i) the deletion of the words “from the Council” in the second line of the second paragraph on page 60 of the Strategy; and (ii) to replace the words “A socially equitable public” with the words “An accessible” in the first line of the fourth paragraph on page 60 of the Strategy.

 

(b) That it be noted that additional guidance on EV strategies may be issued by the DfT in connection with Local Transport Plans and that it be agreed that any minor required text changes to the Strategy be delegated to the Director for Economy, Infrastructure & Skills, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport and the Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change to implement.

Divisions affected: (All Divisions);

Lead officer: Clive Thomson