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Find out more about everything that happened during the November 9 WCC Cabinet meeting.

Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet today considered a series of reports with finances, performance against key indicators, fire and rescue service, plans for how it aims to achieve net zero emissions, providing sufficient school spaces and the democratic process of petitioning the council making up the agenda. 

The Integrated Performance Review of the Council Plan outlined a county where demand on services such as adult social care, SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) provision and home to school transport, is increasing and creating pressures. This reflects the national picture.  

Warwickshire was able to report, however, that there were positive aspects to performance in some key areas including  

  • provision of equipment to enable independent living (1,074 customers received equipment) 

  • the number of people receiving long-term support being assessed and exceeding the target (82 with a target of 80)  

  • the support being given to applicants to the Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme with 5,852 successful applications (99%) between 1st April and 30th September 2023. 

The Financial Monitoring Report outlined the plans to cover a forecast increased overspend through both the Council’s reserves and through movement of the year’s spend on its capital programme into future years. The net overspend of £4.856m (1.3% of the net revenue budget) is within the +/- 2% target acceptable parameter.  

The Treasury Management Report was received in line with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) recommendation that members receive reports twice a year. Cabinet also heard that the reporting to the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee would receive reports quarterly from now on. 

Cllr Peter Butlin, portfolio holder for finance and property said: “Nationally, local authorities are facing huge financial pressures as demand increases and we are subject to the effects of outside issues such as inflation. 

“Warwickshire’s position, while presenting significant financial challenges, would be a lot worse had we not been so prudent financially over the years. The Council has always taken very great care with public money to ensure that we are in position to provide our services. That diligence was well illustrated with the announcement that Resources Scrutiny Committee will now receive reports from Treasury Management on a quarterly basis.” 

Elsewhere in Cabinet, a report on Resourcing to Risk for the County’s Fire and Rescue Service was considered with the decision taken to adopt a resourcing to risk model and to consult on the proposed model The Service’s response to the recent inspection by HMCIFRS was also put before Cabinet with the progress on many areas since the previous inspection demonstrating the positive direction of travel. 

Education of the county’s young people was the subject of two reports. The Fair Access Protocol was endorsed and this will ensure that an inclusive education for all children and young people within Warwickshire with a particular focus on vulnerable groups is provided.  

The Schools Sufficiency Update demonstrated how the Council has responded to the need to create more school places as new housing developments increase the number of school age children and young people in some areas of the county. 

The journey towards Warwickshire becoming a net zero county was the subject of the Sustainable Futures Strategy Report which was signed off and details a comprehensive approach to tackling climate change, ranging from nurturing and supporting a community-powered approach through to working with some of the county’s major players in the manufacturing sector. 

Finally, changes to the process where members of the community can bring signed petitions to the attention of the County Council to simplify the process and enhance public engagement with the democratic process were agreed to be recommended to Full Council for its approval. 

The livestream of this meeting can be watched here:   

Published: 9th November 2023

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