Agenda and minutes

Policy and Resources Committee - Thursday, 2 April 2015 10:30 am


Contact: Hazel MacInnes Tel: 01546 604269 

No. Item

The Chair advised of a request from 2 colleagues under Standing Order 22.1 to speak and vote on item 3 of the agenda.  He advised that he was declining their request to vote due to the strategic nature of the item and the fact that it was not Ward specific but would allow them to speak on the item.


The Chair advised that, due to a delay with his ferry, Councillor MacDougall would be arriving to the meeting late.




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Vivien Dance, Duncan MacIntyre and Ellen Morton.




There were none intimated.



Report by Interim Head of Strategic Finance

Additional documents:


The Policy and Resources Committee, at its meeting on 18 December 2014, considered papers on the delivery of the Single Outcome Agreement, including the budgetary outlook which estimated a funding gap of up to £37.5M.  At that meeting the Committee agreed the Service Choices approach that plans for estimated funding reductions by aligning the available budget with Council priorities.


The Committee considered a report which sought agreement of initial savings targets for Council Services, as part of stage one of the process, to enable officers to explore options and to report back to the Committee in June 2015.


Councillor MacDougall joined the meeting at 11.05 am.


The Committee adjourned from 11.45 to 11.55 for Members to consider a possible Motion which had been tabled by Councillor Dick Walsh; and to allow for the preparation of a possible Amendment to that Motion.




1.    To note the recommendations contained in the report by the Interim Head of Strategic Finance

2.    To establish a Project Board, consisting of 12 Members, to identify options for taking forward Service Choices, the Project Board to comprise 12 Members, 8 Administration and 4 Opposition, the Chair of the Project Board to be Leader of the Council and with the Trade Unions being invited to nominate 2 representatives on the  Project Board

3.    To amend the table at paragraph 4.4.1 of the report as follows:-


Key Decision


Agree the overall approach to service choices

Special Policy and Resources Committee

2 April 2015

Set formal saving target and options for each service package prior to proceeding to the business planning stage

Special Policy and Resources Committee

Early June 2015

Recommend/agree detailed savings proposals to go out to consultation

Special Policy and Resources Committee

/ Council – October 2015

Recommend/agree if there are any options that can be approved before February 2016

Special Policy and Resources Committee

/Council – October 2015

Agree a 2 year budget for 2016/17 and 2017/18 and approve a medium term financial plan covering the period to 2020/21

Council meeting

February 2016


4.    That the Project Board established in terms of recommendation 2 above is tasked with producing options to be presented to a workshop for all Elected Members to consider

5.    That the outcomes from the said workshop be reported to a special meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee in October 2015

6.    That the special Policy and Resources Committee meeting in October 2015 make recommendations, to be considered at a special meeting of the Council, also to be held in October 2015 in respect of (a) detailed savings proposals to go out to public consultation and (b) any savings options which could be approved before February 2016

Moved Councillor Dick Walsh, seconded Gary Mulvaney.




The Committee

  1. … notes the report and the estimated mean funding gap for 2016-17 of £10.6m and the estimated mean cumulative funding gap of £22.2m for the period 2017-2021.
  2. … notes the high level proposals for savings from officers and instructs the interim Head of Strategic Finance to provide more detail of specific service cuts to a Special Policy and Resources Committee meeting in June.
  3. …. agrees that any increases in allocated budgets will be supported by a business case.
  4. … notes the responses to the “Planning Our Future” consultation and instruct officers to provide feedback to respondents as to how their responses will be considered and used in the budget process.
  5. … agrees that any detailed savings proposals are referred to the September Council meeting for agreement to go to consultation, with responses reported back to the Council meeting in November.
  6. …. agrees to continue the current engagement and consultation with community planning partners and trade unions with specific reports brought back to all Policy and Resources Committee and Council meetings dealing with the Service Cuts process
  7. …. instructs Officers to arrange workshops in advance of all P&R and Council meetings dealing with Service Choices
  8. …. recommends to the Council that the 2016-17 budgets, both revenue and capital, be published four weeks prior to the Council Budget meeting on Thursday 11th February, 2016


Moved Councillor Sandy Taylor, seconded Councillor James Robb




On a show of hands vote the Motion was carried by 9 votes to 4 and the Committee resolved accordingly.


(Reference:  Report by Interim Head of Strategic Finance dated 26 March 2015, submitted)