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50.1 RESOLVED – to confirm the minutes of the meeting of the County Council held on 1 December 2015 as a correct record
Apologies for absence
51.1 Apologies for absence were received from Councillors John Hodges, Mike Pursglove and Rosalyn St Pierre
NEW YEAR’S HONOURS
52.1 On behalf of the Council, the Chairman congratulated all those who lived or worked in East Sussex who were recognised in the New Year’s Honours. In particular the Chairman congratulated Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe who had been awarded an MBE for services to the community
52.2 On 11 January, Ofsted published its report following the inspection of the council’s arrangements for supporting school improvement. The report gives us a lot to celebrate in our work with schools and recognises the impact of improvement activity and the difference this is making to the performance of schools and the outcomes for children and young people. The narrative recognises the significant progress we have made and Ofsted has indicated that they do not need to re-inspect the service. The inspectors noted ‘the commitment of Members, officers and school leaders to improving the quality of education provision and outcomes. Inspectors also noted the improvement in standards for young children; improving inspection outcomes in primary schools; increased participation of the youngest and oldest students; and that support for pupils in local authority care and vulnerable 16-17 year olds continues to be a strength.
52.3 Inspectors were clear about the impact of Excellence for All our strategy for improvement and the five areas for improvement identified in the report have been incorporated into the updated version of Excellence for All that was published in January.
52.4 The Chairman reported that he had attended a number of engagements since the last meeting of the County Council including: a concert in aid of the Friends of Sussex Hospices, the Books Beyond Words first anniversary celebration, carol services at Lewes Prison and Chichester Cathedral, the Johnny Spice Swing Orchestra Christmas Ball, a private viewing of Combe Valley Way, the Sussex Downs College Student Awards and the licensing of Chris Styles at St Wilfred’s, Eastbourne. I also hosted a delegation of officials from China and discussed the role of county councillors and presented awards at the Christmas Card Competition. The Vice Chairman also attended a number of events.
CHINESE NEW YEAR
52.5 The Chairman indicated that the Chinese New Year began on 8 February. The Chairman wished all present a very happy Chinese New Year.
52.6 The Chairman thanked Reverend Chris Styles Curate in Charge of St Wilfred’s, Lower Willingdon for leading the prayers before the Council meeting
53.7 The Chairman informed the Council that immediately before the meeting he had received the following petition from members as follows:
Questions from members of the public
53.1 Copies of questions asked by Ian Turner from Eastbourne, Rita Ellis from Lewes, Emma Richardson from Polegate, Mark Thornborough from St Leonards on Sea and Jane Caygill from Eastbourne and the answers from Councillors Bentley (Lead Member for Adult Social Care), Elkin (Lead Member for Resources) and Tidy (Lead Member for Children and Families) are attached to these minutes. Supplementary questions were asked and responded to.
Declarations of Interest
54.1 The following members declared personal interests in items on the agenda as follows:
55.1 The Chairman of the County Council, having called over the reports set out in the agenda, reserved the following paragraphs for discussion:
Cabinet - paragraphs 1 and 4
Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee - paragraph 1
55.2 On the motion of the Chairman of the County Council, the Council ADOPTED those paragraphs in the reports of the Committees that had not been reserved for discussion.
Paragraph 1 –Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources
56.1 Under Standing Order 23, the Council agreed that the speeches of the Leaders of the six groups (or their nominees) on paragraph 1 of the Cabinet’s report should be extended beyond five minutes.
56.2 In moving this paragraph of the Cabinet’s report, Councillor Elkin also moved the following amendment which was duly seconded:
Delete paragraph 1.46 of the Cabinet’s report and replace with:-
(1) approve in principle the draft Council Plan at Appendix 1 and authorise the Chief Executive to finalise the plan in consultation with the relevant Lead Members;
(2) approve the net Revenue Budget estimates for 2016/17 set out in Appendix 2a with the following amendments;
1. Business Rates and S31 Grants to be increased by £0.497m in 2016/17 and increases of £0.374m in 2017/18 and £0.383m in 2018/19 as a result of information provided by Districts and Boroughs
2. Estimated council tax surplus for the collection fund to be paid in 2016/17 to be increased by £0.381m as notified by Districts and Boroughs
3. General Contingency to be increased by £0.040m in 2016/17 and £0.030m 2017/18 as a result of changes in Business Rates and Council Tax
4. Delete the savings proposal of £0.093m for the Zest social enterprise car valet service
5. Transition grant, as advised at final settlement on 8th February 2016 of £2.704m in 2016/17 and further transition grant of £2.696m in 2017/18
6. Reduced New Homes Bonus grant of £0.008m 2016/17, £0.008m 2017/18 and £0.005m offset by a reduction in the contribution to capital programme
7. The total net increased income of £3.449m in 2016/17 be transferred to a Contingency and used in 2017/18 to reduce the projected deficit
8. The additional income of £3.070m for 2017/18 and £0.383m for 2018/19 be used to offset the deficit remaining, reducing the budget gap to £4.142m in 2017/18 and £5.523m (£1.474m in year) for 2018/19
(3) in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to agree that:
i) The net budget requirement is £369.3m and the amount calculated by East Sussex County Council as its requirements for the year 2016/17 is £242.6m
ii) the amount calculated by East Sussex County Council as the basic amount of its council tax (i.e. for a band D property) for the year 2016/17 is £1251.90 and represents a 3.99% (2% of which relates to the Adult Social Care precept) increase on the previous year;
(4) advise the District and Borough Councils of the relevant amounts payable and council tax in other bands in line with the regulations and to issue precepts accordingly in accordance with an agreed schedule of instalments as set out at Appendix 5
(5) authorise the Chief Operating Officer, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, Leader and Deputy Leader, to make adjustments to the presentation of the budget to reflect the final settlement;
(6) approve the fees and charges set out in Appendix 4 and delegate authority to the Chief Finance Officer to approve ... view the full minutes text for item 56.
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF RAISING THE PARTICIPATION AGE
57.1 The Chairman reminded the Council that he was taking paragraph 1 of this report with paragraph 4 of the Cabinet’s report
57.2 Councillor Field moved the adoption of paragraph 1 of the Scrutiny Committee report.
57.3 Councillor Glazier moved the adoption of paragraph 1 of the Cabinet’s report. The motion, including the recommendations, was CARRIED after debate.
57.4 The motion to adopt paragraph 1 of the Scrutiny Committee’s report, including the recommendations, was CARRIED after debate on the basis that implementation would be in accordance with the recommendations of the Cabinet.
Questions from County Councillors
(a) Oral questions to Cabinet Members
(b) Written Questions of which notice has been given pursuant to Standing Order 44
ORAL QUESTIONS TO CABINET MEMBERS
58.1 The following members asked questions of the Lead Cabinet Members indicated and they responded:
WRITTEN QUESTIONS PURSUANT TO STANDING ORDER 44
49.2 One written question was received from Councillor St Pierre for the Lead Member for Resources. The question and answer are attached to these minutes.
49.3 The Lead Member responded to a supplementary question from Councillor Lambert.