Agenda item

Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources (RPPR) 2023/24

Report by the Chief Executive.


14.1     The Assistant Chief Executive introduced the report which forms part of the Committee’s ongoing involvement in the Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources (RPPR) process. The report includes the RPPR update report that was considered by Cabinet on 29 September, which contains an update on the local and national policy context and the Council’s financial outlook together with an updated Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and capital programme. The Committee will be aware that Cabinet took a decision to hold most of the one-off 2022/23 Service Grant funding in reserves until the financial picture becomes more certain, and to continue to lobby central Government for appropriate and sustainable funding to meet the needs of the Council’s residents.

14.2     The Committee considered the RPPR update report and whether there was any further information it would like presented at the November meeting. A summary of the Committee’s discussion and any questions raised is given below:

  • Carriageway Patching Programme – The Committee asked if it was possible to have an update on the progress of the programme and where patching work had taken place. It was clarified that there were no specific delays to the patching work, but some works may have to be rescheduled due to weather conditions which has a knock-on effect. The patching programme is in addition to existing work being undertaken under the highway maintenance contract. The Director of Communities, Economy and Transport (CET) agreed to arrange for an update on the progress of the patching programme to be sent to Committee members. He also clarified that there had been some delays to the road marking and lining programme due to supply chain issues.
  • SEND Home to School Transport – The Committee noted the budget challenges faced by this service, which is provided by the Transport Hub, due to an increase in number children requiring transport. The Committee asked for more information about the cost pressures for this service and the distances travelled. The Director of CET outlined that there had been an increase in the number of children requiring transport, but also some children travel longer distances to specialist provision. The Department seeks to optimise routes where possible, but another factor is that some children have differing requirements and it may not be always be suitable for them to travel with others. The Department can provide information an average travel distances for the Committee.
  • The Committee asked whether home to school transport is provided where a car has been provided from Personal Independence Payments (formerly Disability Living Allowance). The Director of CET outlined that the eligibility criteria set by Children’s Services will cover this.
  • Home to School Transport – The Committee asked if children do not get into to their first choice of school, whether they get free home to school transport. Also, if highways assess that there is a safe walking route, does this affect home to school transport. The Director of CET responded that he would ask the Children’s Services Department to send the Committee the school placement policy and home to school transport eligibility criteria for information.
  • Energy Price Increases – The Committee asked it would be possible to provide them with updated information on the financial impact of energy price increases once more is known about the potential impact and Government support for organisations. The Chief Finance Officer agreed to provide an update once more detail in known.
  • Capital Programme – The Committee asked for more information about the Getting Building Fund projects for Food Street and Seven Sisters. The Head of Economic Development, Skills and Infrastructure responded that these projects are part of the Getting Building Fund announced a couple of years ago. The Food Street project is funding to improve the commercial units in Food Street, Eastbourne. The Seven Sisters project is funding for the Seven Sisters Country Park.

14.3     The Committee RESOLVED to:

(1) Note the information in the attached RPPR Cabinet report of 29 September 2022, including the updated Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and approach to one-off investments; and

(2) Request an update on the carriageway patching programme and to receive further information, once known, on the energy cost increases contained in the MTFP update.


Supporting documents: