Somerset County Council

Budget Impact Assessments 2013 - 2014


Please find below the Equality, Sustainability and Crime and Disorder Impact Assessments for the budget decisions taken for 2013 - 2014.

MTFP Reference Number 13.101

The Children's Act requires the LA to provide accommodation for any child looked after. There is a duty to provide for the child's long term future, including support as the young person leaves care, for some up to the age of 25. At the time of budgets in 2012/13 there were 514 Children Looked After by the LA. Numbers of children looked after have increased further and were 527 at the end of September 2012. If this trend continues, the number by the mid point of 2013/14 will stand at 570, a 10.9% increase over the number costed in the base budget for 2012/13, a pressure of £2.407M. Despite this increase, the numbers of Children Looked After in Somerset are consistently below those of statistical neighbours and the national average. Funding for the additional placements is needed to accommodate the increased number of children looked after. Action is being taken to stem the increase and reduce the cost of placements, in terms of length of stay and unit cost. It is intended that this management action and measures to slow down expenditure will mitigate the demographic pressure by £0.571M, to a net figure of £1.836M.

MTFP Reference Number 13.102

Parent and Child Assessment was the subject of a very recent service review. The proposal of the review to increase the Somerset County Council specialist fostering scheme as a way of delivering improved outcomes and budget savings has been agreed. The business case sets out increasing savings over the next three years by reducing the use of residential assessments and building capacity in fostering and community assessments. In addition there are plans to reduce the number of these specialist assessments requested by the courts. The £125,700 net saving in 2013/14 after taking into account the recommended increase in staffing costs to ensure that some of these services can be performed within the authority.

MTFP Reference Number 13.103

Reduction in discretionary provision of free transport for excluded pupils in line with statutory requirements.

MTFP Reference Number 13.104

Support would be commissioned either through a model of school to school or setting to setting support by head teachers and EY specialists who have been accredited nationally/ locally as having the skills and experience needed or from other LA's, external & academy sponsor organisations. A clear 11-19 strategic lead is needed to support schools and colleges to work together, linking to Foundation Pathways. Clear leadership in the EY & primary phase will be delivered through the work of the Somerset Children & Young Peoples Compact. The structure will rely on building on strong working relationships with settings to develop collaborative models of delivery to have the desired impact. This model has already been implemented successfully in the primary phase with no support being provided directly to schools by centrally employed staff, other than staff commissioning and quality assuring school to school support.  However this represents a significant change for the EY sector. Reduced provision for targeted intervention and guidance to young people and services for vulnerable teenagers. Recommissioning careers advice.(includes previously CYP 11.03c/d/e).

MTFP Reference Number 13.105

Savings to be achieved in the funding for services provided by Children's Centres to be achieved by the reduction of teacher and family support worker posts and by reducing service delivery budgets available to Centres. It is proposed that there is a reduction of 9.5 Children's Centre Teacher posts. The remaining posts will be reshaped and the roles will be widened in terms of areas of impact for their work. A reduction is also proposed in the service delivery budget used by Centres to provide individual and group health and family support sessions; purchase equipment; fund mobile provision and provide services offered in local community venues. The number of Family Support workers will be reduced by 7 posts and the funding for the Family Outreach Service contracts which expire on 31st March 2013 will be removed from the budget. A vacant Cluster Manager and a Policy Officer Post will be removed and reductions will be made in spending on repairs and maintenance; ICT and central administrative costs.

MTFP Reference Number 13.107

This is the second year of a two year saving already achieved (CYP11.02a), and is offsetting other pressures within the current year.

MTFP Reference Number 13.110

A reduction in the SEN Transport budget which provides free transport to schools where the child/young person is eligible under statutory legislation or based on their assessed disability. This reduction is put forward to reflect projected spend in 2012/13. This budget has been rigorously managed, in partnership with Transporting Somerset, to reduce current year spend, enabling a re-balancing of budget required for 2013/14. (Includes Previously CYP 11.05i)

MTFP Reference Number 13.111

The proposal is that the service continues to operate as at present but that the base budget is reduced from £609k to £549k. Without mitigation this would result in a reduction in the level of service to vulnerable young people. It is proposed that the reduction is mitigated in 2013/14 and 2014/15 by an equal contribution from the ETE related Performance Reward Grant.

MTFP Reference Number 13.112

In the current economic climate it is no longer sustainable to continue to fully fund payments to those working in the early years sector the costs of: Foundation degrees; Supply payments to early years setting in order to release staff to attend training; Wage enhancement for those with Early Year's Professional Status (EYPS) working in the early years sector, prior to the early years funding formula being implemented. It is proposed to reduce the amount SCC currently funds students for their degree costs and associated supply payments for staff to attend training.  It is proposed we move to a model where early years settings either support their staff with these costs or those wishing to undertake these qualifications apply for student loans. A small budget remains to support those settings in areas of deprivation or those judged to be inadequate. The reduction in these payments will result in a budget reduction of £400k. It is proposed that there will be a further reduction of £30k towards the training for those working in the youth sector. In addition it is planned to restructure and reduce management costs by £50k.

MTFP Reference Number 13.113

Short Break Services for disabled children are the subject of a service review which is ongoing. The service review is considering the future funding and delivery of short breaks and a strategic plan which will go on beyond 2013/14. The savings need to be taken as part of a developing strategy which will extend beyond 2013/14. The areas contributing to the savings are:-  Reduced spend on play equipment; Streamlining  the roles within the Short Breaks Team; Including  disabled children's services within the remit of the SW Peninsula re-tender; Efficiency savings in staffing costs within SCC residential units providing short breaks; Further joint commissioning resources with health.

MTFP Reference Number 13.114

Reduction in size of Extended Services support team plus cessation of budgets for Children's University and University of the First Age. (previously CYP 11.02d)

MTFP Reference Number 13.115

Reducing Strategic Planning capacity in light of Academy developments.  Academies undertaking their own building projects.  (previously CYP11.06c)

MTFP Reference Number 13.116

The impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing, and Punishment of Offenders Bill. The Youth Justice Board intends to change the way in which costs associated with remands in to custody are paid, transferring full responsibilities to Local Authorities. (Previously CYP 12.04)

MTFP Reference Number 13.117

Increased income generation target.  Full savings temporarily deferred to 2014/15.  (previously CYP11.02h & part of 11.02g)

MTFP Reference Number 13.118

The funding level previously agreed can now be reduced because a lower level of staffing is required for the client agent function now the construction phase has been completed. The client agent function protected the Council's interests during the construction of the 6 schools, and now through a contract monitoring function. (previously CYP 10.03a)

MTFP Reference Number 13.119

Whilst the cost of the project was significantly less than anticipated in the outline business case, due to the changes in interest rate from 5.5% to 3.69%, there are additional costs as a result of fixed costs now having to be bourn by three schools, rather than spread over six schools, and so there are ongoing client team responsibilities. (previously CYP 10.03b)

MTFP Reference Number 13.120

Reduce funding for Education Psychology Service from the Local Authority Budget. In addition, there will be a progressive reduction in the resource available to support EP trainees over the period 13/14. Support to existing trainees will be maintained, but the LA will not take on any new trainees in September 2013. The impact will be to reduce the Local Authority funded service to schools to only cover statutory work arising from the SEN (Special Educational Needs) Code of Practice from 2013/14. Reduction in size of Casework Service by 1 x Casework Officer and 1 x Casework Administrator. (includes Previously CYP 11.05a&h)

MTFP Reference Number 13.121

This proposal is to end the LA contribution to the Portage Service in 2013/14. In 12/13, the Local Authority contributed £105K to the total cost of the Portage Home Visiting Service (The total budget in 12/13 is £196K, with the balance of £91K from the Central Schools Budget). Portage is a targeted home visiting service to families with a young child, (pre-school), with severe SEN and or disability. It is not a statutory requirement that the LA provides this service.

MTFP Reference Number 13.122
Restructuring of the Councils SEN Leadership team to reflect the new Learning and Achievement structure from February 2013. Removal of Policy and Development Manager and reduction in contribution to Group Manager post, including  bring all teaching Support Services under one manager. (includes Previously CYP 11.05f)

MTFP Reference Number 13.123

Proposal is to reduce support for schools re children and young people with significant attendance issues by 1fte and to reduce the support for children who are educated at home by 1 FTE

MTFP Reference Number 13.124

It is proposed that this is achieved by ceasing funding to primary/secondary staff development projects to help schools develop expertise in meeting EAL needs and reducing the level of support for Somerset primary schools to help them develop links with urban schools (external funding for this linking work is also ending).

MTFP Reference Number 13.125

To remove the LA funding for the SRE Advisory post but to seek a different operating model in conjunction with Public health and in partnership with the Somerset Children and Young people's Compact.

MTFP Reference Number 13.126

PRU Admin - reduction linked to development of delegated budgets. (Previously CYP 11.02c)

MTFP Reference Number 13.127

The Young Carers Service provides regular group activities and limited 1:1 work. This proposal is to increase the funding to broaden its activities.

MTFP Reference Number 13.201
Reduced Commissioned Care Contracts and Staffing. Impacting upon - Generic and Specialist Advocacy, Training and Quality Support, Active Lives, Learning Disabilities Development, Commissioning Service staffing and Citizens Advice Bureaux.

MTFP Reference Number 13.206

The PLUSS contract will deliver a 62% saving over 3 years.    Following further negotiations with PLUSS it has been agreed to reduce revenue costs over the remaining life of the contract through use of one-off funding during 2012/13 which will be used to make the service more efficient and sustainable, capitalising on the opportunity provided by transferring to the Huntworth site (Officer Non-Key Decision 8 August 2012)

MTFP Reference Number 13.207a,

MTFP Reference Number 13.207b,

MTFP Reference Number 13.207c 

To reduce the overall Care & Support budget by:
• Continuing to modernise and redesign services.
• Reviewing value for money and effectiveness of a range of care and support services.
If this is insufficient to deliver the saving required then, in addition to reduce spend by cutting areas of support activity. Limiting service specifications to include only those interventions that reduce risk of physical harm, respond to an immediate threat of homelessness or prevent avoidable health and social care interventions."

MTFP Reference Number 13.209

The proposal is that there should be a net reduction in 2013/14 to the budget which supports the delivery of museum events and activities and of traded heritage based activities to schools.

MTFP Reference Number 13.210

The recommendation is to flatten the staffing structure and bring pay and conditions  in LD provider services into line with the independent sector.  This would help the service be competitive with the rest of the sector and reduce operating costs by
1)  Replacing G14 posts with G15 posts
2)  Further reduce numbers of staff at G11
3)  Bring payment for week end working into line with the independent sector.

MTFP Reference Number 13.211

It is proposed that the service should be stopped over two years, 50% of the budget being withdrawn in 2013/14 and 50% in 2014/15.  Withdrawal from current partner obligations would be managed over the same period.

MTFP Reference Number 13.212

Our existing traded service to Somerset's district councils to provide advice on archaeology and the historic environment has the potential to be expanded by brokering new arrangements with existing and other partners.  The proposal is that new income should be generated through this area of service.

MTFP Reference Number 13.214

Original saving Implemented a 20% reduction in the management fee paid to 1610 across the next three financial years. An additional efficiency saving of £44k to be delivered in 2013/14 has also subsequently agreed, taking the total saving achieved to 24%.

MTFP Reference Number 13.215

Attracting new income through concluding a new agreement with North Somerset Council and Weston Town Council, staffing reductions and development of new assets as visitor attractions with associated new charging regimes. Deletion of posts that are currently frozen to provide ongoing revenue savings.

MTFP Reference Number 13.218

Changes to be achieved through a range of initiatives including:
• Bringing together supported work projects, day services and domiciliary care services into a jointly managed service
• Reducing spend on properties supporting these services
• Savings resulting from the reassessment of needs of people using accommodation services
• Reducing the number of short term residential beds and increasing the use of shared lives scheme short stay beds for families requiring a short breaks service
• Reorganisation of supported work projects
MTFP Reference Number 13.219
Reduction in SCC contribution to the Drug and Alcohol pooled budget. Priority will be to find further efficiencies and to trim service costs.

MTFP Reference Number 13.220

Transfer of statutory responsibilities from the NHS - Healthwatch, Complaints Advocacy,  Mental Health Advocacy & Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - Supported through additional funding via the DH Learning Disabilities and Health Reform Grant.

MTFP Reference Number 13.221

Lease rental provision resulting from re-provision of Supported Employment premises (Northgate).
NOTE now only a one-off pressure in 2013/14.


MTFP Reference Number 13.307
AONBS - seek to recover full charge of hosting (currently charging £3,000 to Mendips and Quantocks each) (Year1 - £10,000).

MTFP Reference Number 13.308

Delete Countryside Team Manager post (£30,000 total, Year1 - £20,000, Year2 - £10,000)

MTFP Reference Number 13.309

Cease all water management work at the end of current European WAVE project - removal of Project Manager post

MTFP Reference Number 13.310

Delete Team Manager (old structure Group Manager equivalent) post in the new management structure: (Year1 -  £40,000)

MTFP Reference Number 13.313

Staffing reductions across all highway services are proposed including bridge engineers, area highways staff and highway inspectors (7 posts).

MTFP Reference Number 13.314

Increase licence charges. The county council currently charges for issuing licences for scaffolding erected on the highway and for the sitting of skips for waste. It is proposed to increase these charges in line with other authorities to ensure all costs are recovered. (£40k)
Reduce funding to Town Councils Currently funding is given to 3 town councils to carry out functions on the County Council's behalf. It is proposed to stop devolving these funds. (£10k)

MTFP Reference Number 13.315

Currently all lighting units are visited once every four years to clean the cover and change the lamp. It is proposed to extend the period from 4 years to 6 years.

MTFP Reference Number 13.316

"Safety Defect Inspections and Repairs - Change to a risk-based approach to remove a number (27) defects from the safety defect list contained within the Highways Inspection Manual. Consideration has been given to each type of safety defect, the number previously identified and the cost of immediate repair together with the number of claims made for personal injury and damage against the council. This would generate a financial saving of £185,600.

MTFP Reference Number 13.317

Reduced highway lighting hours (dimming/part-night) to achieve energy savings

MTFP Reference Number 13.318

Salaries for a number of highways staff undertaking work on structural maintenance activity is currently paid for from the Council's revenue budget. The proposal is to transfer those costs to the capital budget for structural maintenance as the Government has continued to commit significant capital resources for local authorities whilst revenue budgets are under considerable pressure. This would result in an equivalent reduction in capital works on the ground and is not a cost saving in real terms but would assist in balancing revenue budgets.

MTFP Reference Number 13.319

Continuation of Street and parking enforcement

MTFP Reference Number 13.320

Review of charging for Signal Design Consultancy

MTFP Reference Number 13.321

Reduction in the number of Traffic Control, Streetworks and Traffic Engineering staff. This will include a reduction in the Training and general office budgets across the group.

MTFP Reference Number 13.322
Review charges for Resident Parking Permits and On-street parking

MTFP Reference Number 13.324a

MTFP Reference Number 13.324b

MTFP Reference Number 13.324c
Reduction for the maintenance of signs, lines and road studs alongside a review of Traffic Signal maintenance and communications contracts.  

MTFP Reference Number 13.327

Change the method of advertising temporary traffic regulation orders (TTROs) from placing advertisements in the local newspapers to advertising the orders on the County Council website. Savings will be achieved by not paying for advertisement costs

MTFP Reference Number 13.328

Stop supporting data collection from Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs). (Savings in range of £60k) This is a new service being offered to all towns and parishes in Somerset.

MTFP Reference Number 13.329
Increase in Street Works penalties. The risk is that the Statutory Utilities will perform and there will be a significant reduction in penalties issued.

MTFP Reference Number 13.330
Cease giving Highways observations on pre-application enquiries and planning applications for "minor" applications. (Exact level to be determined but typically householder extensions, new driveways, single/double/infill plots/advertisements and signs) 3 FTEs (£79K).
Also saving of 0.4 FTE by phased retirement of Principle Infrastructure Engineer (£22K)

MTFP Reference Number 13.331

Cease the Major Schemes Revenue Support (non staff) budget (currently £104k) and cut the Major Schemes Revenue (staff) budget. (currently £67k). This budget is used primarily to fund the preparation for, planning of and design of Major Transport Projects. (e.g. the recently completed Taunton Third Way). It pays for essential preparatory activities such as feasibility, surveying, geotechnical and ecological surveys as well as statutory processes such as Planning Applications and Public Inquiries. It part funds the staff required to commission and project manage these activities as well as to undertake essential in-house activities.

MTFP Reference Number 13.332

Increase income through charging full cost and increased costs for new development.

MTFP Reference Number 13.333

Revenue saving resulting in reduced establishment staffing level with consequent reduction in service levels.  Saving partially generated from non replacement of retiree in Estate Roads Team

MTFP Reference Number 13.339

Work with Devon County Council to develop a full business case for a joint Trading Standards Service with Devon County Council. Devon County Council support this approach. Initial estimates are that the combined service could achieve ongoing savings of approximately £500k - £700k per year. The one-off costs of implementation are estimated at £100k - £140k. Assuming that costs and savings are split in line with the current Trading Standards budgets of the two councils then this would realise an ongoing saving of approximately £193k - £296k (between 16% and 24% of the service's current budget). It may also result in 100% of the current headcount being TUPE'd to Devon County Council. This option best meets the strategic objectives and Design Principles of the New Operating Model - continuing to meet our statutory requirements and meeting customer needs whilst saving SCC between £2 and 3 million over 10 years (starting in 2013/14). The option to deliver savings whilst remaining in-house by doing things differently has also been considered but the joint service option would be less likely to impact on the ability of the service to maintain a fair and safe trading environment.

MTFP Reference Number 13.340

The proposal is to increase the income generated by the Asbestos team who are capacity restrained, and as a result are turning business away.  This would be by achieved by recruiting an additional member of staff.  The risks of changing market conditions would be mitigated by recruiting on a 1-year contract.

MTFP Reference Number 13.341

Proposal to outsource SCC requirements for Public Analyst & Laboratory Services and to cease provision of these to external fee paying clients. An option for SCC to cease providing public analyst and microbiology laboratory services in-house and to outsource these services in the future was identified as part of Scientific Services' Service Review earlier in the year. Indicative savings of £173k were identified and Cabinet agreed in July 2012 that this option should be developed as part of a Full Business Case for later review, having completed additional work. The key elements relating to this option were an assessment of the impact on asset (buildings) usage and the identification of all public health issues that could be affected, including an assessment of how the 'intelligent client' role could be retained.  The work on assessing the public health impacts and retention of 'intelligent client' has been completed and requirements of meeting MTFP targets has meant that further work on asset usage is now seen as unnecessary to reach a decision. Impact of Delay each month £14,400.

MTFP Reference Number 13.342a

MTFP Reference Number 13.342b

MTFP Reference Number 13.342c

Reduce the number of posts currently providing professional advice to the Council and partners about transport policy, data collection and transport planning matters.
Reduce the operational budget currently held by the strategic planning group for traffic data collection and transport planning technical studies by £100k from 1 April 2013.
Cease providing advice and support to schools about school travel plans.   Posts to be reduced by 4.

MTFP Reference Number 13.344

Reduce the number of posts currently providing professional  advice to the Council and partners about spatial planning, town centre regeneration and ecology matters.  Posts to be reduced from 3 down to 1.

MTFP Reference Number 13.345
Contract Consolidation - Further consolidation and re-tendering of remaining contracts

MTFP Reference Number 13.346

Withdraw SCC budget contributions from the regional South West Trip Public Transport Information (SWTPTI) partnership which runs Traveline  (£53k)

MTFP Reference Number 13.347

Introduce a charge for students with special needs who use SCC transport to access college. We are proposing the same amount is charged as mainstream FE students attending college.   Although these students would not be able to access the larger public transport network they receive a door to door service with trained drivers.

MTFP Reference Number 13.349

Stop production of paper timetable booklets, ensuring information is available on line and only offer printed material when requested. (£20k)

MTFP Reference Number 13.350
Restructure and reduce management function of Transporting Somerset. Move from 4 geographical area teams to 2 teams, one specialising in contracting and monitoring buses, coaches and minibuses, and one specialising in individual client and specialist travel.

MTFP Reference Number 13.351

Cease the provision of CPC driver training to reduce the cost of external trainer requirements and increase the amount of  time the in-house trainer has to deliver statutory requirements
Any external provision still required to be tendered through a competitive tendering process."

MTFP Reference Number 13.352
The roll out of Smartcard Ticketing technology on public transport buses and through the printing of smartcard concessionary bus passes

MTFP Reference Number 13.354

To switch food waste disposal to the Anaerobic Digestor currently under construction at Dimmer. (The original Business Case for the AD plant was agreed by the Somerset Waste Board on 23rd September 2011).

MTFP Reference Number 13.358

Reduction of Recycling Centres maintenance budget by £50k;

MTFP Reference Number 13.359

Non-public facing savings around the disposal contract (minimisation payments, treatment of street sweepings, frequency of hazardous waste savings, small budget adjustments) - £129k;

MTFP Reference Number 13.360

Reduced food haulage savings from Anareobic Digester (£18k);

MTFP Reference Number C13.501
School Basic Need (including new schools)

MTFP Reference Number C13.502

Early Years Provision for 2 year olds

MTFP Reference Number C13.503

Replacement of Poor Condition Temporary Teaching Units

MTFP Reference Number C13.504

Compliance measures for school oil storage tanks

MTFP Reference Number C13.505

Early Years Replacement Temporary Buildings

MTFP Reference Number C13.506

Schools Access Initiative

MTFP Reference Number C13.507
Sedgemoor Integrated Pupil Referral Unit

MTFP Reference Number C13.508

Schools Structural Repair and Improvement

MTFP Reference Number C13.601
Basic Need Learning Disability Services

MTFP Reference Number C13.602

Conservation Management and Enhancement Projects

MTFP Reference Number C13.701

Traffic Signals Recovery Programme

MTFP Reference Number C13.702

Bridgwater to Taunton Canal

MTFP Reference Number C13.703
Vehicle Replacement Programme

MTFP Reference Number C13.704

Highway Lighting Programme

MTFP Reference Number C13.705

Capital Funded Highway and Bridges Structural Maintenance and Local Transport Schemes

MTFP Reference Number C13.706

Rights of Way Basic Need

MTFP Reference Number C13.715

Carbon Reduction Projects

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