Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Reading, RG1 2LU

Contact: Simon Hill - Committee Services Email: (  0118 9372303


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 113 KB


The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 February 2023 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Petitions and Questions pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To receive any petitions from the public and any questions from the public and Councillors.



A petition on ‘Tackling Wokingham Road rubbish’ was presented by Sarah Magon.


Questions on the following matters were submitted by members of the public:








Ann Dally

Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health

Cllr McEwan


Questions on the following matters were submitted by Councillors:








Cllr Thompson

Occupational Therapy for Children

Cllr Hoskin


(The full text of the petition, questions and responses was made available on the Reading Borough Council website).


Adult Social Care Assets - Respite Provision pdf icon PDF 159 KB

This report focuses on the Council’s delivery of an Adult Social Care respite service to support carers and vulnerable people who have complex needs and proposes the development of a respite facility at Amethyst Lane.

Additional documents:


The Acting Executive Director for Adult Social Care And Health and the Executive Director For Economic Growth And Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on a proposal for the development of a facility at Amethyst Lane to deliver a respite service to support carers and vulnerable people who had complex needs.  The following documents were attached to the report:


·       Appendix 1 – 18 January 2021 Policy Committee report - Adult Social Care Asset Review and Capital Strategy

·       Appendix 2 – Equality Impact Assessment


The report noted that it had been agreed by the Committee at its meeting on 18 January 2021 (Minute 81 refers) that a respite facility would be delivered at Hexham Road.  The Council had subsequently taken the decision that it was too much of a risk to proceed with the build on Hexham Road, due to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) advising that they were unable to grant registration until the building was completed as per their policy and that the co-location of a respite service with sheltered and general needs housing might not meet their regulatory guidance.


The report explained that alternative proposals to deliver a respite facility had therefore been considered and that it was now proposed to build a Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities respite facility for up to six people at Amethyst Lane.  This would offer short term support to people with complex needs and provide their carers with a break from their caring role.  In addition, the service would be developed to deliver a more flexible and person-centred service including offering support to young people transitioning to adult services to develop their life skills.


The site at Amethyst Lane had been assessed as meeting the requirements to develop a respite service in terms of space, location and accessibility; it was on a public transport route and local amenities were nearby.  The design would respond to the feedback received from CQC on the previously proposed development at Hexham Road and the site would allow the respite facility to be designed as a standalone building and not have multiple uses on one site.  The number of rooms had been reduced to six and there would be a designated entrance to the building.  Engagement with CQC had commenced to ensure that the building was designed to meet their guidance. 


The report noted that the area at Amethyst Lane would also allow development of general needs housing, with the site being split into two and housing and the respite facility being built on adjacent sites.  In order to proceed it was proposed that the land required, known as Amethyst Lane, be transferred from the Council’s Housing Revenue Account to the General Fund under Section 19 of the Housing Act 1985.


The report also provided an update on the progress of delivering Adult Social Care services, sheltered housing and general needs housing at the sites on Battle Street and Hexham Road, which had also been agreed by the Committee on 18 January 2021.


Resolved –


(1)      That the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.


2022/23 Quarter 3 Performance and Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 248 KB

This report sets out the projected revenue and capital outturn positions for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account as at the end of 2022/23 Quarter 3 (December 2022) as well as performance against the measures of success published in the Council’s Corporate Plan.

Additional documents:


The Director of Finance submitted a report setting out the projected revenue and capital outturn positions for 2022/23 for both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account as at the end of Quarter 3 (December 2022), as well as performance against the measures of success published in the Council’s Corporate Plan.  The following documents were attached to the report:


    Appendix 1 – Financial Monitoring for Quarter 3

    Appendix 2 – Capital Programme for Quarter 3

    Appendix 3 - Debt Write-Offs (exempt information)

    Appendix 4 – Corporate Plan Measures for Quarter 3

    Appendix 5 – Corporate Plan Projects for Quarter 3

    Appendix 6 – Corporate Plan Measures Charts for Quarter 3


The report explained that the forecast General Fund (GF) revenue outturn position at the end of Quarter 3 included a projected adverse net variance on service expenditure of £3.985m. This included net pressures totalling £1.316m within Adult Care and Health Services, relating to care cost pressures; £1.369m within Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services, primarily relating to ongoing income shortfalls in Car Parking and Planning as an ongoing impact of Covid-19; £0.871m within Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC), primarily relating to Childrens’ Social Care; £0.290m within Resources and £0.139m within Chief Executive Services. Detailed explanations for the variances were set out in the report.


The report noted that a corporate contingency of £3.627m set for 2022/23 had been released to offset most of the adverse variance on service expenditure. In addition, other Corporate Services budgets were forecast to deliver a positive net variance of £3.665m, including a positive variance of £2.505m against the Capital Financing budget and a positive net variance of £1.160m for other Corporate Budgets. This variance included a pressure of £0.954m relating to the 2022/23 pay award which was more than offset by positive net variances of £2.114m within Other Corporate Budgets due to the release of all unspent contingencies and the forecast reduction in the bad debt provision.  Overall, this resulted in a projected overall positive net variance of £3.307m, which was an improvement of £2.040m from Quarter 2.  It was recommended that, should the forecast positive variance on the General Fund revenue budget crystallise at the end of the financial year, this balance be transferred into earmarked reserves to support the Capital Programme.


The report also explained that £5.289m (52%) of budgeted savings had been delivered to date in this financial year, with a further £1.745m (17%) of savings on track to be delivered by March 2023.  £2.601m (25%) of savings were currently categorised as non-deliverable (and £0.589m (6%) categorised as at risk of delivery. There was therefore a potential impact on the 2023/24 budget should these savings not be deliverable on a recurring basis. These savings had been reviewed as part of the 2023/24 budget setting and 2023/24-2025/26 Medium Term Financial Strategy processes.


The report explained that the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) was projecting a positive net variance of £2.103m as at the end of Quarter 3,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


Brighter Futures for Children 2023/2024 Business Plan pdf icon PDF 95 KB

This report, submitted to the Committee in its capacity as the sole member of Brighter Futures for Children Limited (BFfC), sets out for approval the BFfC Business Plan and Contract Sum.

Additional documents:


The Director of Finance submitted a report to the Committee, in its capacity as sole member of Brighter Futures for Children Limited (BFfC), setting out at Appendix 1 the Business Plan submitted by BFfC in response to its obligation to agree an annual Business Plan and contract sum, a matter reserved to the Sole Member.


The report set out the key points arising from the Company’s Business Plan including BFfC’s strategic objective and four key priorities which were: to work together and across local partnerships to provide the right support and services at the right time to deliver the best possible outcomes for children and their families; to deliver effective early help services to prevent the escalation of need at a later stage while contributing to increased resilience across the partnership to meet children’s need at the earliest opportunity; to deliver a sustainable Children’s Social Care Service through practice rooted in relationship-based and timely statutory engagement with families; and to influence and support education settings to offer high quality inclusive teaching and learning to support achievement for all, including those who require bespoke, specialised or SEND support. The Plan also set out three enablers to support delivery of the priorities: building a stable workforce of permanent staff, improved quality and ways of working and resources aligned to priorities and delivering value for money.


In agreeing the 2023/24 Business Plan, the Committee were asked to note that the Council had made provision for a contract sum of £51.430m within its Medium-Term Financial Plan, which was an increase of £2.472m from the 2022/23 contract sum and included £6.716m for leases and services provided by RBC via Service Level Agreements.  The report set out a breakdown of the increase in the contract sum.  The report also explained that a transformation funding bid of £0.257m from the Council’s Delivery Fund had been agreed on a one-off basis for 2023/24, for Consultant Practitioners to support Newly Qualified Social Workers and Recruitment and Retention payments for Social Workers.  The recruitment and retention payments scheme had been approved by the Committee at its meeting on 23 January 2023 (Minute 50 refers).


Resolved –


(1)      That the increase in the proposed contract sum for 2023/24 to £51.430m, which included growth of £3.679m from the provisional contract sum included in the MTFP for 2022/23, be noted and agreed;


(2)      That the Delivery Fund bid, which was in addition to the contract sum, be noted;


(3)      That the Brighter Futures for Children Business Plan, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report, be agreed.