In his opening remarks the Mayor referred to previous Council meetings when an overview had been given of the key challenges facing the Town to be brought to the attention of the Government and to set the scene for the budget setting process for 2013/2014 and beyond.
By way of background information details were given of key global, national, regional, sub regional and local economy issues.
On the basis of current assessments of Government spending plans it was expected that the Council would need to cut Council spending in the next three years by at least:
£13 million in 2013/2014
£10 million in 2014/2015
£10 million in 2015/2016.
In addition to addressing reduced funding the Council had to deal with rising demands such as the need to increase support for vulnerable people including Children Looked After and increasing needs of an ageing population.
The following 111 proposals amounted to £11 million of savings for 2013/2014. The proposals would mean the loss of approximately 220 jobs but where possible the Council would seek to mitigate such losses through voluntary redundancy and early retirement.
WELLBEING, CARE AND LEARNING
1. Commission out some of the support services to schools that we currently provide directly, based upon school led priorities for improvement, which will save £225,000.
2. Merge the Children Centres and Youth Support Services Teams, which will save £500,000.
3. Reduce the support costs for the Childrens Safeguarding Service, which will save £53,000.
4. Reduce the operating costs of the School Meals and Catering Service, which will save £50,000
5. Streamline the welfare rights services and develop partnerships with other financial advice services in the town, which will save £25,000.
6. Reduce the management costs of the Mental Health Service, which will save £60,000.
7. Reduce the number of Older Persons Day Care Centres from three to one, which will save £140,000.
8. Reduce staffing within Learning Disabilities Day Services as people choose to use their personal budgets for other activities, which will save £50,000.
9. Commission out the Learning Disability Community Support services, which will save £40,000.
10. Reduce the use of agency and bank staff in the Supervised Contact Service for Looked after Children, which will save £10,000.
11. Cease school clothing grants, which will save £13,000.
12. Reduce travel costs for social workers through the use of purchase cards, which will save £15,000.
13. Reduce the costs of Workforce Development within Adult Social Care, which will save £90,000.
14. Create a single commissioning unit to reduce the cost of purchasing care, which will save £75,000.
15. Reduce Family Placement Panel meetings, from weekly to bi-weekly, which will save £13,000.
16. Consolidate Children Services Information Technology systems removing the need for two software packages, which will save £9,000.
17. Recharge neighbouring authorities for the provision of some family support services within Gleneagles, which will generate income of £10,000.
18. Introduce a charge to the Health Service for the care management of people with an identified health need, which will generate income of £50,000.
19. Increase the residential care charge clients pay by an amount equal to pension increases, which will generate income of £22,000.
20. Provide more beds in local Childrens Homes to reduce the number of out of area placements, which will save £226,000.
21. Create a single point of contact for Adult and Childrens Social Care services, which will save £40,000.
22. Create a shared Tees Valley service for public health, which will save £60,000.
23. Increase the rates of awards for continuing health care, which will save £100,000.
24. Renegotiate the costs and provision of Learning Disability day services at Upsall Hall, which will save £101,000.
25. Transfer the charge for managing direct payment allowances from the Council to those receiving direct payments, which will save £120,000.
26. Reduce the level of support to failed Asylum Seekers, which will save £30,000.
27. Close Sunningdale Mental Health Residential Home and purchase beds from the private sector, which will save £125,000.
28. Reduce the costs of high cost residential care placements for adults, which will save £180,000.
29. Reduce residential care costs through a more effective use of the Intermediate Care Centre, which will save £20,000.
30. Increase in-house fostering and reduce placement fees for looked after children, which will save £340,000.
31. Reduce the level and cost of residential placements for looked after children, which will save £570,000.
32. Cease providing employment support advice to those receiving social care and redirect individuals to other external employment support advisors, which will save £50,000.
33. Stop using external agencies to research Adult Social Care service options, which will save £15,000.
34. Reduce services that help people in their homes such as housing wardens and carelink services, which will save £200,000.
35. Secure alternative funding to transport children with special needs to the Cleveland Unit, which will save £58,000.
36. Cease providing transport to school due to a temporary disability on medical grounds, which will save £5,000.
37. Cease providing the Teen Mover pass for half fares on all bus services, which will save £119,000.
38. Provide transport support for foster care children, currently by taxi, through alternative means, which will save £35,000.
39. Provide home to school transport support for children with Special Education Needs through alternative means, which will save £134,000.
40. Cease providing Dial a Ride transport for people with difficulties in using public transport, which will save £60,000.
41. Commission out transport to Day Care Centres and stop using Council mini buses, which will save £230,000.
42. Close the Ayresome Industries factory which produces UPVC goods and road brushes utilising disabled employees, which will save £180,000.
NEIGHBOURHOODS AND COMMUNITIES
43. Restructure the Strategic Asset Management Team, which will save £72,000.
44. Undertake a merger of property related functions and services across the Council, which will save £250,000.
45. Increase mobile working and rationalise accommodation across the Council, which will save £350,000.
46. Reduce Council costs through the sale of surplus properties, which will save £125,000.
47. Charge to the capital programme the staffing costs for regeneration projects, which will save £140,000.
48. Reduce services and supplies within Neighbourhoods and Communities, which will save £74,000.
49. Further rationalise community buildings and centres, which will save £75,000.
50. Transfer the operation of Newham Grange Leisure Farm to a third party, which will save £30,000.
51. Merge Environment, Community Protection and Regeneration services, which will save £623,000.
52. Reduce Public Health improvement funding, which will save £10,000.
53. Delete the vacant Student Environmental Health Officer post, which will save £18,000.
54. Cease all but statutory and commercial metrology, which will save £6,000.
55. Commission and charge to the capital programme the staffing costs in relation to the Staying Put Agency, which will save £50,000.
56. Delete the vacant post within the Sustainability Team, which will save £36,000.
57. Reconfigure Highways and Transportation structures, which will save £125,000.
58. Restructure the Planning Development Division, which will save £84,000.
59. Merge the Town Centre Team within Economic Development, which will save £70,000.
60. Reduce library back office support and management costs, which will save £25,000.
61. Reduce the book fund, which will save £42,000.
62. Close Hemlington Library, which will save £64,000.
63. Reduce Librarian Services, which will save £22,000.
64. Cease providing the CCTV service, which will save £150,000.
65. Further reduce litter picking, street cleansing, grass cutting and horticultural resources, which will save £125,000.
66. Delete one vacant post from the Food Safety and Food Standards Team, which will save £40,000.
67. Reduce spend on Emergency Planning, which will save £14,000.
68. Reduce the number of tests undertaken by Trading Standards, which will save £12,000.
69. Reducing costs within the kerbside recycling contract, which will save £100,000.
70. Relocate the Laboratory and Traffic Signals services to the Central Depot, which will save £50,000.
71. Introduce alternative enforcement arrangements for parking, which will save £80,000.
72. Reduce staffing within the Sports Development Team, which will save £60,000.
73. Further reduce, by natural wastage, school crossing patrols, which will save £18,000.
74. Further reduce Environment Services education and marketing related budgets, which will save £50,000.
75. Remove the Community Council Environment budgets, which will save £75,000.
76. Buy out the wheeled bin lease when it expires, which will save £120,000.
77. Cease the Green Waste collection service, which will save £300,000.
78. Cease grant funding to the voluntary group UNITE, which will save £14,000.
79. Reduce grant funding to St. Marys Centre by 50%, which will save £12,500.
80. Cease grant funding to the North of England Refugee Service which will save £9,900. The Council will however work with the organisation to help reduce its accommodation costs.
81. Cease grant funding to Tees Valley Arts, which will save £5,000.
82. Cease grant funding to Families Talking, which will save £5,000.
83. Cease grant funding to the Womens Support Network, which will save £10,000.
84. Restructure grant and other funding to Harbour, reducing by around 5%, which will save £10,000.
85. Reduce grant funding to the Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency by around 10%, which will save £5,000.
86. Reduce grant funding to the Citizens Advice Bureau by around 5%, which will save £5,000.
87. Cease funding for the Shopmobility scheme, which will save £40,000.
88. Reduce evening, morning and weekend bus services contracted by the Council, which will save £82,000.
89. Reduce costs and increase income so that the subsidy associated with organising the 5k and10k road races is reduced, which will save of £30,000.
SUPPORT TO SERVICES AND MANAGERS
In respect of support services provided centrally, within Departments and by the Mouchel Partnership:
90. Streamline the support to services and managers including the standardisation of business processes and the removal of internal trading, which will save £350,000.
91. Simplify procurement processes, which will save £150,000.
92. Replace a paper based expenses and car mileage claim system with an electronic based system, which will save £50,000.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE / ASSISTANT CHIEF EXECUTIVE
93. Streamline senior management, which will save £156,000.
94. Reduce supplies and services across the Council, which will save £220,000.
95. Streamline support staff across the Council for Information Technology and Management Services, which will save £100,000.
96. Reduce staffing in the Executive Office, which will save £10,000.
97. Reduce corporate policy support, which will save £30,000.
98. Reduce trade union facility time, which will save £40,000.
99. Reduce the costs of the Press Office, which will save £10,000.
100. Streamline administrative processes, which will save £50,000.
101. Reduce staffing in the Accountancy and Financial Planning Teams, within Strategic Resources, which will save £60,000.
102. Reduce supplies and services within Strategic Resources, which will save £32,000.
103. Reduce subscriptions and external and external agency payments, within Strategic Resources, which will save £30,000.
104. Reduce external audit fees, which will save £76,000.
105. Additional external grant support and contributions from public sector partners, which will save £1.2m.
106. Revise the court cost recovery fees for Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates, in line with the Teesside average, which will raise additional income of £145,000.
LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC
107. Reduce staffing within Legal Services, which will save £50,000.
108. Reduce spending on the political assistants posts, which will save £15,000.
109. Reconfigure the Members one-stop shop service, which will save £20,000.
110. Freeze Members Allowances, which will save £5,000.
111. Streamline staffing for scrutiny support, which will save £50,000.
Cuts amount to £11 million.
Potentially 220 job losses.
Consultation period until 3 December 2012.
Further Council Meeting on 18 December 2012, regarding proposals and further proposals concerning additional cuts to the value of £2½ - £3 million.
In response to clarification sought from Members the Mayor acknowledged that whilst endeavours continued to raise awareness to the Government of specific issues and social deprivation affecting Middlesbrough the proposed co-ordinated plan of action involving local MPs as outlined at the meeting of the Council held on 5 September 2012 had so far not come to fruition for a number of reasons.
Members acknowledged the enormity of the task in achieving the necessary savings whilst at the same time meeting increasing demands on certain services.
ORDERED that the proposals outlined above be noted