Councillor Peter Butlin, Deputy Leader and
Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property introduced the item by
thanking officers for their assistance and hard work in developing
the budget. He also thanked the budget
working group for their assistance in developing the proposals. He
then proceeded to set out the Conservative Group’s budget
proposals as contained in the appendix to the published report. In
doing so he emphasised the following points.
- The challenges presented by the
pandemic and the response of the Council and residents of
Warwickshire to remain true to its ambition and vision.
- The strong financial base that
allowed the Council to deliver on its ambitions and make a positive
and lasting impact for the benefit of the people and communities of
Warwickshire. The proposed budget
continued to ensure that the Council’s finances were robust
- The Council’s commitment to
the most vulnerable in the community, particularly highlighting
investment of over £14 million to meet the growing numbers of
elderly citizens and vulnerable adults who needed help and support;
more than £10 million in children’s social care
services to meet the costs arising from the increasing numbers of
children and families needing support; and just over £13
million to support children and young people with disabilities and
those with Special Educational Needs.
- Continuing to seek efficiencies to
deliver better value for money to taxpayers; driving cost
reductions through investment in digital, data and automation,
adopting more commercial approaches and continuing to support
investment that provided for buoyant business and household
- Provision for a £5 million
programme over the following three years to invest in digital
technology and automation.
- Investment of over £3 million
over the following five years to provide targeted support for young
people to improve mental health, well-being and resilience, and
provide activities that distracted from crime and county lines,
meaning fewer children and young people entering the criminal
- Investment of £1.5 million in
the Fire and Rescue Service to develop and embed joined-up
approaches to fire prevention, protection and response as well as
the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion in the
workplace, making Warwickshire a safer place to work and live.
- Investing over £43 million in
transforming Nuneaton town centre through investments in the
transport infrastructure and the creation of a new library and
business centre as part of a commitment to working with communities
and partners to reimagine town centres and create vibrant, quality
- Investment of almost £0.5
million supporting early years providers, so that more children
living in the most disadvantaged parts of the county would be
school ready and could reach their potential.
- Investment of £450,000 a year
to create the capacity to drive forward progress towards net zero
targets for 2030 and no later than 2050 and to work with partners
to plant a tree for every resident in Warwickshire.
- Provision for £120 million for
investment through the Warwickshire Property and Development Group
to deliver over 2,000 homes initially, 95,000 square feet of
industrial space and 42,000 square feet of retail space; helping
the residents of Warwickshire find a good place to live and
- The Council continued to secure
significant foreign direct investment creating new jobs in the
local economy. The Gaming sector had
continued to grow through the pandemic and was proving to be a
major employer in Leamington and the proposals sought to continue
this growth by making available £140 million of loan finance
available for businesses, both small and large, to support
investment and growth in the local economy through the Warwickshire
Recovery and Investment Fund.
- Recognising that commercial
investments carried additional financial risks, the proposals
ensured that funds were in place to cover financial and commercial
- The priority areas for investment
were clearly set out in the budget proposals, which related to the
seven areas of focus in the Council Plan and put the resources in
place to allow the Council to take the first steps to deliver on
those areas of focus.
- The critical role of the reserves
strategy which provided a clear framework to manage the
‘rainy-day’ money held to cover the financial risks and
uncertainties faced whilst providing capacity for investment in
Council Plan priorities.
- The pressures faced by residents in
terms of rising household costs and the proposal to increase
council tax by 3.75% instead of the 4% anticipated at the end of
the previous year. This would be
achieved by taking 2% of the maximum 3% of the opportunity to levy
additional Council Tax, to fund rising costs and demand for adult
social care and increasing council tax itself by 1.75%. Both
elements were below the maximum increase possible and well below
the rate of inflation at the time of the meeting.
In summary, in commending the budget to
Council, Councillor Peter Butlin considered that the budget
strategy he had set out would deliver a thriving economy and
places, a county where people could live their best lives and
provide a sustainable future for those who lived, worked in and
Councillor Izzi Seccombe seconded the motion
and reserved her right to speak.
Councillor Sarah Feeney highlighted the
following points in the amendment:
- The delivery of quality public
services for all residents, particularly those most in need and
address the causes of poverty by working with all sectors to
deliver for residents.
- Supporting a skilled workforce with
good opportunities, starting with investment in young children,
focussing on the first 1001 days of life.
- Provision to invest in skilled and
quality jobs, like engineering, to improve salary expectations for
adults wishing to get on the property ladder.
- Investment to supply short term care
so those at risk of being admitted to hospital could be cared for
in their own homes and there was also a commitment to review the
effectiveness of adult social care savings and, if demand did not
grow as anticipated, to redirect resources to support those finding
it difficult to exit hospital and who were in need of short term
- Continuing to fund the community
safety element of trading standards to deliver on residents’
concerns about feeling safe in their communities
- The inclusion of proposals to
protect SEND transport
- Provision of quality counselling for
young people and investment in the Prevent strategy
- Removal of the annual allocation of
£40,000 to mitigate the impacts of HS2 with an emphasis on
the need to hold HS2 Ltd to account differently.
- Removal of the allocated funds for
the repair and preventative maintenance of gaining vehicle
activated speeding signs
- Removing proposals to drive income
in country parks and ensure that they remained accessible for all
- Provision for further investment in
the fire service improvement plan
- Removal of the allocation to
increase the Council’s business analyst capacity
- An increase in borrowing was not
supported as she did not consider it was clear how the proposals to
do so impacted on revenue and she was reluctant to see a reduction
in revenue when there were important priorities to spend on.
Councillor John Holland seconded the amendment
and reserved the right to speak.
Councillor Jerry Roodhouse highlighted the
following points put forward in the Liberal Democrat Group
- The one-year local government
settlement from the government was lamented as this did not provide
any certainty for local government over the long term.
- An increase in investment for
Dementia and Alzheimers care, particularly targeting young
- Investment in early intervention and
- Investment in the acceleration of
the work in communities around long Covid as identified by the
Director of Public Health in her annual report 2020/21
- Noting that highways maintenance had
received reduced investment on a national level, more investment
was proposed for pothole and road maintenance
- Proposals to increase community
councillor grants from £6,000 to £8,000 per year to
further boost local communities after Covid. Councillor Roodhouse asked the Groups to consider
this as an adjustment for permanent allocation.
Councillor Sarah Boad seconded the amendment
and reserved the right to speak.
Councillor Jonathan Chilvers thanked officers
for their support to develop the budget proposals and highlighted
the following points from the amendment:
- The rise in the cost of living cast
a long shadow over the budget and whilst the Green Group had
considered whether there was potential to reduce the rise in
Council Tax, it had reluctantly been accepted that to continue
providing key services, the 3.75% rise would need to be
- A reduction in the size of the
- A focus on supporting families and
strengthening communities. The permanent investment in youth
strategy was applauded as a good direction of travel and the
proposals provided funding for a fire and rescue service youth
citizenship project together with investment in the crucial early
days of life, focussing on the first 1001 days.
- Investment to increase capacity for
addiction recovery programmes
- Protection of the public health
budget and public health provision which had served the Council
well during the pandemic and which brought evidence based expertise
to areas like air quality, homelessness, addiction and
- Protection and expansion of the
capacity of the trading standards service
- Proposals for transport
transformation would set out how to improve the direction in terms
of reducing emissions on highways.
£350,000 was also proposed to be injected into highways
community action funds to support 20mph limits for those towns and
villages that wanted them.
- An increased capacity in the
forestry team to meet the increase in demand and to accelerate
emerging climate change initiatives (ie tree planting schemes)
In summary, Councillor
Chilvers noted that there was a deep responsibility to spend money
wisely particularly with the challenges that would arise in the
coming years and he believed the investment and plans in the
amendment would better meet those challenges.
Councillor Will Roberts seconded the amendment
and reserved the right to speak.
Adjustment to the
The meeting adjourned at 11.45am whilst the
adjustment proposed by the Liberal Democrat group to increase
community councillor grants from £6,000 to £8,000 per
year was considered. Upon returning at 12.03pm it was confirmed by
Councillor Peter Butlin that the proposed adjustment was accepted
as a friendly amendment, which was agreed by Councillors Feeney and
Members of Council made the following
Councillor Jeff Morgan (Portfolio Holder for
Children, Families and Education)
- The pandemic had had a big impact on
everyone’s lives. Children in
disadvantaged families had been the hardest hit.
- Further investment was being made in
SEND and early years projects and there were ambitions to make
savings through better contract management and more efficient use
- OfSted had recently judged
Children’s Services as good and tribute was paid to officers
and the Council who had voted to support policies which had
assisted in this achievement.
- He welcomed proposals to create more
OfSted regulated children’s homes locally and additional
investment to help create a better placement mix.
- There were strategies in place which
recognised and prioritised support for the early years and the
approach set out in the Leadsome report on the Best Start for Life
was already implemented in Warwickshire.
- Investment of £0.7million was
welcomed for targeted support for mental health and wellbeing and
provide activities to distract from county lines.
- The proposed further
£10.5million in increased investment in children and family
services to meet costs arising from higher numbers of Looked-After
Children, foster care and resident care costs was welcomed.
- Setting council tax at a reasonable
level was to be welcomed in the current economic climate.
Councillor Penny-Anne O’Donnell
discussed options under development in relation to early years
which would provide support from the first 1001 days of life and
demonstrated the Council’s ambition for children and the
levelling up agenda.
Councillor Sarah Millar supported investment
in the first 1001 days which laid the foundations for
children’s futures, relationships and life
outcomes. She considered that an
investment in children was an investment in the communities around
them, particularly when the impacts of Covid and the toll on mental
health and wellbeing were well known and becoming more
Councillor Brett Beetham reflected on his
experience as part of the budget working group. He noted that his community councillor grant had
been fully utilised by community groups in his division in the
first round and he was therefore very supportive of the proposed
increase. He also supported the
conservative proposals to continue investment in transforming
Nuneaton which would be at risk if the opposition group proposals
were supported. Councillor Beetham also
welcomed additional funding in the Conservative proposals to
improve the speed of autistic disorder spectrum diagnosis.
Councillor Marian Humphreys welcomed
investment in special educational needs and disabilities and early
Councillor Wallace Redford (Portfolio Holder
for Transport and Planning)
- The budget proposals enabled the
continuation of the value for money policies which were the
trademark of the administration. The council was facing new
pressures and the community would be expecting the Council to
deliver on those issues.
- The proposals included investment of
£6 million in cycle infrastructure schemes, part of a wider
programme delivering 18km of new or upgraded cycling
infrastructure, a further 11km with a value of approximately
£6-8 million was being delivered as part of other transport
- The provision of electric vehicle
charging points was moving forward, with plans to install 150
electric vehicle charging points per year with a minimum target of
750 points by 2030.
- HS2 continued to be a major issue
and committing to continued funding for the HS2 team was important
to mitigating the impact of HS2 on local communities and holding
HS2 Ltd to account.
- Across planning and transport, there
was an agenda for change, innovation and creating opportunity by
creating opportunities through additional capacity in transport
planning. Funds were being invested in
town centre transformation schemes, vehicle management, highways
and the maintenance of vehicle activated signs as valuable road
Councillor Andy Crump (Portfolio Holder for
Fire & Rescue and Community Safety)
- Reflected on the council’s
track record of meeting targets and maintaining appropriate levels
of reserves which had enabled the authority to be in a position to
respond to the covid pandemic.
- Endorsement of funding to hold HS2
Ltd to account in view of the impact it had residents in
- Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service
(WFRS) had a proposed total budget of £22,636,143 for
2022/23, an increase of £733,197 on the previous year budget
(an increase of 3.3%). The budget
further proposed that WFRS received an annual inflationary increase
based upon a consistent methodology applied across the
authority. £230,000 was being put
back into the budget for the Day Crewed Plus (DCP) Mitigation and a
time limited allocation of £775,000 in 2022/23 and
£775,000 in 2023/24 had been included in the proposed budget
for the improvements required following an assessment made by
HMICFRS and the improvement that WFRS had determined was required
for the communities of Warwickshire. Budget reductions had
been identified in relation to third party spends where savings had
been allocated across the authority. WCC. This would be
challenging to achieve. Savings around the commercial
training offer were identified, which were reliant on completion of
the training facilities.
- WFRS was addressing environmental
concerns with greener and electric equipment and had used new
methods of tackling fires to avoid watercourse contamination.
- WFRS had dealt with several major
fires over the previous year and condolences were extended to the
relatives of the gentleman who lost his life in the fire at
- In terms of flooding, there was
commitment and consensus from partners to work together and be more
joined up in the planning process and be better at
enforcement. An officer working group
had also been formed to deal with finding cost effective ways of
dealing with flooding. This work would
provide a better understanding of the risks to the community and
through capital and other funding sources, there would be funding
for schemes in all parts of the county.
Work with the Regional Flood and Coastal Committees would assist
the Council to find the most appropriate schemes to meet
- Trading standards budgets were
relatively stable but they were reliant on partnership funding to
continue to protect vulnerable residents and animals in the
county. The team had new initiatives
with regard to the commonwealth games, Natasha’s Law would
see work take place with small and independent businesses to ensure
the labelling requirements for pre-packaged foods were met, and
work with estate and letting agents to ensure national standards
were achieved with a focus on energy performance certificates.
- 2022/23 would see the realignment of
resources in community safety to provide capacity to deliver
against the serious violence prevention programme – as the
Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill came into force, this would
provide a big focus for partnership working with new initiatives
for 2022/23, particularly with regard to the safety of women and
girls and funding to distract young people from county
Councillor Kam Kaur (Portfolio Holder for
Economy and Place)
- Reflected on the changes that had
taken place over the previous 12 months in terms of the
organisation and the way it conducted business and the way the
County Council had provided support to business over the course of
the pandemic, safeguarded jobs and created new jobs.
- The Council was working with key
stakeholders through a partnership with the Institute of Place
Management to explore the key drivers of change and provide a
toolkit to help town centres develop recovery and growth plans
whilst also investing via the tech challenge to develop online
platforms to support the online presence of town centres and
creating new focal points through the installations resulting from
the Art Challenge programme.
- Recognising the significant
challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality sector, a marketing
promotion campaign – ‘visit Warwickshire’ –
had been undertaken that had reached a combined audience of 47
million people. A specialist business
support programme had also been launched to support the
- Despite difficult economic
conditions, significant investment had been secured and a strong
presence in key sectors had been maintained.
- In terms of the levelling up agenda,
good progress had been made towards transforming Nuneaton.
- The Council was working closely with
District and Borough Councils on place-based initiatives
- Since the establishment of the CSW
broadband project in 2012, properties with access to superfast
broadband had increased from 73.8% to 97.98% as at 31 January
- Work continued with mobile network
operators to upgrade and extend connectivity to 4g coverage across
the county and to extend 5g connectivity.
- The Conservative budget was based on
the ethos of “invest today for a better tomorrow” and
the points outlined demonstrated that the authority was strongest
when it worked as a team with partners and communities.
Councillor Judy Falp welcomed investment in
early years and suggested that any options under development in
this regard would benefit from reflecting on the positive delivery
of the children’s centres.
Councillor Martin Watson welcomed being
invited to take part in the budget working group and the pragmatic,
sustainable and aspirational budget that had been
delivered. He represented a division
which was significantly impacted by HS2 and he recognised the need
for HS2 Ltd to be held to account.
Whilst he appreciated the sentiment that it should be
self-policing, he recognised that as a commercial enterprise, some
holding to account for their actions would be required.
The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12.56pm,
reconvening at 2.00pm. Councillors Judy
Falp and Daren Pemberton had left the meeting.
Councillor Adrian Warwick reflected on the
impact of the pandemic and how the Council could make investments
that would drive the economy. He
welcomed the schemes already in place ie the Warwickshire Recovery
and Investment Fund (WRIF) and the Green Shoots scheme and
considered that the green agenda could be driven by investment in
industry. He considered that such
investment would drive growth, which would drive job opportunities
which would pay for homes, meeting the expectations of young people
looking to the future and a home of their own.
Councillor Andy Jenns (Portfolio Holder for
Customer and Transformation) welcomed the following points in the
- 1.8m time limited investment into
the digital roadmap as part of a programme to drive future cost
- Allocation to business and customer
services of £60,000 to provide capacity to respond to Stage 2
complaints in line with statutory duties
- An allocation of £167,000 to
make permanent use of the LGA Graduate Scheme in the Council
structure as this had a valuable impact on growing the leaders of
- Additional funding for business
support to reflect growth in social care and education and a time
limited allocation for covid pressures
- Additional support for business
analyst capacity which provided better value for money than using
- He did not feel he could support the
proposals in the alternative budgets to remove support for the HS2
team, as his division was significantly impacted by the project;
similarly, variable speed signs on the A51 were greatly valued by
residents in his division and so he supported funding to maintain
Councillor Jan Matecki reflected on the
amendments that had been presented but considered that the
Conservative budget proposals provided a better balance between
spending and investment which supported and protected the
vulnerable in the community. He
welcomed moves to limit the council tax increase in light of the
pressures residents would be facing over the coming months.
Councillor Margaret Bell (Portfolio Holder for
Adult Social Care and Health) noted that the budget was
wide-ranging in its support of health and social care and she
highlighted the following areas in particular:
- Adult Social Care was the
Council’s highest spending service and it was a top priority
for citizens, instrumental to keep them safe and at home
independently. It was also crucial to
assist the flow through hospitals.
- Increasing demand was not just about
changes in population, people coming through the system needed
longer and more intense care than in the past. There was also a reduction in the people who were
self-funding and changes from the government needed to be taken
into account. In recognition of this, the budget proposals made an
additional allocation of £40 million towards the adult social
- Continuous improvement and different
care pathways together with the use of digital and automation were
being considered to help people shape their own solutions and be
supported well at home.
- A review of the discharge to assess
process had been agreed and the budget supported the extension of
extra care housing for those who would prefer that type of
- Adult social services was really
good and had been recognised as such in the latest peer
review. In order to continue to provide
this good service, work with partners was required. The authority had improved partnership working
further over the previous two years as organisations had come
together to meet the demands of the pandemic.
- Current pressures in the care market
were recognised and being addressed through mutual aid calls.
- It was noted that the government was
allowing authorities to increase the adult social care levy by a
further 1% in recognition of the pressures on this service area,
however, in noting the financial burdens being faced by households
currently, the conservative budget did not propose this
- The wide ranging impact of the covid
19 pandemic on residents’ health and wellbeing was recognised
and investment in a number of supportive programmes had taken
- The budget proposals included an
allocation of £60,000 to support a new dementia strategy
which would include dementia friendly communities.
- The county was also facing
reorganisation of the health and care system through the Integrated
Care System. The authority was a key
partner in shaping this for the benefit of residents. One of the key objectives of the ICS and also of
the Council Plan was the reduction of health inequalities. The use
of the health equity assessment tool had been embedded across the
health and social care system with £100,000 in the budget to
support this initiative. The recent SEND Inspection had highlighted
the waiting times for autism diagnosis, which had provided a
welcome focus in this area. The
authority had worked with partners to agree a plan to achieve a
target of 13 weeks wait by 2024, supported by proposed partnership
funding of £2.56 million on a recurrent basis and also a
non-recurrent investment of £5.4 million to reduce the
waiting list down to meet the target.
- The Public Health team continued to
ensure that health had a high profile in the organisation and had
initiated a ‘health in all policies’ approach across
- Thanks were extended to the staff
working in this service area for their commitment to providing
essential services to residents.
Councillor Heather Timms (Portfolio Holder for
Environment, Climate and Culture)
- The proposed budget stated this
Council's commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and the
wider county by 2050. There was a
strong and clear alignment of the Conservative budget to the
Council Plan towards delivering on net zero commitments
- There had already been an investment
of £200,000 to produce a new sustainable future strategy to
deliver a properly costed plan and trajectory later in the
year. This was supported by a permanent
investment of £270,000 to accelerate the strategy which would
embrace all the Council’s partners. The budget delivered on
the need for climate change action to be embedded in all actions
including the Council’s purchasing strategy.
- In the previous year £4
million had been commited for the investment fund for climate
change. The first round of the £1
million Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund had delivered
many successful projects across Warwickshire and a second round was
planned for the current year along with a Young Green Shoots
- A local COP26 sub regional
conference was being convened for Coventry and Warwickshire public
services, businesses and voluntary groups were invited to come
together to agree joint actions.
- Warwickshire had introduced the
first local government biodiversity net gain in the UK. Biodiversity and tree planting would be progressed
through the proposed budget with a £450,000 investment for
the forestry team, including a new tree planting team to meet plans
to plant a tree for every resident in the county.
- As preparations for the commonwealth
games in the region took place, the Visit Warwickshire campaign had
reached an audience of 47 million. The
heritage and culture team were equally prepared and had produced
the Warwickshire Waterways strategy to support the developing of
walking and cycling routes.
- Country parks were important green
spaces welcoming nearly one million visitors per year. Although car parking charges were in place, the
Conservative budget proposals would see free access to these spaces
- The Conservative proposals would see
the development of the events programme including the outdoor
education offer through more ambitious commercial partnerships and
dedicated marketing resources.
- Infrasture investment in the
proposed Conervative budget supported the Council Plan and its
sustainable future priorities. This
would include fundamental review of the household recycling
facilities to continue excellent service to residents and a review
of the commercial offer to ensure that businesses had access to
local affordable waste services.
- She welcomed the proposed increase
to community councillor grants by £2,000 and hoped they would
be used to support community powered events which would build
capability, address levelling up and support strong community
spirit across the county.
- Councillor Timms extended thanks to
the officers that had provided support to her over the course of
the previous year
Councillor Christopher Kettle welcomed the
strategy for children and young people in the conservative budget
and considered that work to counteract county lines was to be
particularly welcomed. He also considered the allocation to
mitigate the effects of HS2 and provide a holding to account
mechanism was essential to exert influence and protect
Councillor Piers Daniell recognised that
funding for education was a long-term strategy, and reflected on a
recent visit to Southam College which was being rebuilt over four
years with environmental concerns being addressed. He also welcomed the commitment to outdoor
education and funding to support a new strategy.
Councillor John Holland (Seconder of the
Labour Group Amendment)
- The County Council Network expected
that government decisions would increase the costs on county
councils in terms of adult social care.
- The Labour proposals included a
funding project to improve discharge from hospital to home.
- Inflation was identified as a big
risk and high inflation costs would have the greatest impact on the
most vulnerable. The Labour budget had
those vulnerable people in mind.
Councillor Feeney had been working on the proposals for several
months, involving new councillors in the Group and focussing the
proposals on what residents and vulnerable people needed.
- Whilst he saw some merit in the
opposition group amendments, he commended the Labour
Councillor Sarah Boad (Seconder of the Liberal
- Funding for early years was to be
- Funding for Outdoor Education was
- It was important to support
vulnerable residents and reduce health inequalities and she
commended the Liberal Democrat Budget for addressing these
Councillor Will Roberts
(Seconder of the Green Amendment) expressed
thanks to those officers involved in pulling together the budget
and made the following points
- He commended the Green amendments
for proposing a budget that was fit for the future, with investment
in key services and funds for projects like a fire and rescue
service citizenship scheme and safer roads through the introduction
of 20mph limits.
- The budget provided resources at the
heart of those services that would deliver net zero sooner and
sought to protect residents from climate emergency impacts.
Councillor Izzi Seccombe (Seconder of Motion)
thanked the chamber for the contributions that had been
- In supporting the Conservative
budget, she welcomed the alignment to the Council Plan,
particularly in terms of family support, the youth service, HS2 and
investment in economic growth.
- In response to calls to introduce
20mph speed limits, Councillor Seccombe asked how this would be
achieved when those proposals sought the removal of vehicle
activated signs. She had yet to be
convinced of any economic benefit to the proposals, particularly as
new cars were no more fuel efficient at 20mph and in some areas the
speed reduction would be detrimental and cause frustration.
- Investment in graduates and young
people through apprenticeships was welcomed to provide hope to
those individuals for their futures.
- Councillor Seccombe concluded by
thanking those councillors who had taken part in the budget working
group and also expressed her gratitude to Councillor Roodhouse for
submitting his amendments at an early stage so that they could be
considered and responded to.
Councillor Sarah Feeney (Mover of Labour Group
Amendment) replied that:
- Investment was required for autism
spectrum disorder diagnosis but the issue was about more than
waiting times and more education in schools was needed. It was the right time to look at SEND transport,
hence the proposed grace in the Labour budget.
- Investment in children’s
services was welcomed together with the pilot programme to develop
children’s homes in the county.
- Proposed investment in early years
was crucial to providing the best outcomes for children.
- She considered that there were more
conversations to be held regarding the holding to account of HS2
Ltd. She agreed monitoring was required but did not believe it was
appropriate for this authority to pay for it.
- She noted that vehicle activated
signs were not in place in some divisions.
- The comments of Councillors Falp and
Boad on childhood development were welcomed and she suggested
investment be considered to reintroduce the bookstart project.
- Spending in the proposed Labour
budget was about serving communities with the ambition to support
people. In the coming year, she
considered many more families could fall into difficulty and the
Council would be called upon to provide more.
Councillor Jerry Roodhouse (Mover of Liberal
Democrat Group Amendment) replied that:
- In terms of early years development
he supported a retrospective look to see what elements of previous
strategies could be adopted for the benefit of children now.
- In terms of staffing to implement
the work planned in the proposed Convervative budget, he noted
difficulties in recruiting care workers and questioned how
Warwickshire and its services could be improved above other areas
to support the retention of staff.
- Regarding child exploitation, he did
not think enough work was proposed in the Conservative budget and
hoped that members from across the chamber would be involved in
developing the authority’s approach.
Councillor Jonathan Chilvers (Mover of the
Green Group Amendment)
- The Green budget had a focus on
investing in skills and supporting mentoring young people who
needed help moving into work
- The Green budget provided additional
capital funding and it had been decided to invest this in people,
particularly early years
- The proposals also sought to tackle
cycle routes and walking, and he believed the proposals
demonstrated how to support a transformation of transport to ensure
people could walk and cycle for shorter journeys and only use cars
Councillor Peter Butlin (Mover of the
Conservative Group Motion)
- As with the Council plan, the
Conservative budget was evidence and data driven
- The impact of rising inflation was
understood from past experience and it was recognised that
residents would be facing bigger household bills and, therefore, a
conscious effort had been made to not take the maximum council tax
increase. However, there was a balance
that needed to be struck
- Capital projects were under pressure
as building costs were increasing due to the use of materials by
HS2. This meant that the
Council’s ability to deliver capital projects under original
budgets had to be rethought, hence the borrowing
- External debt was well below the
operational boundary and authorised statutory limits
- Employment figures were a good news
story, and prospects were good even in the most deprived
areas. People liked to do business in
Warwickshire due to its infrastructure
- The increase in community councillor
grants proposed by the Liberal Democrats was welcomed.
- Children’s Services were doing
well. The recent Ofsted report achieved
a good rating, but the aim was to reach excellence.
- The Conservative budget had a focus
on planning for the future. Children
and young people had been adversely impacted by covid and their
education had been jeopardised – the Conservative budget had
been designed to give them a better chance, with new ways of
delivering services at the core of the budget.
Vote on Labour Group Amendment
A vote was held on the Labour Group amendment.
The results were 9 for, 37 against and
The amendment was defeated.
Vote on Liberal Democrat Group Amendment
A vote was held on the Liberal Democrat Group
amendment. The results were 12 for and 37 against.
The amendment was defeated.
Vote on Green Group Amendment
A vote was held on the Green Group
amendment. The results were 12 for, and
The amendment was defeated.
Vote on the Conservative Budget as Amended
The Conservative budget as amended became the
substantive motion. A
recorded vote was held. The results were.
Councillors Jo Barker, Richard Baxter-Payne,
Brett Beetham, Margaret Bell, Parminder
Singh Birdi, Peter Butlin, Jeff Clarke, John
Cooke, Andy Crump, Yousef Dahmash, Piers Daniell, Peter Gilbert,
Clare Golby, Brian
Hammersley, Marian Humphreys, Andy
Jenns, Kam Kaur, Jack
Kennaugh, Justin Kerridge, Christopher Kettle,
Sue Markham, Jan Matecki, Chris Mills, Jeff
Morgan, Penny-Anne O’Donnell,
Bhagwant Singh Pandher, Wallace
Redford, Howard Roberts, Isobel Seccombe OBE,
Jill Simpson-Vince, Tim
Sinclair, Richard Spencer, Heather Timms, Mandy
Tromans, Adrian Warwick, Martin
Andrew Wright (37)
Councillors Sarah Boad, Jonathan
Chilvers, Tracey Drew, Sarah
Feeney, Jenny Fradgley, Bill Gifford, John
Holland, Sarah Millar, Caroline Phillips, Will Roberts, Kate Rolfe, and Jerry
That Council agrees the 2022/23 Budget and
authorises work to continue on ensuring the 2022-27 Medium Term
Financial Strategy is aligned with and supports the delivery of the
Council’s ambitions as set out in the Council Plan.