Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Thursday, 5th January, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Emily Kennedy  Tel: 03000 419625 Email:


No. Item



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There were no apologies for absence.



Minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2022 pdf icon PDF 295 KB

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2022 were a correct record and that they be signed by the Chair, subject to it being noted that Mr Love was present at the meeting.



Cabinet Member Updates

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1) Mrs Bell said the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement had included an additional £2.8 billion for Adult Social Care. The Social Care Support Grant made up the most significant amount which had provided £32 million to the Council and a further £7 million was to be made available through the ringfenced Adult Social Care Discharge Fund. The Adult Social Care Levy was to potentially increase by 2% which would mean an extra £16.8 million for the Council. The additional funding was welcomed; however, it would not resolve the challenges being faced. The reform of Adult Social Care charging had been postponed for two years, allowing for a refocus on the service redesign entitled ‘Making a Difference Everyday’. The Kara project had been included in a case study in the County Spotlight publication as an example of best practice and innovation.


Mrs Bell gave a list of services that were available that promoted health and wellbeing. Advice had been given to parents and teachers regarding symptoms of scarlet fever, that could lead to Strep A, which although rare had seen a rise over recent months. There had been a rise in Covid-19 cases, which were expected to continue. Precautions had been put in place due to the pressures currently on the health service. No trigger points on Covid-19 data had yet been reached but people were recommended to follow Public Health England guidance.


2) Mrs Chandler said as there had been 57 UASC referrals since the start of December. This was the lowest total of any month so far this year, but still the highest total for the month of December with the exception of 2021. The total for 2022 stood at 1,373. By the next meeting of Cabinet, Mrs Chandler was to provide a total for the full year.


Retaining qualified social workers was a challenge that KCC and many other local authorities faced. Social work was an extremely rewarding career but there were a range of internal and external pressures which affected retention. Government figures had shown that there had been a 16% increase in those leaving the profession in the past year, the highest number in the last five years.


To help better understand the landscape faced in social work, Kent County Council had agreed to be part of a research project run by The University of Kent. This would reflect on the experiences of those who qualified as social workers in the last three to five years (qualifying in 2017 to 2019). The goal was to understand what kept them working at the local authority and what might be a reason for them to leave. Social work staff across Kent who had joined the authority between 2017 and 2019 had been invited to take part in a short 30-minute interview on an anonymous basis as part of the study. Initial findings were expected in March 2023 and would be used to look at what measures could be put in place to ensure continuous improvement.


Thanks were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement

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Mr Dave Shipton, Head of Finance (Policy, Strategy and Planning), and Benjamin Watts, General Counsel, were in attendance for this item.


1) Mr Oakford introduced the report. He said that the financial settlement was much more than expected but major challenges remained, especially in Adult Social Care.


2) Mr Shipton outlined the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement. The settlement represented the largest increase in funding in over a decade but in real terms still fell short of spending growth projections, which would leave a significant gap. The process by which the freezing of business rates would be compensated for was explained. Additional funding of £2.8 billion had been announced in the Autumn Statement for Adult Social Care 2023-2024. This was to be delivered to the Council through three different grant mechanisms totalling £51.6 million for KCC including the existing grant, support for discharges and increasing capacity within the sector and the Adult Social Care Council Tax precept. The new homes bonus grant had been extended for 1 further year, with £2.3 million for KCC in 2023-24. The overall settlement was an increase of government grants to £63.9 million, and the rise in council tax referendum thresholds would allow a further £51.2 million to be raised. It was noted that this was very significant with the increase totalling £115.2 million.


3)The Leader said that he was grateful for the better-than-expected provisional settlement and the degree of priority given to Local Government and Adult Social Care.


4) Mr Watts said there had been no reduction to the statutory duties placed upon the Council.    


5) RESOLVED to note the report. 



Quarterly Performance Report (Quarter 2 2022/23) pdf icon PDF 233 KB

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Rachel Kennard, Chief Analyst was in attendance for this item.


1) Ms Kennard outlined the report for Quarter 2 (Q2), 2022-2023 and highlighted that out of the 37 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) contained within the Quarterly Performance Report (QPR), 17 achieved target (rated green), 13 achieved and exceeded the floor standard but did not meet target (rated amber), and 7 did not meet floor standard (rated red).  A summary was provided of the 7 indicators which had been RAG rated as red.


2) Further to comments and questions from Members, it was noted:


·       Attempts to recruit foster carers were ongoing and that despite an increase in referrals, the proportion of children in care remained below the national average. The cost-of-living crisis had potentially negatively affected the recruitment of foster carers.

·       The issue regarding the target timescale for issuing EHCPs was not unique to Kent and the OFSTED annual report had shown that 40% of local authorities were missing the target. Work was ongoing to improve performance, but the volume of work had increased.

·       It was acknowledged that there was a link between budget pressures and what was being reported through the Quarterly Performance Report indicators.


3) RESOLVED to note the report.


Corporate Risk Register pdf icon PDF 300 KB

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Mark Scrivener, Corporate Risk and Assurance Manager, was in attendance for this item.


1) Mark Scrivener introduced the report.


2) Further to comments and questions it was noted:


·       Some risks were beyond the Council’s ability to control, but all attempts to mitigate risks would be taken. Budget monitoring and the Strategic Reset Programme would be central to understanding and responding to these risks.   Similar risks and mitigations were found in other comparable Councils, but there were some unique risks for Kent due to its geographical location.

·       There had been effective ongoing work between KCC and central government to make the risk related to Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) more manageable. The risk remained considerable due to the volume of arrivals.


3) RESOLVED to note the report.