Agenda and draft minutes

Extraordinary, Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 28th November, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972. To agree any relevant briefing notes submitted to the Committee.

Additional documents:


There were no items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests

Additional documents:


There were no declarations of interest.


Budget Proposals 2024/25 - Report to follow pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor D Arnold presented the report. The report outlined the revenue budget savings proposals that were put forward for the Committee’s consideration as part of the preparation for the 2024/25 Council budget.


Councillor D Arnold noted that this meeting was a sign that the Local Authority is doing things differently and trying out new ways for its members to scrutinise better. Councillor Arnold also noted that they have not known all scrutiny chairs to come together with members so that they can, in a timely manner, fully and openly scrutinise major decision making across multiple services.


Councillor D Arnold outlined a total of £18.2m across 53 proposals which are considered to be deliverable in 2024/25.


Councillor D Arnold assured that this is not a “salami slicing” budget. This budget will be looking at the inner workings of the Local Authority and its operational inefficiencies, not frontline staff or to the detriment of adult social care and children's services. The budget will find ways to stop the duplication of work and reduce costs by eliminating those inefficiencies.


The cost of any investment to improve efficiently will be met by the transformation budget.


Councillor D Arnold defined the word proposal - a plan of ideas of educated suggestions written down and put forward for people to think about and decide.


Councillor Morris-Cook asked if there a reason the proposed savings that have been identified are not showing as if they are one off or if they are a run rate improvement?

·       Year on year savings.


Councillor Morris-Cook said she would challenge that as some proposals appeared to only be a one-off saving. Councillor Morris-Cook also noted it was hard to identify hence her question.

·       Steven Mair, Finance Office, all of the budget savings are recurrent in nature and that some proposals do not start until part way through the year, the full effect year is 2025/26.

Councillor Morris-Cook asked what confidence could be given to members and residents that these savings are real when realised and are not wooden dollars i.e., where on the Council budget would the actual figures show?

·       Councillor D Arnold said she has more confidence with this budget now that they have business cases behind them.


It was Councillor Morris-Cook understanding that the majority are stating a full year effect, bar some proposals from public realm, where it has been noted they would carry over. A lot of the projects do not have a particular start date, as a result it is very difficult to either to see when the projects are meant to start, for instance, the HR proposal is planning to save £238,000, and yet there is no business case and there is no plan at the moment with it. Councillor Morris-Cook also added she found it strange that the council can think that it can achieve savings of £18.2 million.


The Chair asked that the bulk of the answers come from the elected members and that officers answer for more technical advice.

·       Steven Mair, Finance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Review of Council Service: Adults, Health and Housing Directorate - Report to Follow

Additional documents:


Item 5 of the agenda was withdrawn from the meeting.


At Midnight 00:00am on the 29th November 2023 the committee began to discuss exempt items.



The recording of the meeting can be viewed from the following link:

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 28th November 2023 at 7:00pm - Thurrock Council committee meeting webcasts (