Posted on Thursday 20th February 2020
Commitments to grow Staffordshire’s economy, find new ways to ensure people can continue to live independently and support vulnerable residents in Staffordshire have been detailed in a report published this week.
The performance and finance report sets out how the county council is managing the ongoing cost pressures relating to social care, its continued savings and efficiency drive and how it is working to ensure money owed to the council from other organisations such as the NHS and other individuals paid as soon as possible. The county council paid 99.9 per cent of its invoices within 30 days during quarter three of this financial year.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for finance Mike Sutherland said:
“We are continuing to ensure the county council finances are managed carefully and effectively. The forecast outturn for quarter three shows an overspend of £4.4million, accounting for just under one per cent of the council’s overall budget.
“Cost pressures resulting from children’s care services have grown as the number of looked after children has increased, in addition to the demands placed on us from adult social care.
“Our saving and efficiency drive continues across county council operations whilst ensuring ongoing support for our more vulnerable residents. We always aim to achieve the best value for money for our residents wherever spending is necessary.”
Mike added that the county council had stepped up its work in reclaiming debts owed by other organisations. He said:
“With regard to debts owed to the county council, we are undertaking a range of activities to ensure that we recover all sums due. These include regular meetings with the NHS to review outstanding invoices and reviewing reporting requirements for monitoring and managing debt levels.
“We have already agreed a revised process with partners which improves the timeliness of joint funding invoices being paid. This involves reducing the complexity of administration in tracking invoices and matching payments.
“Furthermore, we are reviewing our internal policies and procedures to ensure we improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the collection process. Our finance team is working to improve management of missed payments and situations where people are not paying agreed contributions to their cost of care.”
The quarter three performance and finance report was approved at this morning’s meeting of the county council cabinet.