Agenda and draft minutes

Dorset Council - People and Health Scrutiny Committee
Friday, 11th December, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: To be held as a Teams Live Event

Contact: Helen Whitby  Tel: 01305 224187 or email


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


An apology for absence was received from Cllr Mary Penfold, although she did attend later on in the meeting.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made at the meeting.


Public Participation

To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee

from town and parish councils and members of the public.


Public speaking has been suspended for virtual committee meetings

during the Covid-19 crisis and public participation will be dealt with

through written submissions only.


Members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation

within the Dorset Council area, may submit up to two questions or a

statement of up to a maximum of 450 words. All submissions must be

sent electronically to by the

deadline set out below. When submitting a question please indicate

who the question is for and include your name, address and contact

details. Questions and statements received in line with the council’s

rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the



Questions will be read out by an officer of the council and a response

given by the appropriate Portfolio Holder or officer at the meeting. All

questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the

minutes of the meeting.


The deadline for submission of the full text of a question or

statement is 8.30am on Tuesday, 8 December 2020.


There were no statements or questions from Town and Parish Councils and members of the public.


Budget Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 203 KB

The Scrutiny Committee is asked to consider the budget proposals on behalf of the residents of Dorset, and  provide constructive challenge to decision-makers before a final decision is made.


The Committee considered a report by the Executive Director, Corporate Development which provided a summary of progress to date on the budget strategy and process in order to enable the Committee to review the budget assumptions and actions being proposed to deliver a balanced and sustainable budget for 2021/22.


The Chairman stated that the focus for the meeting would be on budget proposals for the Adult and Housing and Children's Services Directorates.  Budget proposals concerning the Place and Corporate Resources Directorate would be considered at the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee meeting which would following this meeting. 


The Interim Executive Director of People - Adults and Housing gave a short presentation on cost pressures for her directorate, the increase in demand for services as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, information about transformational work being undertaken to provide the right services in the right place at the right time in order to support people to live at home and work  with health partners on funding streams and work to grow community support across Dorset.  The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health added that the budget enabled people to transform their lives by maintaining their independence for longer and she gave examples of the costs of different types of care provided by the Directorate.  The proposed budget was realistic but if additional funds were forthcoming these could be used to support future cost pressures.  


The following comments and responses were made:


Question/Issue raised



Adult Social Care and Housing Directorate


Whether the funding was split right?



The budget involved a lot of risk and concern about the support needed by the over 85s

There was a lot of risk in the budget but officers were confident that the approach was right.  The Council needed to be better able to support people earlier and help them understand how they could support themselves and signpost them to support.  The over 80s population was significantly higher than the national average.  The Council needed to do more to ensure people's health and wellbeing through the earlier stages of their lives so that they could get the right interventions at the right time within their communities.  This would mean the Council would be better able to support them when they needed more complex care later in their lives.

The Council were working with providers and health to provide the right support in the right place at the right time. 


The closure of care homes

Nationally there were not a significant number of care home closures.  Some did need to be closed as they were not necessarily in the right place to provide the support needed by their communities. 


There were too many beds currently.  Some care homes were closing by choice rather than for financial reasons, some due to Covid-19 and some were not providing the right level of care for residents.  People were now choosing not to enter care homes until later in their lives when their needs were more complex.  This provided  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


The public and press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.


There was no exempt business.