Budget Scrutiny 2020-21

 

About the Inquiry

Background 

A "full-year" approach to budget scrutiny is envisaged under the new process set out in the report of the Budget Process Review Group. Committees are expected to incorporate budget scrutiny, including public engagement, into their work prior to the Scottish Government publishing firm and detailed spending proposals towards the end of the calendar year (by way of the annual Budget Bill), and, overall, to be more strategic and outcome-focussed in their scrutiny. The revised process envisages committees publishing reports following that scrutiny in November of each calendar year, so that the Scottish Government can take note of any recommendations before publishing the Budget Bill.

Evidence

The Committee considered its work programme on 12 December 2018 and on 23 January 2019 and agreed to hold an evidence session on staff absenteeism in local authorities as part of its pre-budget scrutiny for 2020-21.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Nikki Bridle, Chief Executive, and Stuart Crickmar, Strategic Director, Partnership and Performance, Clackmannanshire Council;
  • Paul McGowan, Head of Human Resources, East Ayrshire Council;
  • Drew Duffy, Public Services Senior Organiser, GMB Scotland;
  • Sharon McKenzie, President, Society of Personnel and Development Scotland;
  • Johanna Baxter, Head of Local Government Bargaining, UNISON Scotland.

Papers for meeting on 20 February 2019 (697KB pdf)
Official Report of meeting on 20 February 2019

Following the evidence session, the Committee agreed to write to Glasgow City Council, COSLA, SOLACE Scotland and the Improvement Service on issues raised during the meeting:

The following responses were received:

Wednesday 8 May 2019

The Committee took evidence on the report entitled Local Government in Scotland: Challenges and Performance 2019 from: 

  • Graham Sharp, Chair, and Fraser McKinlay, Controller of Audit, Accounts Commission;
  • Claire Sweeney, Audit Director, and Ashleigh Madjitey, Senior Auditor, Audit Scotland.  

Following the evidence session, the Committee agreed to write to COSLA on issues raised during the meeting: 

The Committee received the following response:

Call for Views

The Committee launched a call for written evidence between Tuesday 2 July 2019 and Friday 23 August 2019. Organisations and individuals with an interest in local government and local services were invited to submit written evidence to the Committee setting out their views about how best to ensure that the sector has a sustainable future. For further details on the Committee's call for written evidence and to read the submissions received, please see the links below:

Read the call for evidence.

Read the written submissions.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Graham Sharp, Chair, Accounts Commission;
  • Cllr Gail Macgregor, Spokesperson for Resources, and Vicki Bibby, Head of Resources, COSLA;
  • Jim Boyle, Chair, CIPFA Scottish Directors of Finance Section;
  • David Robertson, Chief Financial Officer Scottish Borders Council, Solace Scotland.

Papers for meeting on 25 September 2019 (998KB pdf)
Official Report of meeting on 25 September 2019

David Robertson, Chief Financial Officer, Scottish Borders Council, wrote to the Committee with further associated written evidence on 7 October 2019:

Written evidence from David Robertson dated 7 October 2019 (29KB pdf)

Cllr Gail Macgregor, Spokesperson for Resources, COSLA, wrote to the Committee with further associated written evidence on 15 October 2019:

Written evidence from Cllr Gail Macgregor dated 15 October 2019 (226KB pdf)

Wednesday 2 October 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • David McNeill, Director of Development, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations;
  • Marie Quigley, Member, UNISON Scotland Local Government Committee;
  • Kenneth Ferguson, Director, The Robertson Trust.

Papers for meeting 2 October 2019 (323KB pdf)
Official Report of meeting on 2 October 2019

Wednesday 9 October 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Fionna Kell, Director of Policy, Homes for Scotland;
  • Callum Chomczuk, National Director, Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland;
  • Craig McLaren, Director, RTPI Scotland;
  • Gordon MacRae, Head of Communications & Policy, Shelter Scotland;

and then from—

  • Prof Kenneth Gibb, University of Glasgow;
  • Prof James Mitchell, University of Edinburgh.

Papers for meeting 9 October 2019 (391KB pdf)
Official Report of meeting on 9 October 2019

During the evidence session, Professor Mitchell offered to share with the Committee a paper previously presented to the Finance and Constitution Committee in 2015:

Note for Prevention Evidence, James Mitchell and Kenneth Gibb (550KB pdf)

Correspondence

The Minister for Older People and Equalities wrote to the Convener on 22 August 2019:

Correspondence between the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee (PAPLS) Convener and the Local Government and Communities Committee (LGC) Convener:

Following its evidence sessions as part of its Pre-budget scrutiny, the Committee agreed key issues it wishes to draw to the Scottish Government’s attention in its letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government.

 

 
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