Posted by: solosnowbird | October 1, 2013

Fife Council

Good Morning from Fife, Scotland. Currently sitting in an Executive Committee meeting where they are hearing the apologies of absences. The Fife Council is the third largest local authority in Scotland with 78 councilors members elected. As noted earlier on our education sessions, the committees do most of the work and the only few key discussions are taken up with Council sitting in full session. Today on the executive committees agenda are discussions regarding the social work service’s unable to meet their budget, the Representative of the Committee (Susan) is noting the difficulties or over spending based on needs. It appears the current budget of £5.698m is rapidly rising and will be at £19m in 2015/16 ( a two year budget cycle) to carry services at the current level. However to remedy the situation, the are several reductions proposed to older people services and foster care. On addition note, there has been a turnover and vacancy for Heads of these services which have provided a savings as well. The Social Work Committee is require to under take a priority based review immediately and provide a report back to the Executive Committee by December 2013. The agenda and packet are 93 pages long – all in Paper!

There was lengthy sometimes heated dialogue regarding housing in particular the housing tenant situation for older persons paying sheltered rent directly from their banks and being able to maintain the privacy of the tenants, how repairs are reported, charges to contact to the HFC (Housing Fife Committee” , and how to handle the arrears. In conclusion, the members all agreed to move forward the staff’s recommendations in their report. Staff recommendations included alternatives to enhance the housing management, providing a rent consultation process for 2014/15 and the removal of the morning call services. This discussion was the longest discussion of the 11 items on the agenda. The previous agenda from September 10th had 256 items and the meeting was three hours long. The minutes approved showed an action style set of documents that were only seven pages in length for these 256 items. 20131001-190241.jpg

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