Hertfordshire County Council: meeting. Sample containing about 13379 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C611

PS4WB X m (No name, age unknown, council chairman) unspecified
PS4WC X m (Christopher, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4WD X m (Jarvis, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4WE X m (No name, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4WF X m (John, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4WG X m (Martin, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4WH X m (Bob, age unknown, labour councillor) unspecified
PS4WJ X m (mr eldrum, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4WK X f (Pauline, age unknown, conservative councillor) unspecified
JWAPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
JWAPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 111401 recorded on 1994-01-12. LocationHertfordshire: Hertford ( Council Chambers ) Activity: Council meeting meetin/debate

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [1] We have received apologies for absence from, er from er Mr .
[2] Are there any other apologies which we've received.
[3] Thank you.
[4] The minutes of the meeting held on the twentieth of October have been er distributed.
[5] There is one modification er which has been drawn to our attention that is Mr Ian was present on that day.
[6] Subject to that er amendment is it your wish that I should sign those minutes as a true record of that meeting?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [7] agreed
(PS4WB) [8] thank you ... Er public petitions, none have been received, er other business, none has been notified.
[9] Questions none has been received.
[10] We therefore move to item one on the agenda which is the local management of primary and secondary schools and I call upon Mr Christopher to introduce the report.
Christopher (PS4WC) [11] Thank you Chairman.
[12] The home manual school panel meeting erm on erm [...] for sometime now and I think for those people who don't get to see the government.
[13] It is an illustration of how it can, and should be done.
[14] Because once the vigorous discussion, rarely does anyone sit and accuse us of having had clearly party political discussions, we had a job of work to do and as a result of that job of work is in front of you now in items one and two.
[15] Item one deals with further delegations and aspects of further delegations er to primary and secondary schools.
[16] The officers on part of the panel have consulted schools very carefully about the last remnants of possible delegation which might arise and the recommendations are as presented to us in red, set out in section three.
[17] Section three point one ... gives aspects of further delegation which the panel considers after consultation with schools should not be proceeded with in nineteen ninety four, ninety five and justification for that is in the papers which is attached to agenda item one.
[18] It should be realised of course that this does not close the door on further delegation each year should indeed there be indication from the schools that they would so wish.
[19] Section three point two deals with funding for non [...] pupils with special educational needs.
[20] We suggest that this present system which I think many of us have doubts about should continue for practical reasons for nineteen ninety four, ninety five only and for ninety five, ninety six, we will have the benefit of the [...] audit.
[21] Three point three has been rather involved er aspects of examining average teachers' salary costs basically will fall down given that we've had a sixty five percent return from schools and we will be able to use this year, coming year the actual mandatory points in determining how delegation of salaries should be proceeded with.
[22] Three point four is a small matter, of deputy head [...] whilst it would be inappropriate of course to er [...] schools indefinitely should there be reduction in numbers, certainly we do need a mechanism by which small reductions in numbers don't lead to a tragic and drastic loss of staff.
[23] Section three point five is [...] banking needs [...] that er there was quite a lot of [...] current by arrangements, but opt outs use erm, that's an unfortunate word in terms of education and will be allowed for those who are wishing to have alternative arrangements.
[24] The panel is still considering the divisional schools library service erm the, they're very clear is at to whether these costs to the library is a fixed cost or a variable cost or perhaps even more to the point that it will need to reach the cost of libraries are fixed and variable and the differing views both within the panel and [...] schools about that and the panel is continuing deliberating research.
[25] On that basis I have pleasure in moving the [...] in section six of this report as shown on page five. ...
(PS4WB) [26] Thank you.
[27] Is there a seconder on that motion?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [28] Well further [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [29] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [30] I further question the policy erm which, erm just mentioned, the average salary issue is that we want, erm that's, that's gonna cost us a million pounds next year, but we are doing it, so there's a million pounds in growth in everybody's er budget and basically everybody's budget when we come to later.
[31] Erm on school libraries we're thinking of maintaining school library service and be as, be as fair as possible for schools that are different sizes, that I have erm, that I have erm, erm doing that.
(PS4WB) [32] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [33] Agreed.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [34] Agreed.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [35] Agreed.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [36] Agreed.
(PS4WB) [37] Thank you.
[38] We move then to item two the management of the schools, nursery and special schools erm
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...]
(PS4WB) [39] this is er [...] mostly by [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [40] Thank you.
[41] Erm the speed with which we dealt with item one is encouraging or rather it's [...] somebody might be [...] but item two again maybe if proposals which perhaps er a little controversy.
[42] There are two separate issues involved here, first of all there is the issue of nursery education, we have no statutory obligation er to devise scheme for the delegation of [...] nursery schools.
[43] Nevertheless
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [44] failure to do so would cause them problems.
[45] First of all nursery schools would be dealing with the County Council on a different basis from the vast of, of the schools population and that will give rise to anomalies and complications which would be undesirous and secondly there might be problems particularly if they are considering expanding nursery provision between nursery schools and nursery classes in primary schools.
[46] Both of these can be avoided by delegating [...] nursery schools on a similar basis to the delegation which was made for ordinary schools and again you consulted about that and the proposal laid in this report.
[47] And as for all special schools there is an obligation to provide a scheme for local management of special schools with effect from April this year er we consulted there was a little bit of chasing which had to take place in which you can see in section four of the report but following that chasing, we now ascertain meeting schools on favourable proposals for or against and once a week that, a view of [...] and also undertaking as you know.
[48] On that basis I will propose happily to suggest that those in, in Section Six of this report.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [49] [...] and I second agenda and erm [laugh] we ask for your attention to para three point four er which is the financial part of this [...] budget really and it says that some contingencies in nursery schools should be increased, erm that it is actually allowed for in the later budget erm the tax payer budget will be [...] . ...
(PS4WB) [50] Er Mr .
Jarvis (PS4WD) [51] Yes Chairman erm, I'm, I should like to draw attention to the paragraph three, two and wonder what happened to three, three, because er we see it goes from my copy goes from three, two, to three, four, so er I don't know whether there is anything in three, three that I have forgotten, but I, I assume now that I [...] which they're are two other [...] .
[52] Erm may in fact find in reading the application of formula [...] rather difficult to cope with because they're very special circumstances and of course the small nursery schools.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [53] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [54] ... erm if there's, if there's a query then indeed I, I, three, three might be one of them.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [55] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [56] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [57] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [58] The effective speech.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [59] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [60] is there an added speech in what you are referring?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [61] Sorry, yes I, I, I, I'm a very, I'm two, appendix B
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [62] appendix B
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [63] B er C [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [64] er, but there isn't three, three ...
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [65] erm, other than clairify [...] the erm, all solutions were made available to members of the panel as an appendix to the reports to the Policy Panel er, but that they won't [...] to all members efficiency but were made available [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [66] that's not the point. ...
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [67] there appears to be a [...] in as much as there is a, a section, there is appendix B as the three, two, O, three, three [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [68] typographical error, next business
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [69] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [70] I am assured that it is just a typographical error
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [71] They would say that wouldn't they.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [72] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [73] We are after all teaching these children to count
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [74] which children? [laugh]
(PS4WB) [75] [...] money [...] that motion has been added to.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [76] Agreed.
(PS4WB) [77] Thank you very much.
[78] It seems that you all want to hurry on to item three A, erm ... as far as the timetable [...] is concerned
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [79] [cough] .
(PS4WB) [80] erm ... is going to make certain clarifications which we'll start with and is going to introduce the report and then to give some explanations.
[81] After that we shall move to the three motions and there will be one debate on all three motions.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [82] [...] Chairman er, I have a petition that I have been asked to present er at what point do you wish me to do that?
(PS4WB) [83] I suggest that, that is er brought maybe before the motions immediately before the motions are put, erm after the motions, after the debate as one debate I am proposing not later than twelve forty five to call for the winding up erm speeches by the three movers of the motions and to take the votes erm prior to lunch.
[84] ... If necessary lunch will constitute an adjournment.
[85] Thank you er may I then ask if would er give clarifications on certain items.
(PS4WE) [86] Thank you Mr Chairman, I just want to cover three areas.
[87] The first one has already been mentioned and relates to the actual average salary.
[88] The second one is in relation to the [...] sheet in front of you headed school meals and third area erm is the typographical errors on some resolutions [...] to, to take you through [...] .
[89] As far as the actual average salary is concerned if you look at page nineteen paragraph K a white page on your report, page nineteen, paragraph K ... and there you will see that you're promised an audit report on the position relating to teachers' salaries, I can confirm that the position is consistent with the remarks that, that were made earlier on, cos you have within the budget here sufficient money to provide for our current estimate of next year's actual earning salary in these schools .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [90] [cough] .
(PS4WE) [91] We have returns so far from sixty five per cent of the schools and we expect to have the remaining schools before the end of the month, I wouldn't expect it to change from where we are at the moment but if there was a significant variation then I will be in a position to report back to the Policy Committee at the end of the month but I'm, I'm not expecting that need be the case.
[92] The second area relates to erm school meals and you have in front of you an erratum sheet ... the sheet outlines two areas of er change relative to erm [...] in the main report.
[93] Firstly, I am reporting to you that there has been in the current year additional efficiency savings over and above those that previously anticipated er at the level of two hundred thousand pounds ... and so we are assuming in the budget erm that those can continue into ninety four, five and thereafter, and then we'll see the resolutions have been amended to take that into account and the text of the erratum sheet explains how that's been done.
[94] Appendix ten which is attached to the erratum sheet, it's the seventh page, you'll see there that you've got in front of you all the figures that were really erm concerned with in favour of the [...] and amend er the report on lines fifty four A and fifty four B showing two hundred thousand pounds savings on school meals and you will see that reflected in the columns headed Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats and those are consistent with the resolution papers that are in front of you.
[95] Another aspect of this change is the erm the change in line fifty eight, where the business and saving in the current year carried forward has been increased to seven, nine, one, from five, nine, one, you can see in the report and you will see that [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [sneeze]
(PS4WE) [96] operated in the new appendix ten.
[97] The second aspect of the school meals changes are with that alternative meal saving and would best be introduced erm if members were to decide that this is the way we wanted to go from April ninety five rather than in Sept September ninety four as suggested and attached to the report and that delays the savings, but achieves the same saving but not until nineteen ninety six seven and you will see that the figures have been amended and to take that into account and that's on line fifty four B appendix ten.
[98] The third area I need to take you through is some erm typographical amendments to the resolutions that you have in front of you, so if you just bear with me I proposed to go through those and perhaps if you want to mark them on the sheets as I go through and if I'm going too fast erm just wave.
[99] The first erm resolution sheet that you have in front of you is a pink one erm so the Labour group there are no typographical errors on the pink sheet.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [100] [clapping] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [101] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [102] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [103] [...] .
(PS4WE) [104] I have to say these, these are [...] documents in terms of the addition.
[105] Erm the next erm feature is the yellow one for the Liberal Democrats, there's one Liberal Democrat typographical error and that's on the second page page four of the resolutions and you'll see that in the second column there's a total three, three, three five, that should be amended to, sorry three, three, three five that should be amended to three, one, five, five ... and then where it says nine the resource budget immediately below that nine, four, five, ninety four five O, it's three hundred and sixty thousand, three hundred and sixty million, six hundred thousand, that stays the same.
[106] The figure that is three, six, one, nine, two O should be changed to three, six, one, seven, four O. ...
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [107] Yes.
(PS4WE) [108] is everybody with me on that one?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [109] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [110] [laugh] .
(PS4WE) [111] Again the appendix ten figures reflect the, the actual position, all we're doing is amending the resolutions ... and turn to the blue sheets ...
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [112] There are dozens. ...
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4WE) [113] And the first typo typographical error on the blue sheets is erm item six F.
[114] The first figure for section eleven should be three, three eight rather than three, three four ... and the two totals at the bottom of paragraph six should read three, one, O, eight ... and two, nine, three, zero.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [115] They're academic anyway
(PS4WE) [116] turn over the page to page six ... paragraph eight, item D eight D [...] strategy, the figure's is a hundred and six and it should be one, five, six ...
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [117] God.
(PS4WE) [118] and the total should be one, three, three, six in that column
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [119] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [120] [...] crap.
(PS4WE) [121] and that's it thank you very much
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [122] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [123] [cough] .
(PS4WB) [124] Thank you, er Paul, erm I'm now ask er [...] to introduce
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [125] [cough] , [blowing nose]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [126] County Chairman, I'm pleased to present to the committee the report of the head of finance and myself on each resource budget in nineteen ninety four
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [127] I think I should start by stressing the process through which we have gone in order to prepare this report has been somewhat different this year from that which we followed in the past and [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [128] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [129] on, on past experience.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [130] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [131] There has been more expensive consultation with head teachers and the governors than has been possible er before and I hope the result of that it is reflected in the pages that you have in front of you.
[132] I am grateful both to the Education spokespersons who put a great deal of time in, in order to carry out erm their preparations towards this report and to and to take part in the consultation exercises and to my own colleagues.
[133] Erm the fruits of that work will be revealed in the decisions that are made er later on today.
[134] I am not intending to go through the report in detail erm but I hope that I we will now need to draw attention to one or two issues erm which are of particular concern and which emerged through the consultation process.
[135] First of all the issue of increasing pupil numbers.
[136] I am sure that we are all delighted that numbers in schools are now rising because it can be a very difficult situation in which to work when er a head teacher and governing body find themselves trying to manage a continuous decline.
[137] At the same time that does create pressures upon the school and in particular it creates pressures upon you in terms of finding the money in order to ensure that those pupils are resourced adequately.
[138] You have, therefore, erm a proposal for a figure of over five million pounds to meet the demands of increased pupil numbers er next year and of course that will be a continuing pressure for the future.
[139] Secondly, I know that this committee has over a time been concerned about the resource needs
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [140] of primary schools.
[141] We've all been aware of the extent to which the local management formula er has made clear erm the rather er significant difference between the resourcing of pupils in their families primary education and their early years of secondary education.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [142] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [143] I hope you it will give particular attention to that issue er in your del deliberations later this morning.
[144] Nursery education is an issue
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [145] which is being drawn to your attention I know over again a number of er months and years.
[146] Hertfordshire's position on nursery education is a good one, by comparison with very many other local authorities including many counties.
[147] It is an area to which the County Council has given priority in the past.
[148] That does not change the fact that as far as parents are concerned if there is no nursery school or nursery class available to them then for them there is no provision at all and I know that you will want to address the question of whether you can find additional resources for nursery education er in the course of the debate.
[149] I would also I think put in a word for the work of the joint po policy panel erm which is shared between this committee and the social services committee because it seems to me that it is not [...] for us to be thinking that there is a group of children for who nursery education is necessary er or desirable and a different group of children for whom something else erm is necessary and desirable, largely because of their parents' position.
[150] We do have to look at all our pre-school children as a group who have similar means as they grow and they learn and they develop and I hope that we can continue to push for a co-ordinated approach to the whole range of services that we are o offering to that group of children and to their families.
[151] Thirdly, special educational needs has been an issue for this committee in the past and will no doubt continue to be an issue in the future.
[152] We are continuing to experience a significant er pressure from schools in terms of requests for form assessment and statementing of children with special educational needs.
[153] In the current term we are receiving requests at the rate of something like twenty five per week and of course that has the implications both in terms
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [154] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [155] of handling them through the, through the assessment and statementing process and it has implications in terms of finding the resources to support those children once the statements of provision are, are drawn up.
[156] You will not, therefore, be surprised to see a number of items in er the budget report which relates to special needs issues.
[157] It is an attempt to ask you to consider to maintain the sort of progress that we have been making erm in past years, but it's a problem is not going to go away.
[158] At the present time it is being compounded of course by the er effects of nineteen ninety three Education Act with all that that Act implies or tightening up er many of the processes and procedures that we follow in dealing with special educational needs, we have a host of new draft documents for consultation from the Department for Education.
[159] Many of them received just over Christmas and parents and schools are looking to us to give them help er in providing for what is a very rapidly moving situation.
[160] Section eleven, Grant you have discussed with this Committee on a number of occasions.
[161] I know that the concern is shared right across the Committee about the implications of the reductions which the government is proposing in Section eleven, grant.
[162] I think I told you some months ago that I would be asking you to consider that
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [163] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [164] in the course of your budget debate and er true to form I've brought it in front of you this morning.
[165] The need to prepare schools and help to help schools prepare themselves for the erm review of the national curriculum the changes that they will have to deal with and in particular I think, erm to help secondary schools to come to terms with changes in key stage four and the likely erm opportunities there will be for a more diverse curriculum including eventually er the opportunities for more vocational programmes in schools and to assist schools
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [166] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [167] to build on their own interest and commitment to erm deliver improved pupil attainments at sixteen and, and at eighteen, nineteen, in response the national education and training targets is an area which should not be forgotten.
[168] A number of these things that I have already raised this morning are perhaps are, er primary phase issues rather than secondary but we must remember that the pressures on secondary schools continue as in the primary phase and finally another concern which you are all very well aware of and which particularly if you're governors you will have drawn to your attention constantly is erm the continuing concern about our educational building stock both in terms of its adequacy as regards the size and the capacity of the accommodation at, where some schools are concerned its need for repair and maintenance work and its need for adaptation to meet the new demands of the curriculum.
[169] Er you have er a substantial er appendix within your er agenda papers which set out proposals from the building's policy panel which would help you to deal with some of those issues.
[170] I shall be very brief and simply mention that
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [171] a number of the savings erm and the increased income that is available to, to avoid savings are the result of your own policies developed over a number of years and I hope implemented with a degree of further manage managerial action which has actually given you some money to spend, erm which will avoid you having to make er painful cuts in order to fund a new growth and in particular I would highlight the significant movement that has has now taken place, children from special educational needs provision outside the county, back into the county.
[172] Erm th the reduction in the cost of discretionary awards which is partly the result of the [...] policies that are partly also changing the, in the national situation and increased recruitment funding and in an area into which officers put in a great deal of time to try to make sure that we do [...] the equivalent they should be getting.
[173] It is a relief I suppose today, that I am able to speak to you on the basis erm of financial output which is a good deal more favourable than we expected even six months ago.
[174] Indeed I think we frightened some schools six months ago erm not by any means er wi malice aforethought if er, because we all thought that the financial situation might be very much worse than it is.
[175] Even so, the range of
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [176] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [177] pressures that this Committee faces and the need to try to balance out the sufficience of needs across a wide range of interest groups and a wide range of, of er pupils and schools means that your decisions are never easy.
[178] You need also a course to be provident for the future in terms of ensuring that you will be able to continue to discharge your responsibilities in years to come.
[179] It won't be easy erm but the decisions are now for you to make.
[180] Thank you Chairman.
(PS4WB) [181] Thank you er [...] .
[182] Erm the John is now are going to explain certain aspects of the er [...] .
John (PS4WF) [183] Thank you Chairman.
[184] I just want to draw attention to three major components within the committee report.
[185] Erm the first is the base resource budget which is set out on page four, table one.
[186] The base resource budget started
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [187] [cough] .
John (PS4WF) [188] with the ninety three, four budget, of three hundred and forty two and a half million and er through the addition of certain growth items most notably that requires the demography for the additional pupil numbers we establish a base resource budget there of three hundred and fifty nine and a half million.
[189] A seven million growth over the current ninety three four budget.
[190] The second area of the report which I would want to draw your attention to is that area concerned with growth and savings and a number have put forward in sections seven, eight, nine and ten of the report, that on pages six, seven and eight and it's got within those growth and savings that we can work to the target set by the policy committee.
[191] The high target of three hundred and sixty two point two million and the low target of three sixty point six million.
[192] Then thirdly, I would like to draw your attention to the report of the capital programme er policy programme
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [193] [cough] .
John (PS4WF) [194] where they're putting forward a recommendation for a number of minor and major building projects within the capital guidelines and those are set out in appendix er appendices five and six.
[195] ... Finally, attached to your report er there's appendix ten which is the A three sheets
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
John (PS4WF) [196] the first sheet has not been changed and the first sheet shows the base resource budget which you are being asked to recommend on line twenty one ... and then it shows a number of savings which can be achieved through efficiency and volume changes.
[197] ... If those are then accepted, you have a second sheet to appendix ten which has been er modified and which has been circulated just prior to the meeting.
[198] ... That sets out the growth of the savings and which it contains in the report with paragraph and appendix reference numbers on them and it sets out for each of the groups, their proposed budgets.
[199] It is from that sheet that the figures were transcribed on to the erm on to the pink and the, the, the, the, erm blue and the yellow sheets which have been circulated and which have been amended so that the figures now correspond on both sheets.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [200] [cough] .
(PS4WB) [201] Thank you.
[202] Next I was going to ask before erm [...] are there any questions of fact, I don't want anybody anticipating the debate but are the any questions on fact.
[203] Mr Martin [...] .
Martin (PS4WG) [204] Erm er Chairman, may I ask a question on paragraph four, four and appendix three, that's on page four and appendix three on the increased percentage on school milk charge?
[205] I see that percentage is quite high, way above the in the in the inflation figure er at seven point five per, er percent
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Martin (PS4WG) [206] and I wonder if I could have an explanation for the reason for that very high increase.
[207] The er percentage is identified at the top of appendix three, annexe one of appendix three ... .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...] ...
(PS4WB) [208] Er let me come back on that issue [...] the er [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Martin (PS4WG) [209] right, well the E E C have cut their grants of all school milk I think you'll find [...] certainly [...] on that being discovered I would imagine that it's similar to the County Council.
[210] Thank you.
(PS4WB) [211] May I ask er, er Mr that [...] it would, whether she would now er pass forward the petition.
[212] Erm I gather you wish to just present the petition
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [213] Yes.
(PS4WB) [214] at this stage but you wish to speak during the debate
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [215] Tha that is right Chairman,I I have a petition from the Watford Indian association containing seventy five signatures.
[216] Er it is about the future provision of section eleven which appears in the main report, you will no doubt appear as part of the budget debate.
[217] I think you can see if you look at the er, er around the chamber at the amount of interest that this er has aroused and the, the header referred to the number of other petitions and er, er letters that have been received.
[218] Therefore this time, I will just hand it to you Chairman and er, er reserve my rights to [...] .
[219] ... Thank you very much.
(PS4WB) [220] Thank you.
[221] I acknowledge this er receipt of this petition and I'm glad to see the er, er support of the present [...] will change.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [222] [cough] .
(PS4WB) [223] Er I understand that er
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
(PS4WB) [224] Mr is now ready to respond to the questions.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [225] Yes, well erm it it isn't the effect of the changing er E C grant that's [...] elsewhere in the budget and legislative changes item with the increasing cost there er, if you can change the grant or [...] for instance where we're getting less grant from the E C.
[226] What it is, is reflecting the intervention [...] crisis of milk
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [227] oh, oh
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [228] the cost of milk undoubtedly
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [229] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [230] going up
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [231] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [232] it is increasing the price in line the increase in cost of milk
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [233] So just that, further clarification if I may, we are passing the increase er cost of milk on in the charge that we're making?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [234] yes.
(PS4WB) [235] Thank you.
[236] Right [...] now to read [...] er we first call upon Labour er Bob to move the motion standing at the erm [...] .
Bob (PS4WH) [237] [...] give them some wellie but I don't think I'll do that, erm
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [238] [laugh] .
Bob (PS4WH) [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [239] [laugh] .
Bob (PS4WH) [240] sorry, erm this budget has a very long gestation period er I'm on version twelve I think at the last count and I hope there isn't gonna be a version thirteen.
[241] Erm I ought to thank everybody erm, officers, members, head groups, service groups, unionists, [...] petitions and all who've written to us.
[242] We've taken all this into account, erm I'm not sure all groups have tried to do that, erm but we have tried to please everyone, we do have some particular priorities and we do want to make significant improvements in service where we can and not necessarily looking for cheap publicity by increasing in lots of places as some people are supposed to of done so where one concludes sometime [...] a significant amount of money in but will have a noticeable difference to their essential service.
[243] I am going to go through the pink sheet, I think that's easiest if I do that erm on the top of your pile
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Bob (PS4WH) [244] first the base budget, ... an [...] this and return to give increase the expenditure is the five million pounds or so needed for the increased number of pupils.
[245] Now we're meeting that in full and I'm glad to see that all three fiscal groups er proposing to meet that in full.
[246] Of course last year that didn't happen and last year hidden away in the first part of the er the budget papers was this cut in the amount of money going to each pupil erm in [...] education in secondary school, so this year we are not doing that we're going to meet the full cost of [...] so in that sense the formula will be unchanged, and of course there's growth er later in the budget and both primary and secondary schools in terms delegated budgets.
[247] We've have already mentioned the million pounds extra for [...] salaries.
[248] There's another cost of a million pounds which results from a change in government policy of the cost of government policy, now this is [...] including the er unfair funding of G M schools and including the loss of [...] that was just, just mentioned.
[249] Now another of those things will be increased service, that's [...] stand still, that's the best way to stand still.
[250] There are other elements later which, which imp improve the coordinated pension for each pupil.
[251] Erm well that base budget is rather higher than we are expecting and the time when, the policy committee set its targets for each of the service committees.
[252] It's about eighty million pounds higher than we were expecting it.
[253] So whereas the policy committee were allowing us three point five million grant maximum, on top of the er base budget, now course that's reduced because with cash limited to the total on to the base plus, so getting a lot less than with the group [...] so they might say increase to about two and a half million rather than the figure we had earlier.
[254] ... So in net terms we can have maximum, we won't go to this in the current till next year, erm two and a half million pounds of growth.
[255] That's roughly about the same hours [...] as the government's just decided to spend on sending the Parent's Charter to every household in Britain, I think that's gonna cost over two million as well.
[256] Erm the government's there are telling parents what they ought to do.
[257] This hypocritical exhortation er which is government policy these days erm is costing them same amount of money, they're actually spending intending, increasing erm education division.
[258] I use the phrase hypocritical exhortation, because I know Jim is sitting there with a tape recorder and taking note of all the words we are using today [...] our dictionary so I think the phrase hypocritical exhortation I said three times in relation to
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [259] [laugh] .
Bob (PS4WH) [260] in relation to the Conservative party's current policy back to basics and all that I think is the appropriate expression to bear in mind.
[261] Erm, okay let me go on now to er the next section of the, the er resolution, which follows the [...] report in terms of savings erm in para seven of that seven and [...] para eight.
[262] Now all groups have [...] savings.
[263] Erm another piece of that [...] service [...] on the great wall of justice around this morning erm, I [...] the officers to take certain [...] elsewhere.
[264] Moving on to the row on paragraph eight, again all three groups are agreed er on this except with one I think exception of a certain group.
[265] Er no one exception, it is to not allow appropriate expenditure on section eleven.
[266] Erm both the Labour and the Liberal parties, erm think it's extremely important that we maintain this provision for the curriculum [...] pupils who might wish to have petition early and we will maintain in full so the current level of provision under section eleven will be May next year, which puts a large sum on the money into that, this is growth in expenditure, the making up of government cuts, increasing the money we're spending, it's not increasing service, it's simply continuing the current current policies but it will continue as it is now.
[267] Er against the cost of government changes so this last part of this budget is actually the cost of making up for government cuts and [...] section of and we're disappointed that Conservatives decided to cut the section they were funding for next year.
[268] I don't know how much they're cutting it, but the figures change again today no doubt.
[269] Er so let me move on then to erm the growth areas.
[270] Well the growth area section in ten, part of that is again, again, maintaining this level of service, er so if I move on to er the savings under paragraph nine, bottom of the pink sheet.
[271] I'm going to say a word about the efficiency savings on school meals and the proposal from the Conservatives bringing this alternative meal system.
[272] Now we couldn't do it anyway next year, we'll have to do it the following year as we've heard earlier.
[273] Erm now I'm interested in this proposal, so I tried that on my daughter last [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Bob (PS4WH) [274] this is erm the menu, this is the menu of which erm is being used in some exp as an experiment in some schools, you have fish fingers one day, Monday beef stew, then hot dogs Wednesday, battered fish Thursday and turkey jackets on Friday.
[275] Erm with very little choice, now I gave this to
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [276] [cough] .
Bob (PS4WH) [277] my daughter, who's sixteen and also her school mates and she said, well where's the beef burgers?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [laugh]
Bob (PS4WH) [278] where's the beef? so, so I'm dubious about this in terms of quality of nutrition, in terms of choice being offered and I think we need to look a lot more closely at this before we jump into agreement, change or [...] in the system.
[279] It couldn't happen anyway, in the next financial year, it'd have to be the following financial year.
[280] Now I think that the whole school meals issue, not just this, but also the way in which cost savings are being achieved at the moment in schools.
[281] Erm needs looking at by members.
[282] We need members need to get a grip on what is happening and my wife suggests this, that the [...] panel erm rather than setting up a new panel, look at the whole issue of school meals, this and other issues.
[283] I'll get a load of [...] erm in some ways.
[284] As long as the nutrition is kept, as long as choice is available as long as they're popular with kids, then erm it might not be the [...] .
[285] Okay so I was on savings at the bottom of erm the sheets.
[286] Er we are grateful to the Education Department for finding this two hundred thousand and er the, the
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [287] [cough] .
Bob (PS4WH) [288] certain departments save as well, one of the payments I'm sure and again it's not a direct cut in [...] the short places.
[289] So [...] growth savings in terms of erm provision in Educational Service direct.
[290] So I can now move on to the next page which is the growth we're proposing, given the saving, given the splendid things that are allowed by the erm, by the [...] .
[291] Now there are four significant areas.
[292] First [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [293] [cough] .
Bob (PS4WH) [294] there's total here of a million pounds in the er next financial year when er part Inland Revenue and part of
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [295] [cough] .
Bob (PS4WH) [296] which will find well in excess of a thousand extra nursery places.
[297] Now all is quite clear in the consultations, certainly the one we have with the, the heads, whilst that they didn't want to continue the previous policy of expanding their tradition by increasing class sizes.
[298] We are absolutely clear on that, it came over quite clearly from heads, the previous policy of increasing class sizes and therefore not spending any more money but claiming we're doing a lot for nursery education, the previous policy erm was not one which they wanted to support.
[299] If we're going to increase nursery provision, we've got to do it by putting, putting money where our mouths are, huh, putting our money where perhaps some Conservative government peoples' mouths are as well, and they're all very keen to will the ends but they're not so keen to will the means, anyway this is the means, there's a million pounds here erm, next year we [...] we effect [...] , and other members can speak about that and the work that they first have erm, I do notice that, that the latest report from the erm commission on on education and the book we all had to read does give us this first priority, er provision in nursery education particularly in areas, er deprived areas.
[300] If you read that er book er from the Commission you will find their very first goal is in relation to nursery education in deprived areas and the panel's looking at that, looking at indicators of, of deprivation as well as erm the [...] .
[301] Moving on let's have a talk about the primary school budgets, we're proposing a million pounds here for primary school delegated budgets er we assume that the schools have used that largely by non-contact time for the teachers.
[302] Er we can't tell them how to use the money, we presume they will do that, erm this is a significant increase on the amount that the Conservatives seem to be suggesting which is just I think deputy heads so there are a hundred and forty thousand er deputy heads [...] to go [...] .
[303] Er moving on swiftly
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [304] [cough] .
Bob (PS4WH) [305] er the next big area, again there's another million pounds in total for special educational needs erm and provision for [...] pupils so if you add up
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Bob (PS4WH) [306] section C, that's the [...] to schools [...] of budgets and the [...] included, that comes to another million pounds [...] sum of [...] budget.
[307] Now we notice that whilst the other groups are agreeing [...] the officers that we actually buy sports [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Bob (PS4WH) [308] they're not putting money into delegated budgets now, I, I, I was a teacher, a head teacher and I was told that the erm, the essential, the educational departments finding more money for devices and to give advice to school, now, they're all unnecessary as it is, I would say, we are the ones that carry out the job, we're on the ground, we've got to do it.
[309] Huh it's not good helping us to do it, we need money to, to do it within schools, so we are proposing an increase in the delegated budgets of both primary and secondary schools, special educational needs
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Bob (PS4WH) [310] that's about five per cent on the current six million pound allocation, which alone is based on free school meals, [...] should make a future [...] upon the special needs audit.
[311] Moving down, I am not going to comment on the Conservative resolution, erm there's all sorts of cuts in there and lack of growth, I am going to ignore it actually, the Tories are so far out of touch, huh, on, erm both nationally and locally, totally out of touch with what people think and that the government will obviously untouched, we all know that, but I'm surprised and disappointed the Conservative opposite are also out of touch and the figure is way out from both the Liberal and the Labour [...] way out, and with all the consultations it's had.
[312] The [...] they're cutting everywhere and they're growing erm [...] .
[313] I am not going to bother with a certain group.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [314] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [315] [...] like attack [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...]
Bob (PS4WH) [316] I don't [...] necessary [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [317] [...] .
Bob (PS4WH) [318] erm, so if I move on then, now to eight D which is forty [...] the fund, we have written into the resolution, huh, let's be clear about that.
[319] Erm how we want that fund to be distributed.
[320] We discussed this at the [...] panel and they
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [321] [cough] .
Bob (PS4WH) [322] proposed that we should in effect give the money to erm a non county body involved in this [...] , to allocate, to work out both the basis of the allocation and the allocation funds in this order, we think that's inappropriate, If we're putting up money then we should also have the responsibility for allocating them among a [...] until the [...] done and the [...] done, so I'm at [...] all, or whether our council or something to be set up in the future should have equal control of that, that money.
[323] Erm I've given a zero for all the effects because they [...] of money erm if it i if, if this idea works well then we consider that growth next year as well but to be prudent wh why didn't you justify the service environment rule, to be prudent, erm, I, I have assumed that will be a proper effect and therefore I'm not assume the [...] potential of next year's base budget.
(PS4WB) [324] I would like to think Mr that you are coming towards the end
Bob (PS4WH) [325] Oh yes [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [326] Here, here
Bob (PS4WH) [327] [...] can see I'm [...] .
[328] Erm the next item is similar to that education which I shall speak to you later and then erm [...] at the moment.
[329] [...] on [...] a couple of programme, we put some money into this er together er [...] more er, we notice that the Conservatives haven't, I think that's all I want to say on, on that [...] .
[330] Erm now in general terms, this budget keeps within policy guidelines and I am grateful to Environment Committee for sticking to their lower level [...] and help us out as mentioned yesterday.
[331] The Labour group will keep within the government capping limits, obviously we will, and therefore the council tax increase is getting no more than about four percent, so you can't claim all this growth is gonna, well it certainly can't count all this growth is going to er, with this ma , massive increase in Council Tax.
[332] The average Council Tax payer, the council tax can't be more than, around four percent erm which reminds me of the last miracle budget we had, ninety eighty nine I think it was, again a Labour budget which I think was three point nine per cent increase then and the lowest rate of increase for twenty years erm and the highest level of growth erm [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [333] [laugh] .
Bob (PS4WH) [334] erm again if any of the the increases under [...] .
[335] The Tories cut it as soon as they got back in power.
[336] We're putting it back again and this time we're gonna make it stick
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [337] Yeah.
Bob (PS4WH) [338] Just to conclude, this is the best budget education's had for many years, it's good news for schools, it's good news for council tax payers and mostly importantly it's good news for pupils and I hope you'll accept that.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [339] [clapping] .
(PS4WB) [340] Thank you, is er anyone prepared to second that?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [341] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [342] [...] .
(PS4WB) [343] Thank you.
[344] And now we call upon er Paul to present the er Liberal Democrat er [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [345] Yes, thank you Chairman, I hope to be slightly er more brief erm, in proposal of the Liberal Democrat budget of er, er three, six O point six million which I would remind with your permission is the er the minimum target er, er suggested by, by [...] .
[346] Er I think we must remind ourselves that er this year's as I say is by no means er generous and for that reason we're not aiming higher, not because we wouldn't like to, but because we recognize the, the restrictions placed from elsewhere.
[347] I think this is one of the [...] chairman because there was so many horrendous forecasts in the summer and autumn about the S S A that when it was announced you know we thought it was goods news and of course it wasn't [...] , erm so this is why they're trying to be prudent and we have kept in our proposals to the erm, has already mentioned that er, thank god, the er democratic growth has been covered this year and so on, erm, plenty of other things that we would like to see erm to comply with the government's own legislation erm but they [...] where with all.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [348] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [349] I would like to extend my thanks also to the officers who have worked er very, very hard er both sides of the Christmas.
[350] Er I think I am on version ten, I don't know whether that's one or two more than , but er, the officers have worked, worked very hard and I'm very grateful to them, erm I'm also very grateful to the primary heads, secondary heads, their own staff associations, and the representatives of the governors for whom Hilary, Bob and I have met, and er we've listened very carefully to what they have to say and we've done our modest best to er to er use their priorities as well as our own perhaps political one, we've looked at the educational value er, I suspect more than the other two groups erm than [...] the political sum.
[351] Erm I have thought that the same is listed in paragraph seven er and the growth of paragraph eight were non, non-controversial and er would have received all party support but I [...] .
[352] Er but of course I I must say something about section eleven funding, this whole section under funding, er is er featured in, in, in this section and er, er I'm not too sure what the Tories are playing at er, unlike Bob I am not going to condemn them out of hand now, being a Democrat I want you to hear what they have to say and then we'll roast them this afternoon
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [353] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [354] erm and while we're talking about er, er
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [355] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [356] Conservatives, this government has perpetrated some dastardly things [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [357] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [358] in recent years but among the worst must be the reduction by the Home Office of taxable [...] funding
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [359] Here, here, here.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [360] Not because they granted its continued necessity, your sanction [...] will continue providing someone else pays.
[361] They say they can't afford it, we say that we must afford it.
[362] Not from the space of pity of certain members of our community or even of generosity but purely from investment and common sense.
[363] If we fail to help these children now they will not be able to contribute to the social economic wellbeing of the nation and may cost us in time more social and financial in, in, in the future, so it's good investment, we're friendly with them, we, we do sympathize them [cough] but it's only common sense and good investment that we fully recompense that the [...] to the level it shouldn't be er by the Home Office that is to replace [...] fifteen percent o of seventy five, I think seventy of [...] .
[364] Assuming there is a majority if not unanimous approval for savings in both in paragraph seven and nine [...] analysis [...] in paragraphs eight and ten.
[365] I'll try to make it brief because Bob has er mentioned this and has pretty well er all party support to, to the savings, er the reduction of two percent in the [...] erm, it's not quite devastating but following the er drastic restructuring of the, of the department in the last two or three years, is quite significant erm er I, I, and I think that er we must thank the, the director of [...] and, and er volunteering if you like because in 's report erm th ,th , these, erm the, the savings.
[366] Erm there's enough I think enough has been said on, school meals, it's those, they're only in, in the, both were identified with efficiency savings of er Joanne erm in school meals without I hope because in the content or the, the nutritional value of the basic meal.
[367] Here again I've got to reserve comment er on, on what the Tories are proposing for, for, for next year, erm you know once you condemn it out of hand we like Bob says he's got an open mind, and I'm glad to hear it er we also have an open mind on this, but we, we'd like to hear more er of what's in the debate before we before we comment.
[368] Er so with these three measures plus the seven hundred and one thousand estimate er underspent th this year to carry forward, we have er about a million and a half to use against er further grant and of the options listed in section ten er, ours are not dissimilar from the, er from [...] and I best pick the
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [369] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [370] erm we have, we, the Liberal Democrats have made no secrets in, of the fact, locally and nationally that er within the nursery places are our top educational priority.
[371] Er Mr Major pretends it's his but Mr Patten, if I understand Mr Patten rightly, says the country can't afford it, so here again if they can't afford it, I certainly can't county, county must afford er at least the six hundred and thirty five thousand which is in our proposals er that will be nine, sixty five in a full year, to find nine hundred and twenty extra places.
[372] We've been precise on this because this is, if you look at your agenda papers, er quite detailed suggestion, one of the quotas, one of the options er in fact that we, the same about officer's, erm nine twenty er the basis er, er is, is erm a very near to the [...] that's thirty five including capital, er we had to go fur further, obviously and, but we picked the Labour figure er and I wonder a little because the advice we have is that once we go over nine twenty places become much more erm, unfortunately costly.
[373] Our next priority like er, Labour says [...] like a [...] the different degrees is er the [...] primary schools er many of which as we all know that we've been struggling and to cope with inadequate budgets.
[374] We propose therefore to increase delegated funding, fund the schools by one point one million er, er approximately four and a half thousand per head average per school.
[375] Er coming next to our priorities on special educational needs, erm I attended a, a [...] and conference as recently as last Saturday [...] and I didn't know it all already, I did, er I am now determined that
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [376] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [377] we will do all we can for, well especially at the centre and while, whilst acknowledging the need for it to resource at the schools at this conference the voluntary agencies, parents and even teachers admitted the greater need for specialists at the centre, that is we want more education psychologists, advisors of all sorts and er, therefore supporting options er at ten, one C, small roman one, and small roman three on the agenda, but er that is reluctantly not er not small roman two.
[378] This means that erm four hundred and ninety thousand extra [...] in addition to nine hundred thousand in, in, in paragraph eight.
[379] Erm I know the Conversatives have also has gone for one three and not for two.
[380] Er I assure you there's been no conclusion on this and I am sure will agree with me
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [381] here, here
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [382] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [383] erm the rest of arbitrary proposals maybe considered small [...] comparison in, in financial terms at least but er differ a little if any in, in educational value, that's two hundred thousand to boost the fourteen and nineteen strategy, er I think there must in the present climate in which we have to regard the vocational content of education as well as the academic.
[384] Two hundred thousand to improve the provision for extra pupils, here again er lot's come out of er, the, the [...] , but er ministers wax eloquent about what we should er do about this mounting problem of erm, of er truancy exclusion, discipline in general, erm, they tell us what to do, they tell us, er we must have er referral units and what have you, but then dont' give us any funds to do the job, but I'm glad to say that all three party agreement that er that two hundred thousand or so, it to improve the er the, the service for extra pupils.
[385] Erm we must recognize
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [386] that the, to cope with the expression on [...] that there, that erm we, we must fund, fund this referral unit, erm coming last to capital, erm many of school buildings are in an abysmal and dilapidated position through neglect over many, many years before er, we've given perhaps [...] , erm, but our meagre a hundred and ninety thousand er I've, I admit won't go very far.
[387] Er [...] there and er it's therefore er the best use we can make of it, not specifically for any particular school in any particular circumstances as I read in the, that the, that the Tories proposals have been in, on, on, on the issue.
[388] Erm I don't think I need to say any more, but I promise to come back later when I've heard what other [...] have, have to say.
[389] has already said that the Tories don't seem to have any provision for capital and I'm dying to know why they have as much to say about the additional buildings as anyone else er I'd be interested to know what they say.
[390] So finally, Mr Chairman I, I command this modest Liberal Democrat budget to your committee in the hope, not too optimistic er receiving all party support, but I feel it would be considered too modest by one [...] and too extravagant by the other which suggests to me that the moderate unprejudiced er will got this about right [...] I move
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [391] [cough] .
(PS4WB) [392] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [393] [clapping] .
(PS4WB) [394] May I ask for a seconder for that motion.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [395] Yes, I'll second it er and I reserve my rights.
(PS4WB) [396] Thank you.
[397] I have now of course gone er Mrs Birmingham er to present the Conservative motion.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [398] Thank you Chairman, erm I'm delighted to be the last person to present a set of budget proposals as it gives me the opportunity to draw attention to some facts that seems to have been overlooked by the representatives of the other two groups.
[399] Indeed I believe there's a distinct possibility, that the force of persuasion in my arguments will bring the other two groups over to the Conservative point of view.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [400] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [401] [...] optimistic [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [402] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [403] Mr may not attack Conservatives
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [404] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [405] but of course that doesn't leave me much to talk about,becau , however he managed to go on for about ten minutes
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [406] that all?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [407] because the Labour and Liberal Democrat budgets, as far as I am concerned are tweedle dum and tweedle dee, very little to choose between them.
[408] Labour make proposals and the Liberal Democrats in effect say [...] .
[409] Now clearly we are not going to join the need to exercise, because Chairman no one has mentioned or drawn attention to the fact that the preamble to the budget paper contains a very distinct warning, that in addition to the estimated resource gap in nineteen ninety four
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [410] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [411] whether it's nineteen ninety, ninety five which is relatively small, it widens to a potential sixteen point five million, fourteen point five million minimum, in ninety five, ninety six and to twenty seven point two million in ninety six, ninety seven.
[412] Even if those figures are reduced by the two million each year that leaves a very large financial mountain to climb in the years ahead and I apologise for beginning with that gloomy prognosis but it does get better, thanks to our proposals.
[413] The Chief Education Officer sorry Director also contain these warnings in her introduction, she reminded us that we would have to discharge our responsibilities in the years to come, she reminded us that decisions are never easy and she reminded us that we need to show that we are capable of firm managerial action.
[414] Now I see no evidence in the er proposals of the other two groups of those qualities, there I do not see coherent form of covering for the contingencies that we could face and I see a real unwillingness to indicate how they would tackle priorities.
[415] That has always been the case, we have always been criticised for doing it but I find it outstandingly noticeable this year.
[416] Our budget reflects our commitment to our schools, it aims to improve the level of service to our schools, particularly in the area that's been identified the schools themselves, by the schools themselves as one of their highe their highest priorities, that was special needs.
[417] We also aim to prepare more four year olds for full-time education and we aim to provide incentives to schools that wish to diversify the fourteen to nineteen curriculum.
[418] We are also able to fund this year this very substantial increase in pupil numbers.
[419] This isn't always possible as we saw last year and as we have been reminded, that was not an easy decision and in fact it's one of the reasons that we haven't put extra money into the primary schools this year.
[420] First of all we couldn't find it and secondly the secondary schools had a defacto decrease last year.
[421] Given our commitments to the programmes that we've set forward and given our commitment to the council tax payer, remember that person again not mentioned today
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [422] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [423] the question may well be asked, how are we going to fund it?
[424] First, regretfully, we do not feel we can enter into an open-ended commitment to fund the shortfall in section eleven.
[425] We believe that we do, we believe that a
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [426] shame shame .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [427] review of the service should be undertaken immediately, with a view to perhaps reducing the number of bases
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [428] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [429] and perhaps rationalising a certain tier, keeping the teachers and assistants who are actually in the schools as our top priority and maintaining a careful balance between schools with very high needs and schools with isolated children who are actually even more in need of support and know how.
[430] We are committed as was, as we've decided last June to retain the [...] programme until September nineteen ninety four.
[431] Thereafter we would wish to phase in the reduction in staff to match the Home Office funding, half in ninety four, ninety five and the rest in ninety five, ninety fi ninety five, ninety six.
[432] It is reasonable to expect with a re an extensive programme like, like section eleven that there has been a build up of expertise, hat there has been a build up of educational resources and why should one area of the service be exempt from examination or assessment.
[433] We've done a review of the [...] service, we did a review of field centres, we really do not accept that one area, no matter how worthwhile and I've talked to you
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [434] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [435] on many occasions to the excellent work done by and the section eleven team, but we do not believe that any area is entitled to automatic exemption.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [436] Here, here [...] practice.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [437] We don't think to have the sixty to ninety transport debate yet again, this route remains committed to a policy of reducing the amount we spend on transport because that ultimately benefits our schools and with this in mind we will reintroduce
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [438] our grace in favour charge of sixth formers and college students.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [439] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [440] The existence of the hardship fund make absolutely sure that economic considerations need not deter pupils from attending college or sixth form
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [441] rubbish
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [442] but to introduce a blanket free charge when some are willing and able to make a contribution to us is a nonsense.
[443] Members of the committee will see that savings continue to come through on the school meals service and this is to a very considerable extent, the result that the ethos of the previous Conversative administration which ran a tight ship and positively encourage deficiency.
[444] A number of the savings in this report come into that category.
[445] I believe that we must look very closely into the alternative meal.
[446] It uses modern technology to provide an extremely cost effective meal and it's substituted with fresh items every day.
[447] I spoke not to an individual child but to the head of school in Hatfield where the scheme was piloted and I have to say he was, he neither rhapsodised nor condemned.
[448] He had an open mind and said there were pluses and minuses and for it, I think if it was pointed out in future years, that an extra mil one point four million pounds could be available for school budgets he would look at it perhaps a little differently.
[449] Maintenance allowances for college students, well we signalled fairly clearly last June that we feel that maintenance allowances for college students should be the concern of the F A F C.
[450] There has been no positive response to our representations so perhaps it's time to be more firm
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [451] to the extent of phasing out funding and putting the F A F C on the spot.
[452] My colleague Chairman of the Youth and Community Panel and Policy Panel will speak on our proposals in that regard.
[453] So Chairman just to in conclusion, we continue, we are proposing to continue this daily expansion of nursery places, our half a million pounds this year would be divided up roughly three hundred and fifty one thousand pounds on revenue and a hundred and fifty thousand pounds on capital and would gain us over four hundred new places, that's in line with the type of expansion that we achieved
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [454] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [455] last year, and we believe that that type of steady growth is very is, is, is desirable.
[456] Special needs again we've highlighted, we have put in a token on the er in the primary sector erm it's a notional amount, clearly we can't tell the schools how to spend their money but it seemed to us that the increasing in managerial role of primary deputy heads, they would welcome er a small increase in non con in non contact time.
[457] That's an area of course that we would wish to increase eventually but looking at the protected figures, a large increase in the primary schools delegated budgets this year could result in, in a de facto cut to the secondary schools next year.
[458] Some of the decisions clearly are easier at than others because we get a certain concensus on the easy ones, while we've gone to some of the more difficult ones to exemplify behind the changes that need to come about that it will not have a direct impact on schools and their school budgets and the children, but will promote the services we've always done.
[459] This is a budget Chairman that builds on the achievements of the last four years, the care for our schools and it takes into account that the future will not be as rosy as we would like and allows for contingencies.
[460] In harsh numerical terms we didn't accept the Policy Committee guidelines, we felt that they in some ways were over generous and we aimed for, we purposely, deliberately set ourselves lower targets with point we're two point six million below the Liberal Democrats for nineteen ninety four ninety five.
[461] Three point five million below Labour, but if you look [...] savings in the pipeline of four point three million against the Liberal Democrats and four point eight million pounds against Labour.
[462] Let me remind the Committee, it's not too late to cross the political divide
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [463] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [464] and it's not too late to vote for common sense and careful management. [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [465] [...] .
(PS4WB) [466] Thank you, er do you have a seconder?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [467] Formerly seconded but I reserve my right to speak.
(PS4WB) [468] Thanks very much.
[469] I would like to at this point to review the timing that we set earlier on
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [470] Who said that?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [471] Who said that?
(PS4WB) [472] we could pass straight to that and er sort of go to lunch erm [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4WB) [473] what people wish to do perhaps
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [474] [...] .
(PS4WB) [475] if we stick to the original proposed target, we'd only be now some twenty five minutes for general debate and I would be, this is probably therefore a serious issue
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [476] Yes.
(PS4WB) [477] one of our serious of the year, we should er extend that debate er we could extend as late perhaps half past one for lunch or we could bring it to half way between half past one, so the feeling in respect of that
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [478] [...] .
(PS4WB) [479] Would you [...] [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [480] [...] .
(PS4WB) [481] stick stick to twenty five minutes of debate and then close
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [482] Yes
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [483] Yeah
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [484] Absolutely
(PS4WB) [485] I would like then to draw your attention to standing order C page, paragraph four, all speeches shall be concise and relevant to the matter in hand.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [486] Pity you didn't do that do that a bit earlier Chairman.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [487] [laugh] .
(PS4WB) [488] Relative to the matter in hand I take it to mean that it is to do with the budget er to prepare for this County and do not er to be the irrelevancies of machination in other places.
[489] I would hope that they will, people will not, will be speaking primarily on the variations of the previous speeches that have been made.
[490] We should not be having the same speech from the same group on the same issue at any point and also I would hope that where there is agreement between the groups that there is not time spent in
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [491] [cough] .
(PS4WB) [492] debating the agreement.
[493] Finally, I propose to call no person more than once to accept that the movers will have the opportunity of winding up at the end and I would please ask you to wait until you have been called.
[494] I have an indication from Mr that he wishes to speak.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [495] Thank you Chairman for this [...] .
[496] After the behaviour yesterday, someone claiming to be spokesman for the Tory group on the environment backed up vocally by these minions, I said to my group today, no more Mr nice guy.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [497] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [498] but I needn't have bothered
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [499] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [500] because it is becoming increasingly difficult to be nice to the Conservatives particularly when you produce something like this ...
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [501] Look at some of the points here
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [502] Oh shut up.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [503] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [504] look at some the points, I've heard, I've been heckled yesterday don't heckle me this week the section of level funding.
[505] What sort of misguided speech was that? were they dance about it or [...] trim here, what they're saying very simply and this is relevant to the people who are listening to us today, is that they are not prepared to restore the cuts made by the government which they have got elected.
[506] They are taking responsibility, either they agree with their government or they do not agree with their government, but to pretend that somehow we can not at all, some of the cuts that are made [...] , that the [...] f the other, does not convince us, I'm sure it does not convince the people on our right and even less more convincing than the people who are listening to us today.
[507] Over the page it gets rather worse, child under sixteen to nineteen [...] .
[508] A saving is one way of looking at it or profiting from education is another way, apparently what the Conservatives would wish to do, they wish to make people pay for education and there is no other way of looking at it.
[509] Reducing staffing in the need of community services, it's only seventy five thousand pounds, but why, what possible justification with rising grants, rising private sector etc., etc., you know the problems out there.
[510] What possible justification can there be for that, given the fact the actions are reasonable as they stay this year.
[511] Increasing nursery provision, you know it's very amusing actually the press release that had early this year er from er earlier, mid last year in fact
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [512] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [513] from the Conservatives saying that they believed in nursery education.
[514] It's rather late for the press releases on some months later, the press release coming from my group and coming from the Labour group it was a late conversion but not much of a conversion let's face it, the word tokenism springs to mind that's what I've written next to the Conservative line there, totally, and I don't believe in nursery education but they know there are votes in it.
[515] We actually put it down in our own manifesto because we thought it was a good idea.
[516] Oh there increasing primary schools delegated budget a hundred and forty thousand pounds.
[517] Frankly one of your [...] a hundred and forty pounds because at a hundred and forty thousand pounds that is an insult
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [518] [cough] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [519] that is three pence per child per week.
[520] It's hardly worth drawing the cheques in certain cases and the capital programme, couldn't see it actually when I looked for it first time, had to go back to the pink sheet and found the noughts, now we're not as generous as we'd like to be, but at least we try.
[521] No capital expansion.
[522] Now I wonder where and this maybe unduly cynical, but it is difficult to be unduly cynical with that lot over there.
[523] This is something to do with grant maintained schools, don't repair schools government comes along and lovely Mr Patten if he's still there
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [524] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [525] well who's next?, [...] today John Patten tomorrow [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [526] Chair .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [527] said here's some money, here's some money and
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [528] a point of order
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [529] you just go [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [530] Has the debate moved on?
[531] I thought we were debating A
(PS4WB) [532] The, we are debating A, B and we're debating altogether.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [533] Yes.
(PS4WB) [534] that's the [...] the same [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [535] Yes but not D [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [536] Charles [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [537] because D is our .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [538] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [539] D is our resolution on capital
(PS4WB) [540] right
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [541] [...] verdict [...] rather like it [...] in er section eight of [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [542] [...] indeed.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [543] If there voting on [...] then it's traditional, point of order during the [...] speech, thank you very much [...] and what took me so long.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [544] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [545] I thought the Conservative budget is a contemptible budget the people in the people voting or an increase in nursery provision increase in educational provision this is what we are trying to give, the Conservative party are trying to claw back, to cutting our budget, by two point six million pounds, that is not what people voted for and is not what people want.
[546] No further discussion necessary on their budget let's get on with the serious business of funding real education in Hertfordshire which we asked and in this particular case the Labour party.
[547] Good I you have stepped out of the debate
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [548] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [549] by a ludicrous budget.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [550] The Conservative?
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [551] and briefly the Labour party, we have certain doubts over certain lines there are similarities, good.
[552] Perhaps two sets of people do actually agree on education.
[553] These may need to be debated as they were before compromises may need to be rich, but I'm afraid it looks as though it's gonna be a compromise only between two parties, but this isn't a [...] .
(PS4WB) [554] Thank you.
[555] Thank you, er Mrs .
mr eldrum (PS4WJ) [556] Thank you Chairman er tell, very quickly as er my voice is going so I'm going to be very brief on it, for er, two for about two points.
[557] The first one is the question on special educational needs.
[558] Yes of course we will increase this
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [559] [cough] .
mr eldrum (PS4WJ) [560] er better support and better advice for schools, but I agree entirely with what says, it's no good having the best advice in the world if we can't deliver the er, er, the, the recommendations and one of the things that er has been borne in, on me, when I was sitting on the panel looking at special educational needs that the early identification of the early intervention when there are difficulties which start to arise in schools can save you a lot of money later on and unless the schools have the resources to er, er to meet with the er recommendations which are being made on particular children, then we are asking for trouble there, so that I'm very concerned about the fact that er, the like, like the early one which was er increase that er provision.
[561] On section eleven, yes we are along with the Liberals, we are trying to maintain the budget against the government cuts, but don't anybody get away with the impression that that is going to maintain the service as it is at the moment, because we are really to pick up extra pupils.
[562] Section eleven was confined to er people of commonwealth origin.
[563] The categories have been increased but the funding has not, so that er although this is in as a growth item and although it is being presented as a standstill item, in fact it may not have been a, a, a, a reduction in the service.
[564] Section er, I was very surprised indeed that er Hilary asking for a review of the service because in fact all one's experience and I am sure as well tells us that this is a success story, it is something that petition after petition that we've asking to keep it that way, shows that it is one of the services that the County provides which is very much appreciated by the recipients and we can't say that in all County Councils' services but you can say it about er the section seventeen and I think you ought to acknowledge that Chairman. ...
(PS4WB) [565] Thank you, Mrs Pauline [...] .
Pauline (PS4WK) [566] Thank you Chairman, I appreciate that erm prudence isn't flavour of the month in the current majority at this County Council and that indeed has been proved by several speeches from the opposition parties that were made this morning
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [cough]
Pauline (PS4WK) [567] you must, however,
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [568] [...] .
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [569] In the other parties
Pauline (PS4WK) [570] the other parties
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [...]
Pauline (PS4WK) [571] we must take heed though Chairman of the warning in the report and that was mentioned by Mrs Hilary , that it's the responsibility of this Council to plan the future needs on the basis of the estimated shortfall in resources that have been forecast.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [clears throat]
Pauline (PS4WK) [572] The problem is, it seems that the, both the Liberal and the Labour budgets do precisely the opposite, they've obviously decided to adopt an approach of spend, spend, spend now and hang the consequences for the future.
[573] Now I'm a governor of two schools and from this perspective in particular, I'm very pleased to see that as a result of the legacy of previous Conservative administration and the generous S S A proposals for this year, that the Conservative group have been able to put forward a budget which enables schools budgets to be increased fully for demography and inflation and certainly I know that was a great worry this year in many of our schools that that might not be possible so it's good to see that it is possible.
[574] The Conservatives were also putting forward of course prudent growth in important areas and one of the areas that I would particularly like to mention is that of nursery education.
[575] Following on from the last administration, the Conservative proposals and that it would enable something like four hundred and fifty extra nursery places to be provided.
[576] That follows on a steady increase in nursery provision over the last few years.
[577] But obviously it must be necessary to waive the statutory sectors, versus the non statutory, so it isn't er possible this year, perhaps to put in as we might do if were to be as imprudent as the opposition parties.
[578] What Bob said of course was totally untrue with respect to what the Conservatives did in the past.
[579] It is true we did increase the pupil to teacher ratio to one to thirteen in line with the F E er guidelines and that of course did provide some extra nursery places but last year we did put in real resources and actually increased the number of nursery places by about four hundred which involved the development of several new nursery classes, so it is completely untrue to say that the Conservatives attempted to increase nursery education on the cheap.
[580] We put in real money into this area.
[581] I would also like to nail the lie that the Conservatives don't care about nursery education as put forward by Chris as Mrs already said this morning, Hertfordshire County Council has one of the best records of nursery education in the whole of the country, something like seventy five per cent of the client group currently have part time nursery places.
[582] These figures are in the report, we are an authority that has an extremely good record on nursery education and I hope that no one will believe the attempt to try and black the good record that the Conservative and that have the Conservatives had have in this area.
[583] The budgets of course proposed by the Liberal and Labour groups, have some aspects which would be desirable.
[584] The problem is as they know in their heart of hearts much of what they propose this year is not sustainable in future years.
[585] Undoubtedly therefore much of the growth that they've put in is this year's budget, will have to result in schools' budgets being cut in the future.
Unknown speaker (JWAPSUNK) [586] [cough] .
Pauline (PS4WK) [587] Now, I think we all appreciate that the Liberal and Labour groups are working to another agenda.
[588] They'll of course attempt to claim that any future cuts in schools' budgets are down to lack of government funding.
[589] This will not be true if the Liberals and Labour groups con something