Freedom of information response

Budget Time Scales for Learning Disabilities

Publication date: 
Thursday 28 November 2019
Request: 

Please could you confirm your budget timeline, showing the dates of when budgets are typically agreed, by whom and at what point providers of learning disability services are notified of your decisions. We require this information for both children & adult services within Thurrock Council.  We would like to know the dates that meetings are held to set your annual budgets which determines any fee increases for external providers of residential services for both adults and children.  In addition to this we would then like to know what dates this is then communicated to external/out of area providers.

Response: 

Adult Services

Our budget setting process is as follows;

November – Review known internal and external budgetary pressures

January/February – Engagement with in-borough providers regarding fee setting

February – Full Cabinet agree proposed budget.  In-borough providers are informed of fee settlement.

February onwards - Negotiations with out of borough providers take place on an individual (placement) basis

(Please note the December election may affect our usual timeline).

External (out of borough) placements for adults of a working age are negotiated on an individual (case by case) basis.

Children’s Services

Children’s Services spot purchase the majority of residential placements out of borough. The process of uplifts is managed individually and on the basis that providers wishing to seek a fee increase approach the Council with the request and a supporting breakdown of costs. This request can be made at any time following the first 12 months of any placement, and providing it is no more than on an annual basis. This is evaluated internally and either agreed, declined or further negotiated.  There is no automatic fee increase process outside of this.

Children’s Services are moving to a’ Select List’ for residential providers which will automatically invite those that are successfully admitted to the list to alter pricing on an annual basis. Any price change will determine their ranking (based on quality and price) within the Select List.

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Request reference:
FOI 9521