MEMBERS of Powys County Council Cabinet will meet with the Finance Scrutiny Panel in September to discuss concerns that money is being pumped into Children's Service without a plan or challenge from cabinet.

In October 2017 the Care and Social Services inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) now known as the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) produced a damning inspection report into Powys council's children's services in October 2017, which revealed missed opportunities to safeguard children, poor risk assessment and serious performance issues with frontline services.

In January the CIW gave the Council a warning letter after a follow up visit to the authority.

Millions of pounds of extra funding has been pumped into the department to turn it around with a new Director of Social Care appointed and a Head of Children's Service due to start in the autumn.

Councillors were at pains on Tuesday morning to stress that an extra £3.2million on top of the £6.1million allocated to the service had not been authorised.

It had been speculated before the meeting and after the "observations to the cabinet" report by the Finance scrutiny panel had been made public, that an extra £3.2m was being handed over to the department

Chairman of Audit and Finance scrutiny panel, Cllr John Morris stressed this was not the case.

Cllr Morris said: "It's been misinterpreted that we're putting in an extra £3.2m on top of the £6.1m.

"It would need to be justified and subject to rigorous assessment before it's spent, it's wrong to say that we are suggesting spending it at this stage."

Finance portfolio holder, Cllr Aled Davies said that the improvement board have all the information.

"They are aware of all the financial implications, said Cllr Davies."

Cllr Davies added: "Reports get dated quickly and we need to get the financial scrutiny committee up to date quickly on this."

Earlier children's services portfolio holder, Cllr Rachel Powell, said that it was expected that a new head of Children's Service would start work in October and that feedback from the CIW (Care Inspectorate Wales) on the work taking place had been positive.

The concerns highlighed are about a lack of clarity over the financial aspects of working to recover the department,

Recruitment has been an issue for the department and the observations say: "It is difficult to understand the total number of posts proposed, whether they are temporary or permanent and how the new staffing structure fits with the structure included in the base budget for 2017/18."

The observations also noted that the Cabinet did not challenge the increased budget for Children's Services.

"When the CIW report was issued it was publicised that an immediate allocation of an extra £4m was to be made available.

"This appeared to have been done without a fully costed business plan."

The report concluded:

"The Panel have concerns regarding the financial impact on the Council of the length of time it is predicted to stabilize the service.

"This is now a very well-funded service and we need to ensure that financial considerations are given sufficient priority.

"The impact of this level of spend has negative implications on spend in other areas of the Council and we would welcome more evidence of Cabinet challenge."