Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Special meeting, Environment, Sustainability and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 12 October 2010 7:00 pm
Venue: Council Chamber - York House. View directions
Contact: Gary Lelliott; 020 8891 7275; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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There were no apologies for absence.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Members are requested to declare any interests orally at the start of the meeting and again immediately before consideration of the matter. Members are reminded to specify the agenda item number to which it refers and whether the interest is of a personal or prejudicial nature.
Members are also reminded of the requirements of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 that they should declare and not vote on specified matters if they are two months or more in arrears with their Council Tax payments.
There were no declarations of interest.
This report contains the results of the Base Budget Review exercise undertaken by Leading Members and officers over the last 3 months in response to reducing public funding and the Council’s aim of minimising Council Tax.
Report of the Director of Environment attached.
General efficiency discussion
Following questions from members of the committee on the general efficiencies drive, the meeting was advised that:
· Many of the proposals centred around reducing management layers, although the council was committed to no re-introducing deleted posts.
· Funding the cost of redundancy payments would be managed by the Director of Finance and Corporate Services.
· There were support mechanisms available to staff, which had been set out by Human Resources.
· Morale was an issue, but senior management was aiming to address this by keeping staff informed of what was happening.
· Most of the proposals would be delivering a ‘flatter’ management structure.
· Public expectations of council services would need to be addressed going forward, with some services being delivered more slowly, but still within statutory timescales. An area where this might be applicable, is in dealing with appeals against penalty charge notices; the council was performing well within the expected timescales, so could perhaps reduce staffing and deal with such matters more slowly, but still within the relevant timescales.
· The corporate approach was to retain people with the necessary skills in the places that they were needed.
· Public consultation on matters should be used effectively and it was not efficient to consult of everything.
· As a general rule, older staff were keener to seek voluntary redundancy and because some of these staff had been employees for significant amounts of time, their redundancy payments were greater.
· The Director would send committee members the formula for calculating redundancy payments.
· There was a separate work stream looking at alternative ways of delivering services, although this was not going to give any short-term gains.
· The average payout to staff was likely to be less than one year’s salary for each staff member.
· Revenue generation was being looked at within directorates and formed a separate work stream.
· Statutory services had been looked at at the beginning of the process. Issues arose when there was no guidance about what levels of service should be provided.
· Details of rejected options could not be released as this would have an even greater effect on staff morale.
The Director of Environment introduced his section of the report. He confirmed that most of the savings outlined in appendix A to the report would be brought around by a staffing restructure. More firm proposals were expected to be available by the end of the month, with a view to beginning to implement them by April 2011.
Currently, there were around 45 posts to be deleted, although final numbers and the associated cost of redundancy was not yet known.
Areas such as facilities management and construction services would be working with more efficient processes.
The committee sought clarification on specific areas contained within appendix A of the report, including the number of full time equivalent posts expected to be lost within each service area.
[This area of discussion is appended to these minutes.]
Adult and Community Services
The Assistant Director, Commissioning Corporate Policy and Strategy, introduced this section of the report.
[Specific areas of discussion on information contained in appendix B are appended to these minutes.]
The Head of Culture and Service Improvement introduced this item.
[Specific areas of discussion on information contained in appendix C are appended to these minutes.]
FInal comments from the committee
The following comments were received from committee members:
· Redundancy costs should be factored into the calculations.
· There needed to be quality support services available to staff being affected.
· The council’s reserves needed careful scrutiny, although meeting the savings targets from the council’s reserves was not a viable option in the long-term.
Appendix to the minutes
Appendix to minutes
Adults and Community Services Directorate (Community Safety)
Education and Children’s and Cultural Services Directorate (Culture)