Further to Minute No. 113 of the meeting of Commissioner Manzie held on 15th October, 2015, consideration was given to a report, presented by the Karl Battersby, Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, and David Burton, Director of Streetpride, which provided details of the Budget Savings Proposals of £1.289 million for the period 2016/17 to 2018/19 in respect of the Advisory Cabinet Portfolio of Waste, Roads and Enforcement
The report set out where savings proposals were supported in principle, with detailed equalities impact assessments and/or consultation being undertaken, as required. The aim was to produce a draft Medium Term Financial Strategy by November 2015, in line with the timescales included in the Corporate Improvement Plan.
Officers reported on the Directorate proposals and Members discussed and queried the various issues, as follows:-
ASR Ref No. EDS 17:-
A. Reduction of the Maintenance Budget
· How much was used from the maintenance budget last year and reducing this further how will it affect the public.
· If some of these chapels were in a state of disrepair and a public risk should they not be demolished.
· Use of alternative funding accessed via Friends Groups.
· Potential for community groups taking over maintenance.
Agreed with further information on the use of last year’s budget.
E. Self-service applications for certain licences.
· Better use of software systems and the raising of the profile around taxi licensing.
F. Business Process Engineering
· Resources in Rotherham Connect and the ability of staff to deal with specific issues.
G Migration of licensing administrative function from Lalpac to Civica App
· Potential for increased costs by Civica and the expectation that the improvements to the functionality will be available in two to three years’ time.
· Need for ongoing updates on the Civica proposals.
· Discussions with Lalpac on the future proposals.
· Savings proposed and whether these could be offset by the taxi charges.
· The need for an improvement system.
Agreed with the software proposals being closely monitored over the next year with updates provided to Members.
ASR REF. NO. EDS 18
A. Waste PFI
Duties of the vacant post and any implications for its removal.
ASR REF. NO. 19
A. Waste Treatment
· Reduction in waste targets.
· Sharing of information for the Scrutiny Review as part of the work by Improving Places.
· Spare capacity in the waste plant.
ASR REF. NO. 20
A. Rationalisation of staff
C. Fleet Renewal
· Implications of changes.
· Disposal of glass and weight of blue boxes.
· Efficiency of the fleet.
· Percentage of reported breakdown of vehicles.
· Risk assessments for the disposal of household waste.
· Costs for disposal of waste now the PFI Plant was operational.
· PFI Plan capacity.
· Potential for a Scrutiny Review around the capacity within the PFI Plant.
G. Alternate week collections for Christmas/New Year.
· Decision made by Commissioner Manzie.
· Disposal of additional bags and relaxation of the closed lid policy.
· Why savings proposed for this year and the budget reduction in next year’s budget.
· Issues associated with side waste and the potential for littering.
· Costs of additional cleaning duties.
· Increased recycling centre opening.
· Access difficulties for the public to recycle waste.
· Impact of inclement weather.
· Awareness raising for the general public.
Agreed that this matter be referred back to Commissioner Manzie for reconsideration of the decision due to the implications of a budget saving proposed in 2016/17 and not 2015/16.
ASR REF NO. EDS 23
A. Reduction in the number of gritting vehicles
· Reduction in the funding gap for winter maintenance and addressing the budget pressures.
· Evidence of reducing vehicles from ten to nine and the maintaining of the same level of service.
· Risk of some roads not being gritted.
· The various manual override for gritting solutions.
· Alternative salt barn locations across the borough.
· Met Office update forecasts.
· Awareness raising and publicity to the general public.
Agreed, but with further consideration being given to an increase in the base budget should the winter maintenance budget continue to overspend.
ASR REF. NO. EDS 24
B. Generate additional income
· Sponsorship on roundabouts.
C. Restructures in Service Teams
· How long positions had been vacant.
· Number of problems encountered if any.
E. LED Street Lighting Replacement
· Advances in lighting technology.
· Lifespan on a LED light.
ASR REF. NO. EDS 25
K. Increase charges to Parish Councils.
L. Off road Motor Vehicle Prevention Budget
· Working arrangements with the Police.
· Budget reductions.
· Changes to the Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the incorporation of some duties.
· Potential to capitalise the spend.
· Further work required with the potential to delay this decision for a further year.
Agreed that this matter be referred back on the grounds of further explanation being provided on the effects of the removal of this budget and whether this could be incorporated in to the work of the new Safer Neighbourhood Teams which would allow for this being delayed by one year.
ASF REF. NO. EDS 27
A. Pest Control
· Reconsideration of the costs with a view to increasing them in line with other Local Authorities.
· Discretionary allowances to be factored in such as Rothercard and Council tenants.
Agreed subject to further negotiation on the costs.
C. Graffiti Removal
· Potential for increasing graffiti fines.
· Reduction in response times.
· Racially offensive graffiti removal times unchanged.
ASR REF NO. 28
A. Reduced Contracted Services
B. Reduced Training Budget
· How this budget reduction was to be managed, which did not include Health and Safety.
· The amount of spend last year.
C. Team Restructure
· Impact on shared service.
D. Reduction of the Core Budget
ASR REF NO. EDS 31
C. Retendering of Expensive Routes
· Statutory duty to provide transport and whether there was an option for families to contribute.
D. Developing an “In House” Option
· Advice sought from CYPS and Adult Services.
· Previous Scrutiny Review on this issue. Suggest the relevant Select Commission looks at this again prior to it being implemented.
ASR REF. NO. 33
A. Reduction in M3 Managers
· This should be kept under review
B. Deletion of LCS Manager
· This should be kept under review and workloads closely monitored.
C. Deletion of Corporate Transport Manager post
· Staff awareness of the proposals.
Resolved:- (1) That the report be received and its contents noted.
(2) That the savings proposals, as detailed in the report now submitted be noted and officers asked to provide further information, in writing, about the various issues now discussed.
(4) That a report be submitted to Commissioner Manzie detailing the comments and requests made at this meeting.