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Agenda item

Budget Options - Regeneration and Environment

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment and other officers, as well as the Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, to the meeting.

 

Members considered the following budget proposals:

 

Title

OSMB Comments

Supported

or

Rejected

Additional Actions

Review of Corporate Health and Safety (R&E 1)

Members received assurances in respect of the analysis undertaken by the service in respect of the viability of the proposal

 

Supported

N/A

Increased income/reduced costs from the Market Service (R&E 2a)

Members sought assurances in respect of what was empty liability and how much of the £50k and £75k was attributable to increased income or reduced cost.

 

Members also queried how the Council would increase footfall. It was explained there was a broader approach to this which involved promoting the market, the development of other schemes and a longer term strategy to redefine the town centre to bring more people in

 

Supported in principle, subject to additional clarification being provided

Assistant Director for Planning, Regeneration & Transport to supply information to Members

Increase fee income from A630 Parkway widening project for one year only (R&E 2b – 1)

 

No comments

Supported

N/A

Increase in planning application income or reduce staffing levels if planning applications do not meet the additional target (R&E 2b – 2)

 

No comments

Supported

N/A

RiDO – Deletion of vacant post (R&E 2b)

Members sought assurances that there would be sufficient capacity left within the team if the proposal to delete a post were to be implemented. It was explained that the focus of the team was on bigger strategic workstreams rather than lower level development and it was anticipated that this could be accommodated

 

Supported

N/A

Revenue Income Through Property Investment (R&E 3 – 1)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Riverside House Space to Partner (R&E 3 – 2)

Members queried whether the proposal was viable without the landlord’s permission. It was explained that all such projects carried a degree of risk and the biggest risk associated with this was that the proposed tenant could find alternative accommodation. At this stage there was nothing to formally submit and no plans were in place. Members also sought assurances in respect of capacity in legal services to expedite any agreement and the impact on customers in Riverside House. In response, it was confirmed that there was sufficient resources to progress the project and that the impact on customers would be monitored. The proposal was considered to be achievable, but it was noted that it would not deliver a full year saving in 2018-19

 

Supported

N/A

Income from Schools for the provision of Asset Management Services (R&E 3 - 3,4,5,7)

Members queried whether this was an activity that Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) could deliver in-house and, in addition, whether the Council had investigated grouping all of the services that could be offered to MATs into one corporate package. In response, officers indicated that they had every reason to believe that MATs would use the service. Officers from Asset Management working with colleagues in Children’s Services were working on developing a single package for MATs in future

 

Supported

N/A

Reallocation of Community Engagement and Community Property Work (R&E 3 – 9,10)

Members sought assurances that the directorate had the capacity to deliver against this proposal. In response, it was explained the proposal was designed to create the capacity to deliver. Members sought further information in respect of the detail of the proposed income and were advised there was a set fee against each valuation

 

Supported

Assistant Director of Planning, Regeneration and Transport to provide additional information on the fee structure for valuations

Stage 2 Implementation of Transport Review (R&E 4)

In response to a request for clarification, it was noted that Home to School Transport was part of this review, along with the exploration of option for changing policy on children’s transport and the Corporate Transport Unit. The aspiration was to ensure better management of transport budgets through a corporate unit, rather than through individual services. It was noted that the review was also concerned with fleet procurement and management. Members asked to see the Equality Impact Assessment for the proposal

 

Noted that will be the subject to future pre-decision scrutiny ahead of any Cabinet decision

Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment to provide the Equality Impact Assessment to Members

Community Safety and Street Scene Transformation and re-design (R&E 5)

 

No comments

Supported

N/A

Revision to the grounds maintenance service (R&E 6a – 3 & 5)

Members raised queries in respect of the capacity to buy back services through devolved budgets and what work was being done with town and parish councils for them to deliver these services in future. The Strategic Director agreed to investigate the feasibility of both approaches. Reference was also made to the seasonal approach to recruitment for this work through use of agency staff, which was acknowledged to be the most cost effective approach

 

Supported

N/A

Integration of the Dog Warden Service into the Pest Control Service (R&E 6e)

Members sought clarification as to the effect of the proposal and it was confirmed that the service would reduce from five days to three days per week. It was explained that there was a lesser risk arising from the proposal as there were fewer stray dogs and the proposal was to scale down staff numbers to meet demand. Members recommended that costs of stray dogs be recouped through microchipping checks

 

Supported

Recommendation that costs are recouped through microchipping checks

Waste Options Appraisal / Waste Review (R&E 7a)

 

No comment

Noted that will be the subject to future pre-decision scrutiny ahead of any Cabinet decision

 

N/A

Change Bank Holiday Monday waste collections to Saturday (R&E 7c)

Reflecting on the situation at Birmingham City Council, Members reiterated the need to ensure that the trade unions were involved in discussions in respect of this proposal

 

 

N/A

Introduce advertising/sponsorship on waste collection vehicles (R&E 7d)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Review of cleaning provision in corporate landlord properties(excluding Riverside House) (R&E 8 – 3)

No comment

Supported

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of caretaking vehicles provision (R&E 8 – 4)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Riverside House Café (R&E 8 – 5)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Riverside House Cleaning (R&E 8b – 2)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Culture Sport and Tourism Staffing Reconfiguration (R&E 9a)

Members were concerned at the lack of clarity in respect of the impact on staff numbers in this proposal

 

Deferred

Assistant Director Culture, Sport and Tourism to attend on 20 December 2017 to provide clarification in respect of the proposal

 

Rother Valley Country Park – development of a new caravan site (R&E 9b)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Increase income at the Civic Theatre (R&E 9c)

Members supported the notion of utilising income to make the theatre fully self-sustaining

 

Supported

N/A

Temporarily prioritise essential maintenance only at Countryside sites (R&E 9e)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Increase income across parks, countryside and green spaces (R&E 9f)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Temporarily Prioritise Essential Maintenance Only at Clifton Park and other urban green spaces (R&E 9g)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Temporarily Prioritise Essential Maintenance Only at Clifton Park and other urban green spaces (R&E 9g)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Expansion of Nationality Checking Service (R&E 9h)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Reduce or Stop the provision / maintenance of highway assets – Cenotaphs (R&E 11 – 4)

Members sought further information in respect of which cenotaphs were maintained by the Council, rather than parish councils

 

Deferred

Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment to bring information back to Members on 20 December 2017

Sponsorship for Town Centre events;

i)    Christmas illuminations (£44,000)

ii)  Christmas tree (£2,000)

(R&E 11)

Members were fully supportive of the proposal, but sought assurances in respect of any failure to secure a sponsor. It was explained that coordination between the Council and town centre businesses

 

Supported

N/A

One Off Income for Recycling of old Street Lighting Lanterns (R&E 13)

 

No comment

Supported

N/A

Realignment of the Highways Budget – Street Lighting Energy and Highway Insurance Premiums (R&E 14)

No comment

Supported

N/A

 

Supporting documents: