Report of the Director of Open Spaces.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces on risk management regarding the Epping Forest and the Commons Divisions.
The Committee discussed risk OSD EF 002 Decline in Assets condition. It was suggested by a Member that the target for this risk should be changed to list an improvement of the assets condition even if resources mean that this is currently unachievable. The Director of Open Spaces responded by explaining that the reductions in the Cyclical Works Programme (CWP) funding meant that there was not room within the current budget. It was added that it was hoped that an increased CWP budget next year would allow for an improved position for this risk. Responding to a Committee member’s query on Warren House the Director of Open Spaces explained that ownership of this building was complex but different options for future maintenance would be explored appropriately including working more closely with partnership organisations.
The Deputy Chairman noted the risks caused by the policy of fixed term staffing contracts and the effect on staffing resource. In addition, it was observed that some short term mitigation of this would need to found if this were not to have a detrimental effect on the operation of the Department.
The Chairman requested further information on the actions needed to remain compliant with required risk score cards. The Director of Open Spaces explained that mitigation actions for these risks which were identified included extended periods for works, noting that some factors influencing this were outside of the Department’s control, and allocation of further funding from the CWP budget. The Deputy Chairman suggested that an achievable risk target be agreed for the current year with more stretching target established for next year with clear factors explained for what would be required to achieve these targets.