Oral update of the Chamberlain.
The Committee received an oral update of the Chamberlain concerning the Budget setting approach for 2022/23.
In response to a Member’s query around the slippage of TOM savings, the Chairman and the Chamberlain confirmed that the Efficiency & Performance Sub-Committee (E&P), in addition to the Establishment Committee, are leading on Member oversight. Alongside its departmental deep-dives, E&P will be tracking overall progress on savings at its upcoming meetings, and a consolidated Report will also be submitted to the Finance Committee and Policy & Resources Committee.
The Deputy Chairman proposed that, given it was running with vacancies, the Member should join E&P for the remainder of its 2021/22 term. The Committee Clerk would liaise with the Member and the Chairman after the meeting.
The Chief Operating Officer commented that whilst some individual departments were on track to deliver their savings, in aggregate, as an organisation we are not. She assured Members that a lot of hard work would continue over the coming months to get us on track. The COO added that it was also apparent that there were, in some areas, very distinct differences between cost and value, and as a result, she would welcome the undertaking of a zero-based review in the medium term, in order to avoid false economies.
In response to a separate query on the HRA, the Chamberlain confirmed that a number of other HRAs (i.e. outside of the City) have borrowed significant amounts of money over the course of the pandemic; whilst this had tided them over in the short-term, it was apparent that over the medium-term this could well become unsustainable.
RESOLVED – that the Committee noted the Report.