Report of the Executive Director, Environment.
The Committee received a report of the Executive Director, Environment setting out the progress made during Q2 of the 2021/22 Departmental Business Plan.
A Member referred to Appendix B and highlighted that the brackets convention in the final column of the table here was incorrect and that it should actually be presented as over with brackets and under as set out in the title. He went on to state that he was interested to see that the only reason that the Department was projecting an overspend at present was because a contingency cost was being forecast. He questioned how this contingency had been arrived at and why there appeared to be no attempt to ameliorate this cost in terms of the final outturn.
Another Member also referred to Appendix B, noting that the first half was well within budget whilst the second half was certainly not. He sought an explanation on this.
Officers responded to report that the contingency was based around the fact that the Department of the Built Environment had unidentified savings of approximately 12% in relation to the Target Operating Model and that these had not yet been identified at the start of the year and were still being developed before coming to this Committee early next year. For this reason, they were marked in Appendix B as contingency as opposed to unspecified savings.
In response to a question from the Chair, it was reported that it was too early to say at this stage whether the Department would achieve the 12% savings. As Members were aware, the Target Operating Model for this department was quite complicated given that it would bring together two and a half existing departments into one new department, would involve multiple different funding streams and different elements of City Cash, City Fund and charity monies. With regards to the upturn and downturn in income, Officers reported that, due to the impact of COVID, income targets were revised downwards for this year. This seemed to be increasing in some but not all areas and was therefore very much a moving target in terms of things such as carpark usage, income from planning applications and pre-performance agreements.
RESOLVED – That Members note the report and appendices.