Joint report of the Chamberlain and the Executive Director, Environment.
The Committee considered a joint report of the Chamberlain and the Executive Director Environment presenting for approval the revenue and capital budgets for the Planning and Transportation Committee for 2022/23.
The Chamberlain reported that the budget proposed for 2022/23 had seen a net reduction of just under £1.1 million. In setting the budget, Officers had stayed within the resource envelope set by the Resource Allocation Sub Committee. This included a 2% update for inflation, offset by 2% efficiency savings and therefore a flat cash budget. Pay increases for staff at grades A-C only of 1.525%, employer national insurance contribution increases of 1.25% and some budget adjustments for previously agreed Fundamental Review savings had also been factored in. As detailed at paragraph 7 of the report, this Committee currently had a budget of £1.885 million to identify for next year. In other areas under the Director’s remit, Port Health had a further £1million to identify, giving an overall budget pressure of just under £3 million still to identify. Members were informed that this did not, however, take into account the recent work being undertaken on the Target Operating Model where the Director had earmarked a number of initiatives concerning salary restructuring, efficiency savings and increased income streams which would enable the Department as a whole to reduce this budget pressure to approximately £0.5 million. This had recently been highlighted at the Member ‘Deep Dive’ sessions hosted by the Efficiency and Performance Sub Committee. It was reported that the Director was looking to further balance the budgets once she had been through the details of the Target Operating Model with the Open Spaces Department. Consideration was also being given to commencing a five year plan to address various working practices and opportunities for the Department with a view to further negating budget pressures.
Officers went on to report that things had been steadily improving this year and that previously forecast large overspends had been addressed by keeping a number of staff posts vacant and with some large upturns in some income streams – most notably planning, building control and other areas such as the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre and the Ports. However, with the recent onset of Omicron and recovery from the pandemic, there were still uncertain times ahead.
A number of capital bids that the Department had proposed as detailed at paragraph 14 had successfully passed through the Corporate Asset Sub and Finance Committee subject to some amendments to fine-tune what was essential and these were now progressing to the Court of Common Council for final agreement.
RESOLVED – That Members:
i) Approve the proposed revenue budget for 2022/23 for submission to the Finance Committee;
ii) Approve the proposed capital budgets for 2022/23 for submission to the Finance Committee;
iii) Authorise the Chamberlain, in consultation with Executive Director Environment, to revise the budgets to allow for any further implications arising from subsequently approved savings proposals, Target Operating Model (TOM) implementation, changes to the Cyclical Works Programme (CWP), or changes to the resource envelope, and
iv) Agree that any amendments for 2021/22 and 2022/23 budgets arising from changes to recharges during budget setting be delegated to the Chamberlain.