Report of the Executive Director, Environment.
The Committee received a report of the Executive Director, Environment providing an update on progress made during Period One (April-July) 2022/23 against the High-Level Business Plan 2022/23 for the service areas of the Environment Department which fall within their remit.
A budget monitoring update was also included in the report.
A Member noted that a lot of the underspend reported here was as a result of posts not being filled and questioned the impact of this on workloads and what, if anything, was not being delivered to programme as a result. The Chief Planning & Development Director reported that it was a very fluid situation in terms of planning and development workforce across London with frequent turnover of staff in various authorities. The City’s planning team had recently had a number of retirements and seen various staff move on to other authorities. Members were assured that it was intended that all of these posts would be filled and that there was a very vigorous recruitment campaign underway at present to recruit into and backfill any vacancies as well as new posts created as a result of the Target Operating Model. Officers reported that recruitment was going well but that there were some specialisms such as sustainability and transport planning where they were seeking to recruit within a very competitive market. It was anticipated that the underspend relating to vacant posts would close within the next three to four months as posts were filled. It was reported that there had been no impact upon the pace, quality or deliverability of planning projects and applications as a result of posts remaining unfilled.
A Member noted the 99.18% compliance with the Bank on Safety Road Danger Reduction Team reported here and commented that this was exceptional. She added that Members of the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee had also recently been informed that air pollution had improved drastically around the Bank Junction roads.
RESOLVED – That Members note the content of this report and its appendices.