The Superintendent of The Commons to be heard.
The Committee received a verbal update and presentation from the Superintendent of The Commons regarding the financial savings to be delivered as part of the City Corporation’s Service Based Review. Members were advised that £162,000 worth of savings per annum were currently anticipated to be delivered by the Division by 31 March 2018 through increased operational efficiencies and income generation.
The Superintendent advised that the use of consultants had been reduced to deliver a saving of £17,000 per annum. The expertise of current staff members would be utilised in most cases and consultants would continue to be used, for example, only where an independent view was required.
In relation to increased income generation, the Superintendent advised that £6,000 was expected to be raised through additional voluntary donations at Ashtead and Coulsdon Commons. More structured methods of donation and income streams would be developed during the next two years with a view to increase income from donations to £15-20,000 per annum. The Senior Ranger added that a donation of £1,800 had been received from a company who had recently held two separate corporate volunteering days at Ashtead Common.
In response to a member’s questions regarding income generation from the leasing of office space at Ashtead Common, the Superintendent advised that the potential for shared use of the Ashtead office building was currently being explored in consultation with the City Surveyor’s Department. Members noted the challenge faced by officers that leases could only be granted for a maximum of three years under the current legislation that governed the City Corporation’s open spaces.
To conclude, the Committee thanked all officers for their flexibility and hard work during the Service Based Review savings process.