Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection presenting the business plan for his Department for the year 2017/18.
The report also presented an early draft of the Corporate Plan 2018-23 providing Members with the opportunity to provide initial feedback before wider consultation on the plan takes place. The Town Clerk reported that this was an embryonic version of the Corporate Plan at this stage which was being presented to all Grand Committees for initial feedback. She added that several Member sessions dedicated to the Draft Corporate Plan had also been arranged. Further iterations of the Plan would be presented to Members throughout the calendar year with a view to launching the new 5 year document in April 2018 after having secured the approval of both the Policy and Resources Committee and the Court of Common Council.
With regard to the draft Corporate Plan, the Chairman commented that the ‘People’ block appeared to be quite vague at this stage. The Deputy Chairman commented that whilst there were many references to the Square Mile and the City within the document there did not appear to be any to London as a whole. He added that he was also disappointed to see that the provision of high quality services for the whole of London appeared not to be one of the aims listed.
The Director went on to present the Departmental Business Plan, drawing particular attention to the detailed objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) included here. He stated that, in due course, the Departmental Business Plan would be more closely aligned to the completed Corporate Plan. The Director concluded by highlighting the summary Risk Register for the Department which was produced in line with corporate guidance.
A Member commented on the Financial Information and Summary within the Departmental Business Plan and stated that he found this disappointing and unclear. He stated that he would prefer to see real financial positions reflected here with details on rent versus expenditure clearly set out. The Chamberlain reported that the Revenue Outturn report presented to this Committee in July each year provided this information but that the figures contained within the Business Plan were forward looking. She added that the Estimates Report presented to the Committee every Winter broke down the detail of the 2017-18 budget and that updates were then provided through this Business Plan. She undertook to feedback these comments to the Business Planning Working Group in terms of the presentation/format of future financial information/summaries within business plans. The Chairman agreed that a summary of forward looking, individual, Market finances/operating cost statements were a key part of the Departmental Business Plan and asked that this information be put together and circulated to the Committee as an additional appendix to this report ahead of their next meeting.
A Member questioned MKPI 4 for 2017-18 which was looking to achieve 98% occupancy of all lettable space at the wholesale markets and the current performance of Smithfield Market against this. The Director reported that this Committee had a policy, for a number of years, not to fill the Poultry Market to capacity. This had now, however, been reversed and so progress against this performance indicator was being made.
In response to questions around the comprehensive Strategic Review of the three wholesale markets, the Director reported that both he and the new Chairman were keen to ensure that this was a thorough and genuinely open minded review.
RESOLVED – That Members:
· Approve the high-level and detailed departmental business plans for the Department of Markets and Consumer Protection; and
· Note the draft Corporate Plan for 2018-23.