To update the Panel in respect of the latest available departmental performance as reported in the QSR for the third quarter of 2015/16 (October to December 2015) relating to Environment, Culture and Communities. An overview of the fourth quarter of 2015/16 will also be provided.
Please bring the previously circulated Quarterly Service Report to the meeting. Copies are available on request and attached to this agenda if viewed online.
The Chairman has asked that any detailed or procedural questions arising from the QSR should be referred to the Director of Environment, Culture and Communities in advance. Only issues of strategic importance or of wider implications need then be raised at the meeting.
The Panel considered the latest trends, priorities and pressures in terms of departmental performance as reported in the QSR for the third quarter of 2015/16 (October to December 2015) relating to Environment, Culture and Communities. The report highlighted exceptional performance, remedial action being taken against under performance, significant changes in risk, significant customer feedback and inspections and significant changes in service use and the associated financial impact.
The Director of Environment, Culture and Communities presented to the Panel a number of highlights from the report, including an update on those areas where the position had moved on since the end of the last quarter. The current expected outturn for the net revenue budget was £24,228,000, an underspend of £330,000 although this was expected to increase in the coming months. The major variances were detailed, the most pleasing of which was a saving of £183,000 in waste disposal costs due to lower tonnages and additional waste income of £58,000 from brown bins and garden sacks. On capital expenditure, there would be an estimated carry forward of £5.63m, of which the most significant sums related to the Town Centre highway works and the Coral Reef refurbishment works, each having been delayed. Additional attention to the planning and programming of capital expenditure was proposed for future years.
The Panel noted the information relating to staffing and recognised that the budget relied on the Department carrying a certain level of vacancies generated by normal turnover. Staff sickness levels were at a low level, a further improvement on last year’s good result. The closing date for receipt of tenders for the Coral Reef refurbishment works had been delayed until 11 April 2016. The works would result in temporary closure of the facility for at least a year and good progress had been made on redeployment or secondment of a number of staff to minimise redundancies that would otherwise have been necessary. The decision by Edgbarrow School to end community use of the sports centre during the school day had created some difficulties but further discussions on alternatives were ongoing, in consultation with user groups.