Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Mike Smith, telephone 020 8583 2069, e-mail  mike.smith@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

41.

Budget savings proposals 2016/2017 pdf icon PDF 47 KB

The report for this item was received late and published on 27 January 2016. The Chair is asked to agree that it be considered on the grounds of urgency that this will be the only opportunity for the Committee to comment on the proposals before they are considered by Cabinet and Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report of the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny (Agenda item 2)

 

Councillor Theo Dennison, Lead Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance gave a presentation to the Committee on the financial issues facing the Authority and its approach to preparing a balanced budget for 2016/2017. A copy of the presentation is published with the papers for the meeting on the web.

 

The Committee then went on to consider individuals savings proposals. The Chair invited Members of the Committee to raise questions and comments in relation to the proposals and then subsequently also invited other Members of Scrutiny Panels and co-optees to have the similar opportunity for questioning and discussion. Cabinet Members assisted by officers responded to these queries and offered additional information. The issues raised and the information supplied are recorded in summary below in relation to each of the savings proposals discussed and are referenced in accordance with the report.

 

O5REDE – Reduction of Business Support Staffing

 

The reduction in staffing levels would not have a service impact. It would be possible to prioritise and re?distribute work in order that services could be maintained. Due process would be followed in terms of consulting staff and there would be no changes to terms and conditions. It would not be the case that temporary staff would be used to cover day to day work. This was only the case where there were specific time limited peaks in demand.

 

06REDE – Establishment Review

 

Concern was expressed that deletion of the post of Inward Investment and Tourism Manger would adversely affect the Council’s capacity to encourage inward investment and promote tourism and this would be detrimental to economic growth in the borough. In response it was stated that this was a vacant post. The Council did have other staff supporting inward investment and tourism. Reference was made to initiatives around the Rugby World Cup, work with businesses and Chambers of Commerce, production of the Rough Guide to Hounslow etc. It was accepted that lower priority projects might take longer to complete. This would be managed by officers, however, if Members had any concern they should make sure that officers were aware of these. Economic Development was a key priority for the Council.

 

With reference to the Environmental Strategy Officer post, it was explained that this had been left vacant since the post holder left the Council. That individual had undertaken a lot of work around the impact of Heathrow. The focus of the work had changed as, although yet not known, it was likely that decisions on the future runway would be made in relatively near future. The broader environment strategy role had been picked up by another member of the team. In response to the concern of Scrutiny members that Heathrow continued to have a very high pollution impact causing excess deaths, it was stated that the environmental plan which set targets to tackle transport-related pollution was the responsibility of the Mayor for London, however, these targets were not being met.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.