Questions I put to Cll Pervez during Online Consultation

ian_norris: In November 2011, the number of assistant directors was reduced from 19 to 15 saving £424,000, but the City Council now propose to take on another assistant director costing £106,000.
Why the Sudden change to number of Assitant Directors required?What safeguard are in place to stop one the the recent redundant assistant directors being taken back on?

Mohammed Pervez:  As far as I know the job has not been evaluated yet so I do not know where the £106k comes from. The post is considered to be essential to further develop new low carbon and commercial enterprise opportunities in the City.

Comment: The £106,000 comes from the Chief Executives Investment Aspirations report,  in August 2010 the Council setup Low Carbon Task Force, the Report said

The task force will not require any additional staffing resources as it will be serviced by a multidisciplinary team of existing Council Officers, who will coordinate their existing roles to support the activities of the Low Carbon Task Force.

Why is it now Essential?

ian_norris: What does the £200,000 to promote independence and healthy lives for people with SEN mean, is that to encourage public Transport over Taxis?

Mohammed Pervez:  It is recognised that people with SEN want to live as independently as possible. To ensure that this happens we are investing to provide help and support to enable perople with SEN to become travel independent. However, this does not mean that everyone will be able to gain this travel indpendence. It will be on a case by case basis depending on their specific needs. Public transport will be used if appropriate.

Comment: The Investment on independent travel aims to reduce the £2million per year cost, so the Council must be expecting a large number to benefit, what other options to Pubic transport will be considered?

UPDATE Answered after webchat finished

“Why has allocation to reserves been reduced this year when it was only set at £1.5m last year, especially if we are so low on reserves.”

  • Cllr Pervez said: Due to strong financial management, the city council was able to increase its general reserves slightly in 2010/11. It is also planning to make a further £1.5m contribution in 2011/12 with a further contribution planned in 2012/13. These additional contributions will meet the advised reserves level by the Section 151 officer. The situation will need to be monitored throughout 2012/13.

I would hardly call the £1million increase in 2010 as slight from £500,000 to £1.5million, it could have been least drastic, meaning less drastic cuts would have needed to be made.

Which differs from what is in the Budget Proposal

2-BS04 £1.5Million – This saving assumes that the General Fund delivers a balanced budget this year. The s151 Officer’s professional opinion is that a further contribution to the General Fund Reserve in 2012/13 and beyond would not be needed if the financial plans that have been approved this year are delivered. The reserves position will need to be monitored on a quarterly basis.

Which is correct budget report or Council Leader, was the reserve allocation set too high last year?

Question Submitted but unanswered

why is there NOW £500,000 available for a new swimming pool in Tunstall

Why after 64 day has the Council not been able to provide details of its Contingency fund,when as legal requirement you must answer with 20 days

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