Budget Consultation 2014

In Cllr Rosenau Budget Recommendation AR2 page 14, she proposes an increased revenue savings in Asset Rationalisation from the current Budget of £3.2 million, with predicted savings in 2014/15 of £150,000 and 2015/16 of £450,000.

This item seems to exclude the additional costs of of running the new buildings in Hanley as reported in her “City Wide Administrative Property Rationalisation” report to Cabinet  para 2.18 page 11, the new running costs are stated as £9.3 million, so her Asset Rationalisation programme would appear to be costing an additional £6 million per year (her asset report actually states additional £7.9 million), so not sure how this programme can be classed as a saving.
I’ve wrote asking her to  please explain, and show where the additional costs have been included in the Budget Document published for public consultation.

UPDATE

Cllr Rosenau has replied (see below) to show she has identified £450,000 to cover the additional costs of new Civic, only another £6.4 million to find, I have of course wrote back asking again where the above funds will come from.

Dear Mr Norris,

£9.3m is the full costs including finance charges for buildings A&B of £6.8m plus £2.5m operational costs of other retained buildings, excluding historic financing costs. Clearly the latter were already provided for within current budgets albeit with some improvement works to Tunstall/Longton and modest works in Fenton and Burslem the costs are slightly higher than is now.

The Cabinet report assumed that in a full year we could reduce costs/increase income  by £4.9m. We still have  a target to balance this off to the additional costs of £6.8m but expect to achieve this when Spode etc. are sold.

In the meantime– we had only been assuming £200k of the £4.9m could be achieved next year and £1.9m in 2015/16. This is over cautious – if we do close some buildings sooner rather than later this alone will increase our savings. There are also other non-office buildings that we are disposing of too – the full year saving from what has gone to auction this  year to date is over £150k hence, the additional target of £150k from the budget proposal AR2 next year is realistic and the £450k in 2015/16 should be achievable too.

I hope this addresses your query.

Regards Ruth

Agile Working and Asset Sales

The council are now planning to introduce ‘agile’ working across its workforce, reducing required desk space by a third. With current staffing levels of 2500 should mean reduced requirement of 830 staff.

Under a recently FOI request the Council provide a break down of staffing numbers across the City but where unable to split between frontline and back office staff breakdown or the number of desk details.

staff

The number of staff in building to be retained 1542, number of staff in building under review 166 and number of staff in the buildings to be sold 883.

Under agile working even with  the closure and sale of 29 buildings there still exists capacity for the remaining 1700 workforce, so why are Labour Councillors continuing to build not one but Two new at Capital Cost of £59million and with increased revenue running costs of £7.9m per year?