To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration
The report provides an update upon the Cabinet’s proposed approach to responding to the opportunities, challenges and uncertainty outlined within the review of the medium-term financial plan presented at the Cabinet meeting on the 21st September 2021.
Our focus remains on progressing our collective ambitions for Stockport by delivering impactful and outcomes-focussed transformational change for communities and businesses across Stockport. However, we have long recognised that a resilient budget is key to this by enabling us to face and respond to the unprecedented uncertainty ahead.
This report builds on previous updates to scrutiny and cabinet providing the latest considerations on how we intend to address financial and demand challenges, enable longer term transformation and shared ambitions.
The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.
Officer Contact: Holly Rae on 0161 474 3014 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Corporate Director (Place) & Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the Cabinet’s proposed approach to responding to the opportunities, challenges and uncertainty outlined within the review of the Medium-Term Financial Plan which had been presented to the Cabinet Meeting held on 21 September 2021.
The report included an update on the previous reports to scrutiny and Cabinet providing the latest considerations on how the Council intended to address financial and demand challenges, enable longer term transformation and shared ambitions.
The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration (Councillor David Meller) attended the meeting to respond to Members’ questions.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:-
· It was commented that consideration should be given to reconsidering proposals to cut the highways discretionary budgets available to local area committees. Although it was acknowledged that some wards had not spent their budgets, it could be that they were accruing monies for a large scheme in the next few years.
· Consider was expressed with regard to the proposed increase in the cost of residents’ parking permits.
· With regard to the deletion of some of the school crossing patrols, it was pointed out that the Council was experiencing difficulties in recruiting to some of the posts. Reference was made to the motion which had been approved at the Council Meeting on 15 July 2021 which included agreement to explore and identify where school crossing patrols could be reintroduced outside schools to further address road safety issues.
· Further clarity was requested on the assumptions factored into the report such as inflation, and it was suggested that this be examined in more detail by Officers.
· Reference was made to the ‘increased income target charge uplift across a number of areas’ and in particular the proposals to lease electronic billboard sites on major routes and in the town centre, and increased income potential with school ‘buy back’. These proposals were welcomed.
· With regard to the examination of managed vacancies, the impact on the morale of staff needed to be examined.
· With regard to the proposed increase in planning fees, a Member expressed concern that he had received a number of complaints from residents who had had no response to their pre-planning application questions.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.