Agenda item

BUDGET MONITORING 2018/19

Minutes:

Report FSD18088

 

Based on expenditure and activity levels to 30th September 2018, the latest

2018/19 budget monitoring position for the Environment & Community Services Portfolio shows an underspend of £114k with the controllable budget projected to underspend by £141k at year-end.

 

Details were provided of the projected outturn with a forecast of spend against each relevant service area compared to the latest approved budget. Background to variations was also outlined.

 

Commenting on the current parking position, the Portfolio Holder highlighted a continued underuse of Council-owned car parks and a reduced level of income for on and off-street parking (with a £129k deficit projected). An income shortfall was also projected for parking enforcement (£300k) with certain parking suspensions at Beckenham potentially contributing to the shortfall along with changes to Bromley Town Centre Parking Zone A (signs being reviewed/ policy changes concerning shared use bays). Although enforcement existed to prevent contraventions, an understanding was being sought of causes for the present position and reduced income level. Conversely, bus lane and blue badge contraventions had both increased. 

 

Lower parking enforcement income could also be attributed to APCOA’s deployment plan currently being considered by the Head of Parking Services and APCOA. A growing number of ad-hoc enforcement requests were being received from residents using the available online form. In responding to a request, Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) would be diverted from routine patrols; however, on a number of occasions they are called to locations where it is not possible to enforce. To increase deployment effectiveness, it is necessary to call CEOs to locations where it is believed an enforceable offence will be committed.

 

Lower enforcement income could not be attributed to APCOA’s previous poor performance as they are now performing to an improved level and not failing their performance targets. Instead, it was necessary to look at where to deploy CEOs more effectively.

 

Concerning the use of automated cameras for enforcement, those used successfully for bus lanes can be redeployed and it was confirmed that mobile cameras can be legitimately used for the enforcement of zig-zag restrictions outside of schools (e.g. fixed to school gates). However, legislation prevented officers from using CCTV equipment to enforce against a number of wider offences.

 

Concerning Waste Services, and noting that it might be necessary to carry forward to 2019/20 some of the £120k budget from 2017/18 to develop a direct debit payments system for the GGW service, a Member felt that it is necessary to implement a system and for as long as the budget is not spent, money is being lost through the CRM system. The Assistant Director of Environment indicated that a need to integrate a service provider solution with a system wanted by the Council. The service has awaited the outcome of the Environment Commissioning Programme and it is necessary to speak to the new contractor for the service. There is an integrated solution through a cloud based system and next April a date might be available to take a direct debit payment system forward. To renew an annual fee, the Member suggested a system where a credit card can be automatically activated.

 

RESOLVED that the Portfolio Holder be recommended to endorse the latest 2018/19 budget projection for the Environment & Community Services Portfolio.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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