In presenting the report, the Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager explained that the Corporate Business Plan monitoring report had been developed to demonstrate progress against the Council’s Corporate Business Plan. It was noted that the report contained information on the progress made on the key actions up to the end of Quarter 4 2017/18.
The Panel was informed that there were currently 42 agreed actions being undertaken to progress the Council’s Corporate Business Plan. The 2017/18 Q4 monitoring report indicated that 35 of the actions are progressing well, 7 new key actions had been added and 3 actions had been completed.
Members were advised that 27 actions had been completed from Q4 2015/16 to Q4 2017/18.
In response to questions on Priority 1: Progress towards £3.1m savings required by 2015-2020 identified in the Financial Plan for 2015-2010, the Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager explained that the target was cumulative and that the target was long term until 2020. The savings identified in the Financial Plan for the period 2015 to 2020 were banked on an annual basis.
Following questions on Priority 4: Footfall in King’s Lynn Town Centre compared to the same quarter in the previous year, the, Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager outlined the combination of factors which had led to a decrease in footfall in King’s Lynn during the period January to March 2018.
In response to questions relating to Grounds Maintenance and maintaining sustainable levels of service delivery that meets the needs of the community, the Chief Executive outlined the issues being experienced with the recruitment of temporary seasonal contracts and the steps being taken to make a number of posts permanent in order to retain employees. The Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager explained that the Borough Council was working with the Department of Work and Pensions to develop a scheme to encourage younger age groups to apply for grounds maintenance posts when vacancies were advertised.
The Leader, Chief Executive and Policy, Performance and Personnel Manager responded to questions relating to the Growth in Business Rates target which was reported on an annual basis.
Following questions from Councillor J Collop on the improvements to the train services for King’s Lynn to Cambridge, the Leader provided an overview of the improvements driven by the Borough Council had undertaken to improve services and frequency of trains to and from King’s Lynn.
In response to a question from Councillor Tilbrook on the Cost Reduction Programme, the Chief Executive agreed that Members could view the plan.
Councillor J Collop commented on the number of vacant retail units in the Town Centre and whether the Council would try to establish a lesser rent to encourage potential new businesses to trial their service/produce to ensure that the town centre remained vibrant. In response, the Leader advised that other town centres across the country had a number of empty retail units and gave examples of recent visits he had made to Cambridge and Coventry. The Leader explained that the units in the ownership of the Borough Council could be looked at to see if lower rents could be offered to fill vacant units and that the decision would need to be taken on a case by case basis with the Portfolio Holder and Property Services Manager.
The Chairman, Councillor Humphrey commented that it was pleasing to see that KLIC was currently running at 85% occupancy and that proposals were being developed for KLIC 2. The Chairman recommended that Members visit the Council’s website: www.investwestnorfolk.gov.uk which was used as a platform for e-marketing for the Enterprise Zone as well as the promotion of West Norfolk to outside investors. The Leader concurred with the comments made by the Chairman and added that local firms had also built their own premises to operate their business from.
RESOLVED: The Panel reviewed the Q4 2017/18 Corporate Business Plan monitoring report.