Torridge was £526,000 over budget on:
Building Control … £40,000 (with a budget of only £27,000)
Chief Executive’s office … £94,000 (what does the chief exec’s office do to be £94,000 over budget???)
Communications …. £8,000
Corporate Property …. £37,000
Culture and Leisure … £97,000
Development Control £82,000
Economic Regeneration £50,000
Northam Burrows £18,000
Other Operational Services £31,000
But Torridge was UNDER budget by £975,000 in all other areas. This may be something for which the various departments can be commended, but it strikes me, being someone with an increasingly bad attitude towards Torridge (ergo, this does colour my conclusion and the fact that it does must be clearly stated in the interests of balance. The facts do not speak for themselves and my voice is prejudiced.) this is poor budgetary planning in the first place.
Accountancy and Performance … £85,000 under budget. That’s either excellent accountancy, or rubbish budgeting. (Interestingly, accountancy and performance had a budget of £721,000, while economic regeneration had only £171,000).
Audit …. £2,000
Car Parking … £88,000 … that’s to say they had a revenue of £88,000 more than they expected. Didn’t need to put the parking fees up, then, did they??? And we do have to wonder about the quality of all these strategy and planning reports they pay for.
Community Safety … £16,000 (what? you mean there’s budget for even more 30mph signs?)
Concessionary Fares … £193,000 – that’s over half the budget. They only spent £192,000 … now, maybe this is because we don’t actually have that many buses – dunno – just my opinion – but a good place to start. This is the one which strikes me as a seriously incompetent budget. Only 8.4% of pensioners in Torridge have no access to a car or van. Around 21% of the population in Torridge is over 64. So, that’s 21% of 65,000 = 13,650 and 8.4% of 13,650 = 1,146 people who are dependent on public transport. That’s a budget of over £335 each per year. Now, obviously, people who own cars can still use public transport, but the public transport in Torridge is not frequent enough. I mean, I have a 2 mile walk to get to my nearest bus stop – am I going to use a bus to get my shopping and walk the 2 miles back to my house with my bags of shopping? No I am not. And I’m not a pensioner. This budget is a mismanagement to the extent of being suspicious (then again, they really could just be that stupid).
Contracts and procurement … £23,000
Corporate Health and Safety £7,000
Corporate Support £5,000
Customer Services … £80,000 … I’m saying nothing!
Elections …. £17,000
Environmental Protection … £13,000
Food Safety …£24,000
Human Resources £1,000
ICT … £27,000
Legal Services £6,000
Local Land Charges £16,000
Planning Policy … £225,000 … I don’t know enough about this department to know whether or not this is acceptable or as incompetent as the concessionary fares budget. It’s coming in at around 1/3 under budget. Now the purpose of Planning Policy is to “provide the framework that will guide and control the development of land and buildings in the area and sets out proposals as to how it should develop in the future. The policies are then used to assess planning applications and to decide what development is appropriate.” So this is a fairly tight remit. I mean that in terms of not being £225,000 under budget. They know what they have to do when the budget is set. How can they miscalculate this so obscenely?
Revenues and Benefits … £39,000 … housing beneift paid out £19,691,000 but received £20,714,000 from the DWP. Now, how does that work? This is Torridge claiming over £1 million from the DWP to which they had no right, is it not? And yet, with £1,023,000 overpaid to them, they only end up £39,000 under budget.
Waste Management … £80,000