Report to Town Council 27th September 2006 : 27 September 2006



Revenues and Benefits.

The Council decided not to proceed with outsourcing its Revenues and Benefits service to a partnership with Hambleton at its meeting of September 7th. This followed the receipt of a Consultant’s Report recommending against the proposed partnership. The consultant considered various matters, including costs and the administrative and managerial risks involved.

Members will recall that the proposed partnership was expected to yield savings of 65,000 per annum. However the Council would first have to pay off a sum of 150,000, which was Ryedale’s contribution to start-up costs. The remaining start-up costs would have come from a government grant of 685,000, and also from a contribution from Hambleton. The total start up costs were just under a million pounds.

The consultant evaluated an in-house option and reported: “Detailed work has not been undertaken on this option, but a similar level of annual savings to that achievable by the Partnership for Ryedale of 65,000 should be achievable.”

Hambleton were insisting that Ryedale should use their system in its entirety, as they wanted the partnership to be entirely on their terms – in spite of a previous consultant advising that the proposed new system should incorporate some of Ryedale’s systems.

I have opposed the partnership from its inception because I believe in local control of local services, and the proposed partnership seemed to make no business sense, nor would it have resulted in any improvement on the existing service.

Public Toilets at Wentworth Street

I successfully proposed a motion at Policy and Resources Committee to recommend the Council to authorise officers to reopen these toilets after consultation with the Committee chairman and local members. This followed a meeting of the Capital Programme Working Party in which I had pointed out that a report had been promised on 21st March, but had not been forthcoming.

The Council considered the above P&R recommendation on 7th September, and I then supported a motion by Councillor Preston to the effect that the toilets should be re-opened immediately. Unfortunately this motion was lost. However, this means that the recommendation of P&R was nevertheless passed. The toilets can therefore be re-opened by officers after consultation with Councillor Wainwright and local members. Your local members are now waiting for a further report from the Chief Executive!

Rubbish and Weeds etc.

– I am supporting an initiative for this to be dealt with. The clerk may wish to report on this.

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