Economic Development Service - New Way of W orking
Economic Development Service - New Way of Working (Agenda Item 7)
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.
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The Economic Development Manager presented the report which set out a new way of working designed to reduce the cost of the service over the next two years with the aim of becoming cost-neutral by 2015/16. The report had previously been presented to Cabinet to enable a funding bid which was time critical.
Mr Williams (as Chairman of LJCC) noted that they had been informed that the funding was aimed at business rather than communities.
Mrs Steward congratulated the Economic Development Team and then raised various question and received the following responses:
- The relationship of Economic Development to the Thetford Growth Point team was clarified.
- There were five Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the eastern region. Four of those would be involved in the new project and would help by identifying suitable businesses in their areas.
- Although more people would be involved in the project there would be an actual reduction in the number of staff employed by Breckland Council.
Mrs Jolly asked how the project’s progress would be monitored and was advised that a report would be made to the Audit Committee each year to check savings. It would also be monitored by Senior Management through the Performance System.
Mrs Jolly was concerned about the ‘up-front’ costs for the Council and the risks if the project did not progress.
It was explained that there was very little risk as even redundancy costs were claimable within the project.
In response to a further question by Mrs Steward regarding engagement with schools the Senior Economic Development Officer said that they were working as closely as they could with schools and other agencies which delivered into schools. They had tried to set up an apprentice scheme but that had failed. However, they were working with the CITB regarding future construction apprenticeships with local businesses and were also trying to work with Norwich City College.
RESOLVED to RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that Option 1 of the report be approved.