Dave Green replied that he did have a list of assets that were subject to Cabinet agreeing on their disposal. He could supply the list. Cllr Gilchrist requested that he email it to all members. Cllr Keeley mentioned the community centres. Cllr Davies mentioned Westminster House and asked about in Appendix B what the difference between projects one and 44 was? Ian Coleman answered that one referred to savings on all contracts whereas the contract review was reviewing the fifty largest contracts.
Cllr Davies asked for the list of 50 largest contracts. Ian Coleman agreed to send it to him.
Cllr Davies said about street lighting (project 25) that he understood about the dimming, but often the request was for lighting in streets to be brighter and that it had community safety implications.
Mr. Green said it was a modest saving with a pilot of 216 lights in New Brighton. The results would be known about March/april and would form part of a report to Cabinet on the pilot. There was the possibility under invest to save to roll it out across the authority. It would depend on the wattage before it was started though. In the pilot areas some had been turned up as well as dimmed. Cllr Davies said they had to balance energy savings with community safety.
Cllr Green continued with saying that any ideas that staff on higher education courses had got through their studies or wanted them to evaluate was part of the change programme. He said they were keen to reward people, but there had to be a balance between control and creativity. The creativity had to be to a purpose which was to drive forward and reduce costs. Whether officers challenge other officers was a question for them to answer.
The Strategic Change Board had looked into capacity and challenged projects that had no firm benefits. The gate system was in place with projects signed off by the Director of Finance, Chief Officers and programme officers who had done a first-rate job. Cllr Green said they had brought rigour to the system and support in areas that lack capacity. He then asked Mr. Green “Do we challenge you enough?”
Mr. Green said the analysts analyse all ideas and there were some emerging ideas. Some projects had been stretched to take on board staff. Young people and graduates had suggested nine potential projects. The most favourable one being a change in the approach to non-fixed assets such as bikes, tables, chairs etc. This had been though of by those studying and would come to the meeting on Friday. He said they mustn’t have a scattergun approach, much must give each idea careful consideration.