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CVC’s ‘improvement opportunities’ and staff cuts

Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has identified 36 improvement opportunities that will be included in the draft budget and operational papers to be tabled at the May council meeting. Councillors endorsed the improvement opportunities at last week’s council meeting; once the draft documents are approved at the May meeting, they will be exhibited and the subject of community consultation. The initiatives are across five categories: Service Review, Service Reduction, Cost Reduction, Change in Service Delivery and Additional Revenue. These initiatives have been valued at $8,486,795 by 2020/21 and include the loss of 24.5 full time equivalent (FTE) positions across the council’s operations, which will result in a saving of $2.233 million in 2017/18. “Of the 24.5 FTE, 16 positions are currently vacant,” the report to council stated. “However, the number of staff who may be displaced by the review could be 13 to 15, but this depends on the individual decisions of each employee as there are redeployment provisions (if suitable alternate positions are available) for staff in accordance with the Local Government (State) Award 2014. “If all staff that are impacted by the organisation restructure elect to take redundancies then this could reduce the estimated savings in 2017/18 by approximately $570,000. The Service Review category includes: depot rationalisation and the loss of five FTEs; a review of the Environment Planning and Community Directorate’s structure and the loss of four FTEs; a review of Grafton Regional Gallery’s operations; a review of Corporate and Organisation Performance & Governance Services and the loss of 6.6 EFTs; and reviews of Asset Management Sub-Service (remove one vacant position), Civil & Works Administration Service (loss of one FTE) and Parks & Open Spaces Service (loss of one FTE). The Service Reduction category includes reviews of: Natural Resource Management Services and the loss of 3.3 FTEs; Executive Support Services and the loss of one FTE; South Grafton Pool Operations with a view to sell or long term lease; Glenreagh Pool Operations with a view to sell or long term lease; and, Street Sweeping Operations. The Cost Reduction category includes: the discontinuation of being able to make CVC payments CVC at post offices; the disposal of unnamed halls and surplus buildings; council staff carrying out work currently done by cleaning contractors; improved procurement strategies; an audit of telephone lines; reducing and capping the base donation value at $100,000 for the Community Initiatives Program; reducing Events & Festivals Contributions by $22,750 to a $90,000 cap; the outright purchase of new mapping solution in 2016/17; and, a review of the general manager sub service. The Change in Service Delivery category includes: Infrastructure service review – through efficiency improvements following the completion of the new depot; progressive savings with the implementation of CVC’s tourism strategy with the loss of one FTE; raising cemetery fees and charges to achieve full costs and/or outsourcing; changes to service delivery at community centres (subject to commercial in confidence discussions); and, close Iluka library and replace with a mobile service (the loss of 0.06 FTE). The Additional Revenue category includes: full cost recovery at the regional airport; increased user charges for sporting fields; increased user fees at the saleyards; increased fees for development management unit pre-lodgement meetings, from $179 to $300; employ a fulltime parking, footpath dining and dog registration officer; improve development application valuations (and increase resultant pro rata fees); improved water and sewer funds dividend payments; achieve full cost recovery for a graphic design position; and, increase the contribution from Domestic Waste to Roads regarding damage to road infrastructure from garbage trucks. A full list and further explanations are available on CVC’s website, as an attachment to last week’s council meeting.