Council approves restructure

REDLAND City Council has abolished its City Enterprises group and the position of its manager Elissa Underhill in a corporate structure overhaul aimed at cutting costs.
Nanjing Night Net

The group was a section of the City Services department run by general manager Louise Rusan.

Under the restructure, approved at this week’s general meeting, Redland Water and Waste, headed by Gary Soutar, will oversee waste management, previously the domain of City Services.

Business and Tourism Support Services will be merged with the Economic Development group.

The restructure was approved alongside a revised budget, which found an extra $5.1million in savings.

According to an officer report, overhauling the City Services department would save ratepayers up to $2.23million.

The report claimed the council had found real “net cash” savings of $190,000.

The council said thesavings and cash position were separate and “for simplicity of explanation” a saving “gain of $1.1million could be seen as offsetting the cash position from carry over budgetitems”.

Mayor Karen Williams said there was “no smoke and mirrors” in the savings, and officers had budgeted for the abolition of tip fees to cost more than it had.

“Before we even started, we had to find an extra $4million to meet our budget, so officers re-looked at what they could do more effectively with less money,” she said.

“That $5.1million will be realised within the next quarter.

“It turned out that abolishing gate fees at the tip wasn’t that expensive and so we were able to count that budgeted money as savings,” she said.

At this week’s full council meeting, councillor Craig Ogilvie said the $4million of savings was found in paring back expenditure on goods and services from $104million to$100million.

“But that is still $11million higher than what the previous councilforecast in its previous financial strategy,” Cr Ogilvie said after the meeting.

He said the projected goods and services expenditure budgethad been$89million.

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