Agenda item

2022/23 Budget and Business Planning

To consider the report on the 2022/23 Budget and Business Planning.

Lead: Paul Kelly


4.1          Members received the report from the Interim Finance Director who highlighted the key points in the report.


4.2          The Chair sought clarity on staffing reductions and asked about support available to staff.


The Interim Finance Director explained that the Business plan would need to be set before the staffing situation could be looked at. The Committee was informed that staff have been invited to consider whether they wish to apply for voluntary redundancy.


4.3          Cllr Salter enquired about the criteria that Transport for the North would be judged against in the future when decisions are made by Government on funding.  He also enquired as to whether inflation had been taken into account with the figures within the report.


The Interim Finance Director explained that there had been no clear targets set around future funding, and on the issue of inflation, he stated that this had been factored in where the organisation had been able to do so. 

4.4          Cllr Hughes raised the issues of co-Sponsorship of the NPR programme and the impact of the loss of funding for the Northern Infrastructure pipeline and the impact these will have on TfN.


The Interim Finance Director explained that the co-sponsorship role is being worked on between the Department and TfN. Regarding the pipeline funding the Interim Programme and Strategy Director explained that this is not core funding and has been put in place in order to support local authority schemes.  He explained that had the funding remained then it would have built on TfNs strengths and capabilities and allowed the organisation to support local authorities’ scheme developments.

4.5          Cllr Cooper asked if TfN would be able to fulfil its statutory obligation with the current funding levels across the whole of the North.

The Interim Finance Director commented that it would, and it will be looking to explore what can be achieved within the current funding levels, with the Chief Executive keen to work closely with partners to explore opportunities.


4.6          Cllr Chaytor expressed his disappointment at the lack of funding for the North and sympathised with officers who are now unable to deliver a first class transport system for the North.


Responding to Cllr Chaytor the Chair stated that there is still a lot in the budget but expressed his concerns as to how effectively TfN would be able to operate with the current level of funding.


4.7          The Chair expressed concern that reports received by the Committee lack quantitative data; in future he would like to see metrics, units of measure, and the ambition of TfN as well as tables, charts and graphs included in reports to make them more effective.


4.8          The Chair requested that the June report to Committee include reference as to how staffing resources will be managed and that any reduction in staffing be managed sympathetically. He also requested that the report include the criteria that TfN will be measured against in order that resources can be managed accordingly. Further to this he stated that the Committee would also like to see the priority aspirations for the organisation, any risk and their full assessment, the statutory functions of TfN and the co-sponsorship role and what it involves included in the report. 


1)   That the funding position for 2022/23 and the impact that that will have on TfN’s ability to undertake its intended programme of activity be noted.

2)   That the objectives set out in paragraphs 4.3 – 4.8 of the report as the basis for business planning be noted.

3)   That the Committee notes the process by which TfN will proceed to a business plan and budget for 2022/23, in particular the intention to adopt an Interim Budget on 30 March.

4)   That the Committee notes the cost control measures proposed to safeguard TfN reserves until such time as the objectives for 2022/23, and the Interim Budget are approved.


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