I am sure that you are fully aware of the problems that you are likely to pick up if you are successful in winning the DRS contract at Barnet Council. However, I thought it was only fair to bring your attention to a response given by Cabinet member Cllr Joanna Tambourides at tonight's Council meeting concerning the problems in the planning department and what they are expecting you to sort out.
"The Planning Service has had an unprecedented number of officers leave their posts either permanently or temporarily over the last year. Filling the vacant positions with suitable replacements has been challenging. As a consequence, remaining officers have had to take on significantly larger case loads than normal and these have proved to be difficult to manage. This has resulted in planning applications, on average, taking longer to deal with and this has impacted on customer satisfaction, together with the reduction of time officers are able to spend with customers on the phone. Every effort is being made to ensure the Planning Service has sufficient resource to deal with demands. The recent changes to delegated powers will also help in reducing the amount of time officers spend on processing planning applications for presentation at committee. It is anticipated that customer satisfaction will improve as the backlog of planning applications is reduced. The Service is confident of meeting customer satisfaction targets before transfer to the new provider and the new provider will be required to continually improve customer satisfaction."
Given that it is another nine months before you take over the service, I wonder how many more talented and hard working staff will leave to find more stable employment?