This additional information might help to inform your opinions, which we welcome by completing the online survey or by posting your comments here.
This is how the figure of £230,000 for this year breaks down in approximate figures (bearing in mind that any cumulative savings will make up for any overspend elsewhere, while ensuring that the overall amount budgeted for is not exceeded. We also need to bear in mind that we will have to apply reductions of between 5 and 15% in line with savings across the council in the next financial and municipal years):
Staffing (2.7 posts), administration, and on costs: 78,500
Transport (incorporating security, driver, and vehicle provision): 67,000
International links (Southwark is twinned with towns in Germany and France): 3,000
Equipment hire: 1,200
Publicity & marketing: 5,200
Mayor's allowance: 20,000
Petty cash: 2,000
Civic ceremonials: 35,000
Security in the context of transport costings refers to the secure transport of the mayoral chain of office and other insignia. These items are of very significant historical and financial value.
Civic ceremonials are core activities in the life of any borough with a civic mayor. They include such borough-wide events as Remembrance Sunday, Holocaust Memorial Day, Civic and Honorary Awards, The Mayor's Charity Ball, and Armed Forces Day.
The logistics around organising these events are quite complex and therefore costly. For example, we had what was probably the biggest ever Southwark civic and honorary awards ceremony last May when almost 50 people (with their friends and families) were honoured. This year's recipients included Sir Michael Caine, Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC, the borough's three MPs, and a host of other residents who have also made very significant contributions to life in Southwark. Our Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at the Imperial War Museum
is another example and is one of the largest in London each year. Plans are at an advanced stage for the 2013 ceremony where the keynote speaker will be Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE (Senior Rabbi at the West London Synagogue). Others are the Southwark Peace Breakfast at which Terry Waite, the former Beirut hostage, was our most recent keynote speaker, and The F Word exhibition and conversation on November 8 about 'alternatives to revenge and responses to wrong-doing':
All of these civic events were either initiated and/or organised by the civic office, and they are but a few examples of the many wide-reaching events which the mayor's office in Southwark initiates or manages each year, as well as co-ordinating the Mayor or Deputy Mayor's attendance, by invitation, at events across the borough and beyond. The mayor plays an important civic ceremonial role by representing Southwark at London-wide events including The Lord Mayor's Parade on New Year's Day and the many other annual gatherings of civic heads from across the capital (including a large amount this year associated with the Diamond Jubilee as well as the Olympics and Paralympics).
As an indication of how many engagements the Mayor of Southwark fulfills each year, Councillor Lorraine Lauder MBE completed over 900 during her term of office from May 2011 to May 2012, and the current Mayor is on target to complete similar during this municipal year.
The vast majority of engagements completed by the Mayor each year are at the instigation of people in the borough who invite the Mayor to attend and speak as First Citizen, and the rest are important civic events organised by the mayor's office and described in some detail above.
I hope this additional information helps to inform your responses to the online survey. Please also feel free to contribute your thoughts here. These will also be gathered and documented in the same way that we have for other online consultations of this kind - what I tend to think of as 'vox populi' or grassroots community engagement.
(Although with the increasing popularity of internet-based social interaction I may need to think of re-phrasing that as webbed community engagement)
These are some recent examples of the 'finished product' that went to all councillors ahead of council assembly debates, and I propose to write up views expressed for the civic review in a similar verbatim fashion:
Community Engagement Division
2nd Floor - Hub 4
160 Tooley Street
PO Box 64529
London SE1P 5LX
Tel 020 7525 5645 (Direct Line)
Mobile 07944 124431