Delivering the savings programme
The savings programme sets out detailed provisional savings targets for a wide range of council services and teams. These provisional targets were approved by full Council in February 2014 and can be viewed online as a detailed document. This shows that of the £36m savings identified in the programme:
- £13.8m will come from the council’s Children, Adults and Health department (representing 13 per cent of its budget);
- £9.5m will come from the Environment and Community Services department (representing 18 per cent of its budget);
- £4.5m will come from the Chief Executive and Corporate Resources department (representing 25 per cent of its budget).
Additional savings of £8.2m will also be made via a number of cross-departmental projects and further savings of £4m will be required by 2019/20.
How will the savings be delivered?
Decisions about how these savings will be made will be worked out in the coming years, in partnership with local people, via a range of projects focused on individual services. The projects will vary in size and scope, with provisional savings targets ranging from around £30,000 to £2.7m. Some will be very complex and involve significant changes to how we deliver services. Others may be relatively straightforward and involve only minor changes. Some of these projects have already begun and some may not start for a number of years.
The approaches taken will vary from project to project, and alternative options may develop as we move forward, but they will all reflect a number of common principles.
Prioritising our core activities
As part of the projects we will review our priorities to make sure that our more limited resources are focused on our core activities. In future, these activities will include:
- Delivering jobs, homes and infrastructure
- Improving educational outcomes
- Maintaining safe and clean communities
- Closing gaps in income, education and health
- Safeguarding vulnerable children and adults
- Meeting assessed needs for children and adults
As part of this process, some other activities may have to be scaled back or stopped altogether in line with our more limited resources.
Exploring new ways of working
Through the projects, we will also explore new ways of working that could make services more affordable. We want to consider every possible option available to us, and these might include:
- Sharing services with other councils, public sector agencies and organisations
- Transferring services to other organisations such as community groups, social enterprises, town and parish councils or commercial organisations
- Encouraging more people to volunteer their time and become involved in the delivery of services
- Making more services available online
- Making more efficient use of council assets such as land and buildings
- Changing working practices, including making better use of technology
- Reducing service levels
- Increasing fees or charges for some services
Some of the options currently being considered as part of individual projects include:
- Expanding capacity at some leisure centres in order to increase income and usage and thereby reduce the subsidy they receive from council tax payers;
- Reviewing new approaches to delivering our community engagement activities, in order to reduce costs;
- Creating new ‘community hubs’ at a number of locations in the district, bringing together library and customer services in order to deliver savings in operating and property costs and improve services for local people.
Where relevant projects will be subject to formal consultation, with details posted on our consultation pages and publicised through local media and our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter (@sgloscouncil), using the hashtag #sgcsavingsIs there anything wrong with this page?