Council-wide detailed proposals

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We have a range of support services that enable the Council to be safe and well-managed. These include areas such as human resources, finance, ICT, legal, transformation, data and support to decision-making and assurance. Overall the budget for this area is £72 million.

Key priorities in this area, particularly as we move forward from COVID-19 are as follows:

PriorityAreas of focus as we recover from COVID-19
Enabling an efficient and empowering Council
  • Delivering a financial recovery programme that addresses how services will be affordable with increased demand and constrained resources
  • Bringing forward plans to embed flexible working across the organisation rather than staff being predominantly based in Council buildings
  • Developing a People Plan to further develop staff across the organisation
  • Developing a dedicated ‘assurance’ function to ensure the Council is supporting decision-making, moving to a more modern way of conducting business and meeting its requirements as a

    well-managed public body.

  • Introducing a further digital first programme to enable more customers to transact with us through the website and apps.


To balance the budget and ensure there is enough money to tackle the priorities set out above, a corporate services review was carried out with further information provided below.

(3.1) Redesigning our support services: In 2019 a review of all support services took place. This took into account:

  • the support needs of the Council
  • the priorities we need to deliver
  • how we can support the organisation to be more enabled through better information, training and processes thus requiring less support
  • reviewing whether we are focusing our support in the areas of greatest risk and reducing support in lower risk areas
  • introducing new technology to improve the efficiency of our internal processes.

All the above will be a combination of efficiencies, but also service reductions. We will have to focus on ‘keeping the Council safe’ but may have less ability to undertake the innovative things, at the same pace as the Council has been able to do in the past. By implementing this review, we believe we could save £1.359m.

(3.2) Reviewing our office accommodation as more staff work from a range of locations: We have existing budget plans to save £250,000 by rationalising office accommodation as more staff work from a range of locations including at home. Linked to this, we believe we can reduce the security costs for our buildings by £230,000. We are also considering much more significant accommodation savings as a significant proportion of our workforce are now working from a range of locations including at home. These proposals are being developed through the remainder of 2020.

(3.3) Reviewing support to the voluntary and community sector: We will review the £3m of financial support we provide to our voluntary and community sector to ensure resources are better targeted, meet local priorities, reduce duplication and, where possible, provide longer term funding commitments. In line with other cost pressures facing the Council, we also want to encourage and support community organisations to identify additional funding sources and to reduce their costs. Overall, this could save an additional £149,000.

(3.4) Getting the best value from our contracts: We currently spend £125 million a year on contracts which are £1 million in value each. These cover vital council responsibilities such as caring for adults, delivering highways, managing buildings, providing support to families, and many other key services. We will review these contracts as they come up for renewal and ask ourselves how we can better target our money to meet local needs. Where possible we will also look at opportunities to secure efficiencies with current contracts. We have several companies which we own and who are contracted to deliver Council services. We will work with these organisations to see if there are opportunities to reduce their costs and increase their income. Overall, we believe this review of key contracts could save £2.2 million.

(3.5) Review of income: We have reviewed all our fees and charges across the organisation to ensure we are recovering our costs in line with current policy. We are also planning to raise additional income through using outdoor space for advertising. In total these proposals will raise additional income in the region of £260,000.

(3.6) Council-wide priorities: The Council has agreed three key issues that require a whole- Council approach. These are mental health, poverty and inequality and the climate emergency. It is proposed that £300,000 is made available per year to drive these forward.

(3.7) Digital transformation: We will build on previous work to make it easier for residents and businesses to access our services through digital methods, such as our website and app. This will reduce the need to contact the Council face-to-face through the contact centre, but these options will still be available. It will also make some of our internal processes more efficient and enable staff to be more productive. Overall, this will save in the region of £317,000 after the costs of technology are taken into account.

We have a range of support services that enable the Council to be safe and well-managed. These include areas such as human resources, finance, ICT, legal, transformation, data and support to decision-making and assurance. Overall the budget for this area is £72 million.

Key priorities in this area, particularly as we move forward from COVID-19 are as follows:

PriorityAreas of focus as we recover from COVID-19
Enabling an efficient and empowering Council
  • Delivering a financial recovery programme that addresses how services will be affordable with increased demand and constrained resources
  • Bringing forward plans to embed flexible working across the organisation rather than staff being predominantly based in Council buildings
  • Developing a People Plan to further develop staff across the organisation
  • Developing a dedicated ‘assurance’ function to ensure the Council is supporting decision-making, moving to a more modern way of conducting business and meeting its requirements as a

    well-managed public body.

  • Introducing a further digital first programme to enable more customers to transact with us through the website and apps.


To balance the budget and ensure there is enough money to tackle the priorities set out above, a corporate services review was carried out with further information provided below.

(3.1) Redesigning our support services: In 2019 a review of all support services took place. This took into account:

  • the support needs of the Council
  • the priorities we need to deliver
  • how we can support the organisation to be more enabled through better information, training and processes thus requiring less support
  • reviewing whether we are focusing our support in the areas of greatest risk and reducing support in lower risk areas
  • introducing new technology to improve the efficiency of our internal processes.

All the above will be a combination of efficiencies, but also service reductions. We will have to focus on ‘keeping the Council safe’ but may have less ability to undertake the innovative things, at the same pace as the Council has been able to do in the past. By implementing this review, we believe we could save £1.359m.

(3.2) Reviewing our office accommodation as more staff work from a range of locations: We have existing budget plans to save £250,000 by rationalising office accommodation as more staff work from a range of locations including at home. Linked to this, we believe we can reduce the security costs for our buildings by £230,000. We are also considering much more significant accommodation savings as a significant proportion of our workforce are now working from a range of locations including at home. These proposals are being developed through the remainder of 2020.

(3.3) Reviewing support to the voluntary and community sector: We will review the £3m of financial support we provide to our voluntary and community sector to ensure resources are better targeted, meet local priorities, reduce duplication and, where possible, provide longer term funding commitments. In line with other cost pressures facing the Council, we also want to encourage and support community organisations to identify additional funding sources and to reduce their costs. Overall, this could save an additional £149,000.

(3.4) Getting the best value from our contracts: We currently spend £125 million a year on contracts which are £1 million in value each. These cover vital council responsibilities such as caring for adults, delivering highways, managing buildings, providing support to families, and many other key services. We will review these contracts as they come up for renewal and ask ourselves how we can better target our money to meet local needs. Where possible we will also look at opportunities to secure efficiencies with current contracts. We have several companies which we own and who are contracted to deliver Council services. We will work with these organisations to see if there are opportunities to reduce their costs and increase their income. Overall, we believe this review of key contracts could save £2.2 million.

(3.5) Review of income: We have reviewed all our fees and charges across the organisation to ensure we are recovering our costs in line with current policy. We are also planning to raise additional income through using outdoor space for advertising. In total these proposals will raise additional income in the region of £260,000.

(3.6) Council-wide priorities: The Council has agreed three key issues that require a whole- Council approach. These are mental health, poverty and inequality and the climate emergency. It is proposed that £300,000 is made available per year to drive these forward.

(3.7) Digital transformation: We will build on previous work to make it easier for residents and businesses to access our services through digital methods, such as our website and app. This will reduce the need to contact the Council face-to-face through the contact centre, but these options will still be available. It will also make some of our internal processes more efficient and enable staff to be more productive. Overall, this will save in the region of £317,000 after the costs of technology are taken into account.