That’s about the size of it: 7.1% cuts for each of the next four years.
George Osbourne announced how Public Spending will change in his CSR review this afternoon and Local Government cam off particularly badly.
What will be different in each Local Council will be how the cuts will be implemented to achieve these numbers. Being at SOLACE last week, I noticed CEOs were busy networking; some trying to collaborate with adjacent Councils, some discussing ideas or nurturing proposals founded in prior conversations.
I guess that staff on the front line will get to know about their Council’s “Vision”, “Strategy” and the specific activities that work towards these cuts in due course. Meanwhile, here are a few ideas being tossed around, recounted in true Chatham House Rules fashion:
1. My Highways Department can be outsourced – we simply name the amount the Service provider can spend in each of the next four years.
2. My Highways Department can collaborate with adjacent Highways Departments
3. We are sharing Senior Management and front line services will be protected
4. Mobile working will help us merge several departments into one large Street Scene and Asset Management Department (like they do in Australia)
5. Combine IT systems whilst forcing through the realisation of IT savings (do not accept the IT charge for each department is a fixed price “conversation”)
6. Put IT systems into the cloud and transfer CAPEX to OPEX
7. Don’t buy any IT systems until you have checked if an existing system will “do for now”.
8. Based on proposed reduction in staff numbers, we need to work out beforehand how to deliver services (harsh but certainly being talked about)
9. Core services only (a Mantra of not just a few!)
Love to hear any comments, feedback or what your Authority is planning. (BTW – have you noticed that the Chancellor’s initials are GO – is this encouragement or advice :¬) )