'Fundamental changes' needed as council has to save £48m over the next three years

Bournemouth Echo: 'No-one will be immune' from sweeping cuts at Dorset County Council, says leader 'No-one will be immune' from sweeping cuts at Dorset County Council, says leader

‘NO-ONE will be immune’ from the wide sweeping dramatic cuts to be made by Dorset County Council.

That is the powerful warning by council leader Spencer Flower in an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo.

It comes after the shocking news that the county council must save a dramatic £48million over the next three years.

Cllr Flower said that the council needs to ‘squeeze every penny that they can and that he and the council chiefs have ‘absolute responsibility’ to find this money.

“We have to fundamentally change the way we do things,” he said.

“I will do everything in my power to change process, change the layers of bureaucracy and change the way things have always been done before any frontline services are altered.”

In the most stark and fervent language to date, Cllr Flower declared: “I have confidence that we will find these savings.

“It will be our biggest challenge yet but we have got the time to get it right and we will.”

“But just to make it clear this is the most radical and reforming change plan this council has ever experienced and is ever likely to experience again.”

To find out more about Spencer Flower click here

In a hard-hitting meeting three weeks ago, Cllr Flower announced that the local authority, who had already identified £18m in savings, must find an additional £30m by 2016/17.

He issued a strong warning to council officers that their ideas were not ‘brave enough’ and asked them to go back to the drawing board to find a further £30million in savings.

Now, three weeks later an agenda published ahead of the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday identifies £42.4m of savings – which is 90per cent of the £47million required.

Cllr Flower said: “There is still a lot of bureaucracy in council processes and I plan to apply business principles to get the best practice out if the organisation.”

He added: “I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that this could involve jobs being lost - our main cost is payroll and there will be no ‘no go’ areas.”

There is also a planned restructure of the Chief Executive’s office and the corporate services directorate.

The Forward Together Transformation programme plans to transform the council into a ‘radical and reforming organisation’ which will have significantly reduced financial services.

As part of the plan, councillors, council staff and communities are being asked to come together to come up with ways of supporting council services in the future..

Vast savings to be made in Adult and Community services – with at least £12.2million in savings to be made in this one department.

He said that years over ‘over demand’ has put strain on the department and it goes over budget every year due to the fact that it is a demand led service.

He said: “Over 50 per cent of our budget is spent on four per cent of the county’s population in adult social care and that is looking to increase.”

Cllr Flower added that voluntary organisations and support agencies will be consulted in the restructure to increase working together.

A total of £14.6million savings will be made as part of the Whole authority Operating Strategy – which is described as having ‘far reaching’ projects including restructure.

Although Cllr Flower admits the finer detail of these savings has not yet been drawn up he pledged that it will be found.

He said: “I haven’t got the detail at this point but we will be able to tell the public about this in a few months.”

At the moment many of the Dorset councils are sharing services such as the Dorset Waste Partnership and other schemes.

Cllr Flower said this is crucial for the future: “There is really a partnership mood in Dorset and I am very keen on that – why shouldn’t we all work together?”

The cabinet will meet on Wednesday to agree this report.

What departments will be affected?

Childrens’ Services: £2.2million Adult & Community Services: At least £12.2m Public health: £500,000 Environment: £5.5m Panel: How will Dorset look in 10 years?

When asked how Dorset will look in ten years Cllr Spencer said: “in ten years local government will look radically different and in Dorset it will be quite a departure from the past.

“During the next three years I think people will see a change in what the council can deliver which will be quite a departure from the past.”

He added that he would be surprised if in ten years time anyone said that there was any unnecessary process or staff levels in the council.

How will Dorset look in 10 years?

When asked how Dorset will look in ten years Cllr Spencer said: “in ten years local government will look radically different and in Dorset it will be quite a departure from the past.

“During the next three years I think people will see a change in what the council can deliver which will be quite a departure from the past.”

He added that he would be surprised if in ten years time anyone said that there was any unnecessary process or staff levels in the council.

Comments (14)

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11:11am Tue 14 Jan 14

High Treason says...

"‘NO-ONE will be immune’ from the wide sweeping dramatic cuts to be made by Dorset County Council"............
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Excluding the top structure of management.
"‘NO-ONE will be immune’ from the wide sweeping dramatic cuts to be made by Dorset County Council"............ .................... .................... .................... ................ Excluding the top structure of management. High Treason
  • Score: 19

11:21am Tue 14 Jan 14

Baywolf says...

It staggers me they will cut the staff earning less than £20,000 a year but keep those on £48.000 ...you won't see them cooking school dinners or cleaning up human waste .. Why the bottom up and not the top down?
It staggers me they will cut the staff earning less than £20,000 a year but keep those on £48.000 ...you won't see them cooking school dinners or cleaning up human waste .. Why the bottom up and not the top down? Baywolf
  • Score: 20

11:49am Tue 14 Jan 14

muscliffman says...

‘No-one will be immune’ from the wide sweeping dramatic cuts to be made by Dorset County Council. '

Well, yes they will! The fattest cats controlling the process will survive unscathed because they determine who goes and what is cut - and it certainly won't be their own over generous helpings at the publicly funded trough.

We really need any decisions like these to be made outside the Council by an independent body, because the over fed Council turkeys currently in charge will NEVER vote for Christmas Day and the cuts undoubtedly should start at the top end.
‘No-one will be immune’ from the wide sweeping dramatic cuts to be made by Dorset County Council. ' Well, yes they will! The fattest cats controlling the process will survive unscathed because they determine who goes and what is cut - and it certainly won't be their own over generous helpings at the publicly funded trough. We really need any decisions like these to be made outside the Council by an independent body, because the over fed Council turkeys currently in charge will NEVER vote for Christmas Day and the cuts undoubtedly should start at the top end. muscliffman
  • Score: 13

12:07pm Tue 14 Jan 14

skydriver says...

Does that mean there will be a big cut in councillors allowances?
Let's start at the top and work down . Not the other way around .
Does that mean there will be a big cut in councillors allowances? Let's start at the top and work down . Not the other way around . skydriver
  • Score: 5

12:56pm Tue 14 Jan 14

O'Really says...

Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.
Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks. O'Really
  • Score: 5

1:35pm Tue 14 Jan 14

RSI says...

O'Really wrote:
Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.
And this Government continuing to target us with cuts to local councils & therefore cuts in services.
[quote][p][bold]O'Really[/bold] wrote: Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.[/p][/quote]And this Government continuing to target us with cuts to local councils & therefore cuts in services. RSI
  • Score: 2

1:57pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Ophilum says...

I Bet you that the first thing he will do is Put UP the rates, if he was any good he would freeze them for the next few years. UKIP would bring a new set of values to the clapped out council ideas and act for the people instead of the fat cats at the top spouting the same old.
I Bet you that the first thing he will do is Put UP the rates, if he was any good he would freeze them for the next few years. UKIP would bring a new set of values to the clapped out council ideas and act for the people instead of the fat cats at the top spouting the same old. Ophilum
  • Score: -3

2:16pm Tue 14 Jan 14

O'Really says...

RSI wrote:
O'Really wrote:
Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.
And this Government continuing to target us with cuts to local councils & therefore cuts in services.
Indeed.
Privatise profit - socialise losses is their strategy.
[quote][p][bold]RSI[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]O'Really[/bold] wrote: Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.[/p][/quote]And this Government continuing to target us with cuts to local councils & therefore cuts in services.[/p][/quote]Indeed. Privatise profit - socialise losses is their strategy. O'Really
  • Score: 3

3:34pm Tue 14 Jan 14

RSI says...

What happened to the 'spirit of 1945'?
What happened to the 'spirit of 1945'? RSI
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Tue 14 Jan 14

John T says...

O'Really wrote:
Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.
Oh, and try to remember 'we are all in this together', my Old Flower!
[quote][p][bold]O'Really[/bold] wrote: Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.[/p][/quote]Oh, and try to remember 'we are all in this together', my Old Flower! John T
  • Score: 3

4:46pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Dorset Logic says...

John T wrote:
O'Really wrote:
Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.
Oh, and try to remember 'we are all in this together', my Old Flower!
Don't forget the legislation changes over the last 10 - 15 years which allowed them to do it.
[quote][p][bold]John T[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]O'Really[/bold] wrote: Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.[/p][/quote]Oh, and try to remember 'we are all in this together', my Old Flower![/p][/quote]Don't forget the legislation changes over the last 10 - 15 years which allowed them to do it. Dorset Logic
  • Score: -1

9:03pm Tue 14 Jan 14

muscliffman says...

Dorset Logic wrote:
John T wrote:
O'Really wrote:
Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.
Oh, and try to remember 'we are all in this together', my Old Flower!
Don't forget the legislation changes over the last 10 - 15 years which allowed them to do it.
Indeed, and wasn't most of that that under the same Government that poured £billions which didn't really exist into expanding the public sector at every opportunity?
[quote][p][bold]Dorset Logic[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John T[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]O'Really[/bold] wrote: Let us not forget why these cuts are being made - because of the fraudulent and reckless behaviour of the banks.[/p][/quote]Oh, and try to remember 'we are all in this together', my Old Flower![/p][/quote]Don't forget the legislation changes over the last 10 - 15 years which allowed them to do it.[/p][/quote]Indeed, and wasn't most of that that under the same Government that poured £billions which didn't really exist into expanding the public sector at every opportunity? muscliffman
  • Score: -3

9:39pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Frank Spencer says...

Unfortunately this situation really is coming top down - it is the Bullingdon boys up in the big smoke who are responsible. A big cull there would be useful. If you're living on a trust fund you really have no idea of how to run a country and shouldn't be doing so. Time to get some representatives of "everyman" in there who has a grasp on everyday reality. Never mind cutting tax for the 1% you idiots.
Unfortunately this situation really is coming top down - it is the Bullingdon boys up in the big smoke who are responsible. A big cull there would be useful. If you're living on a trust fund you really have no idea of how to run a country and shouldn't be doing so. Time to get some representatives of "everyman" in there who has a grasp on everyday reality. Never mind cutting tax for the 1% you idiots. Frank Spencer
  • Score: 1

2:06am Wed 15 Jan 14

billd766 says...

If I could make a suggestion council leader Spencer Flower sir, why not be daring and lead by example.
You could always resign and suggest that the new leaders salary should be 60% ofthe money you are getting now.
That would certainly save some money.
If I could make a suggestion council leader Spencer Flower sir, why not be daring and lead by example. You could always resign and suggest that the new leaders salary should be 60% ofthe money you are getting now. That would certainly save some money. billd766
  • Score: 1

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