Dorset County Council to slash more services and outsource work to find another £30million savings (From Bournemouth Echo)
When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Dorset County Council to slash more services and outsource work to find another £30million savings
DORSET County Council looks set to slash more services and move to outsourcing work as part of a radical plan to find another £30million worth of savings over the next three years.
The move will see the council stripping back and focussing on priorities as it gets to grip with further cuts in public spending.
Reductions in government funding means the money DCC has to spend on services is being slashed by 43 per cent over six years.
The authority had been facing a £48million shortfall by 2016/17 – but savings of £18 million have been identified through a series of agreed projects. But it still leaves a £30million hole.
This comes on top of more than £60million which has already been trimmed from budgets over the last three years and seen the loss of 710 full time equivalent posts.
The process to close the gap further, which is likely to result in further job losses, will see DCC examining the main areas of work it does and prioritising needs while also looking at which services can be changed, provided differently, stopped altogether or outsourced.
The possibility of outsourcing services has come under fire from unions and councillors who fear the quality of service will diminish.
Achieving further savings is mapped out in a programme called Forward Together which DCC leader Spencer Flower described as the ‘most radical reform programme’ the council has faced.
He said it involved examining how the council delivers services and investigating how they can be provided in a different way on a reduced budget.
An update on Forward Together will be reported to Cabinet next Wednesday.
The report says the ‘largest risk’ is that even with cost-saving measures in place, more savings are needed.
Projects have been agreed in children’s services, adult and community services, the environment directorate and corporate resources that will make up £18m of the £48m shortfall, with £30m still to find.
Budget summaries reveal the shortfall for the coming year is more than £2m while there is a further £8.5m to be found in 2015/16 and more than £19m the following year.
What the report says...
THE report states: “There is a need for the Forward Together Board to identify at its first meeting in 2014 the priority areas of work that the council will undertake.
This needs to identify the main outcomes that the council will deliver over the next three years, whilst realising the additional £30m of savings.”
It adds: “Once the Forward Together Board has agreed the main areas of work this will form a three-year transformation plan that will deliver the required £30m savings.
“If the £30m cannot be identified and delivered then scaling would have to be imposed through budget setting. There are inherent risks to service delivery with this fall back position.”
Comments are closed on this article.