Posted: Thu 30th Jun 2016

Cabinet Decided To Accept A Range Of Options To Redesign The Council’s Technical Services

This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 30th, 2016

In a meeting on 28 June, Cabinet decided to accept a range of options to redesign the Council’s Technical Services in order to achieve necessary budget savings for the authority. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A scoping exercise was carried out to explore options to reach the budget saving targets as outlined in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan. The results of that exercise indicated a yield of possible savings in the region of £2.7 – £4.7 million by redesigning Technical Services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Staff and unions have been consulted in relation to this plan, and it has also been subjected to thorough scrutiny by Members in two meetings of the Thriving Communities committee on 27 April and 18 May. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Committee recommended to remove elements from the original plan that related to the externalisation of refuse collection, transport and fleet management and parking services. Cabinet supported the recommendation, and made the decision not to proceed with these particular options and asked for business cases to be prepared that will realise the necessary savings in addition to a further review of the parking service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This redesign forms part of the Council’s wider ongoing business transformation programme, which has achieved £34 million of budget savings over the last four years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Additional budget savings of £8.6 million will have to be found for this year alone (2016/17), while similar substantial cuts will also have to be made over the next few years to meet the shortfall in funding. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The service redesign focuses on five key elements which are interlinked: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rationalise management: The service will need to introduce a new management
structure to oversee the running of its new operating model, as far as the implementation of the redesign allows. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Corporatise Customer Services: To bring customer contact functions together within a single corporate contact centre, and to invest in providing more online services. This will reduce the requirements on Technical Services to field customer enquiries and simplify contact arrangements for the public. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Merge teams: The new operating model would enable the service to merge teams. Staff will be given three months to put forward an upcoming projects work programme which realises the savings and secures future funding for the service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Technology and Data: Implementing new computer software technology to make the work of the Council more efficient. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Reduce standards: The Council has the opportunity to review its service standards in relation to both Street Cleaning and Parks and Gardens functions. Street cleaning functions will continue during the summer months, but will be more limited during the winter when demand is less. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cabinet Member for Waste and Carbon Management, Councillor Alun Williams, said: “In keeping with all local authorities across the country, Ceredigion is subject to huge budget cuts imposed from central government. The scale of these is such that no area of the Council’s work can be immune. Our role is to try to manage our budget whilst absolutely minimising the effect on public services.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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