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Savings Programme to Help Council Tackle Funding Crisis

February 21, 2017 10:46 AM

Dave HodgsonBedford Borough Council is set to decide on a new £multi-million savings programme which will make services more accessible and provide over £10million of savings to help fill the shortfall caused by cuts in government funding.

Despite already delivering annual savings of over £90million, further cuts in government funding mean that the Council needs to change the way it works to meet the challenge presented by less money and a growing need for services. The proposals will involve the whole of the Council and provide savings across the board by redesigning the services currently provided by the authority. In particular it is proposed that savings will run alongside opportunities to make more services available online, providing an expected saving of £10million every year while ensuring services are as effective and efficient as possible.

The Council has set up the Bedford Borough 2020 transformation programme to support this new digital approach. If this is approved, the council will undergo a significant organisational restructure over the next three years, starting with senior staff.

The Council has been working to identify the savings and put in place new business-focused ways of working that meet the needs of residents and businesses. This has involved looking at what we do; how we can be more efficient; and more accessible using digital technology. Changes will cover the people, processes and technology used by the Council in order to meet these challenges.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said:

"Due to government funding cuts and the rising need for services we are facing a shortfall of £27.5million a year by 2020 , despite the savings we have already made.

We are addressing this major financial challenge by putting forward a programme that will re-shape the Council based on residents' needs, provide a clear three year financial programme and deliver the savings needed to balance the budget.

We will open up services so that more and more are available to residents 24/7 through digital means, while maintaining phone and in-person contact for those who need it."

The programme will see changes introduced over the next 3 years to 2020. The proposals will be considered at the Executive meeting on the 22nd February.