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Council planning for future

Posted onPosted on 29th Apr

A new report which is set to transform the way Nottinghamshire County Council provides services in the future, will be debated by councillors for the first time next week.

Redefining Your Council is the first step towards a radical overhaul of the way the authority operates and represents one of the most significant changes in the council’s 125-year history.

The report outlines how the council will take a strategic approach to making the changes needed, so that frontline services can be protected as far as possible.

Every part of the council’s operations will be reviewed and affected by the changes in some way. Those services which cost the most to provide will be reviewed first.

It is likely the council will deliver fewer services directly in the future. Some of the council’s functions may be provided by mutual companies, charitable trusts or commissioned from the private or public sector.

Further, closer working arrangements with partners, local communities and the voluntary sector are also likely.

The changes are being considered against the backdrop of the biggest cuts to Government funding for council services in living memory.

Despite already making over £100m in savings over the last three years because of government funding cuts, the council still needs to bridge a further £77m budget gap by 2017/18.

Meanwhile, demand for services has continued to go up. It is predicted that the number of older people aged over-85 in Nottinghamshire will double by 2030 and there will be a 20% increase in the number of adults over-65 with complex disabilities.

The number of children in care increased at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country between 2008 and 2012, going from 455 to 800.

Rather than making changes and savings to individual services, the Redefining your council report proposes a more strategic cross-council approach. It provides a framework for decisions about what services the council provides, to what extent and how.

Coun Alan Rhodes, leader of the council, said: “The council and public services generally is at a crossroads. Carrying on as we are is not an option. It’s a time for us to be proactive and brave about our future direction.

“Redefining the council is not just about saving money, we are viewing this exercise as an opportunity for the council to modernise and create a blueprint for providing relevant, value-for-money services that local people want and need.

“We owe it to the people of Nottinghamshire to be constantly reviewing what we do and how and why we do it. The potential for using technology and different ways of delivering services has never been greater – the world is changing and we need to change with it.”

The public, employees, trade unions, partner organisations and stakeholders will be consulted on the proposals in the draft Redefining Your Council document, subject to approval by Policy Committee on 7th May.

There will be further consultation on any changes proposed to individual services as part of the review.

Service reviews are likely to take place between May and July this year, with any proposals to be considered as part of the 2015/2016 budget setting process.