Tandridge District Council Press Release 30.1.17
Committee asked to approve a new operating model for the council and property investment fund
Next week’s Resources Committee on 7 February will be asked to agree in principle a new operating model for the district council, along with a new property investment fund. Both initiatives form part of the Council’s financial plan to ensure it becomes self-sufficient as government funding reduces.
The operating model will be introduced as part of the Council’s Customer First project. The report sets out a new structure for the council which is not service based and outlines a future ICT strategy which supports a single customer record. By restructuring the way staff work and automating as many processes as possible, it will be easier for those who can go online to access services themselves, while more time will be available to help more vulnerable customers.
Transformation on the scale envisaged cannot be achieved without significant investment. The estimated cost of the project is around £3.5-£4m over a two to three year period, but it is also estimated to return savings of up to £1.5m a year, every year. In addition some of the savings may be used to enhance current services or provide new ones.
The property investment fund is a new way of investing to generate funding to complement the savings which will be achieved through implementing the Customer First project.
Over the next three years the Council needs to find £1m of savings or new income each year to offset reduced government funding and increased costs. Careful financial planning has led to a balanced budget in 2017/2018, with a recommendation for a £5 increase in council tax (for Band D), which is below the government’s capping threshold.
In 2017/2018 and the following two financial years, the implementation of both these initiatives will help generate the £1m of savings and income needed to balance the budget.
Councillor Martin Fisher, Leader of the Council, said: “These are challenging times for local government and to meet that challenge we need to change the way we work and make the best use of technology to ensure we can continue to deliver the type of services our residents and businesses expect and value.”
“Our financial planning means we are in a really good position to meet the gap left by reduced funding, by becoming more efficient and also looking for new ways to generate income. The government has made it clear that local councils must become self-financing.”