What's proposed for 2018/2019?
This autumn, as we start to think about budgets for spring 2018, we are coming back to you with a set of new savings proposals and want your views. We must look at what the proposed changes will mean for everyone in County Durham and we would also like to hear your ideas.
Over the last six years we have faced one of the greatest financial challenges in our history and will, by March 2018, have had to save more than £200 million.
We need to continue to make savings next year, to find new ways of working to transform our services and respond to people's needs. Each year it becomes harder to find savings that do not affect frontline services.
Our budget - the current picture
Since 2011 we have:
- £209 million savings have been made.
- Government funding has been cut by 50%.
- We have 2,600 fewer posts.
What more is needed?
- Savings still needed to achieve the 2022 target: £37 million
- To balance the budget in 2018/19: £15.3million
Overview of key proposals for making savings in 2018/2019
Each year it becomes harder to find savings that do not affect frontline services. This autumn, as we start to think about budgets for spring 2018, we are coming back to you with a set of new savings proposals and want your views. We must look at what the proposed changes will mean for everyone in County Durham and we would also like to hear your ideas.
The key proposals for 2018/19 include:
Continue to realise savings already agreed
As a result of earlier decisions, we will save £2.7 million through:
- Consistent use of criteria for adults who need social care services.
- Finding new ways to deliver the adult care services that are presently provided directly by the council.
- Increasing charges for adult care provision to bring the council in line with other councils.
Continue to reduce management and back office posts, accommodation costs, supplies and services and review our working arrangements to achieve efficiencies
This will save nearly £7.2 million and includes:
- Service reviews across the whole council including management and back office functions.
- Reducing non-staffing budgets including supplies and services.
- Reducing the costs of maintaining and running council buildings and vehicles.
- Bringing back office functions together into single teams to achieve savings.
Continue to find new ways of working and generating income including more effective commissioning of services, investing in changes that will reduce our future expenditure and focusing on priority service users
This will save nearly £4.9 million and includes:
- Applying government guidance to assess charging contributions for new users of non-residential adult services e.g. home and day care.
- Accessing new sources of funding to continue provision of community based non-residential adult social care.
- Redesigning childrens' services to focus on early help to tackle child poverty.
- Redesigning school and education support services to ensure highly effective coverage of statutory requirements whilst also raising income through provision of services to other areas.
- Carrying out our annual review of fees and charges across all services.
- Reviewing culture and sport functions to maintain the support to our existing, well-used core services and reducing investment in developing new initiatives.
- Investing in new equipment in leisure facilities to reduce ongoing costs.
- Reducing management and administration costs and increasing income from a range of neighbourhood services including burial and crematorium, expansion of commercial pest control, opt-in waste services, greater enforcement activity and new powers relating to littering and dog fouling offences.
- Raising income from specialist young peoples' services.
Use £0.5 million of our reserves to delay making some savings to give us more time to work with service users and the community to develop future proposals.
Budget report in detail
You can read the budget proposals in detail at: Cabinet agenda and minutes 18 October 2017