Canterbury City Council
Canterbury City Council implemented efficiency savings and established shared services with neighbouring districts as a response to austerity. When met with further budget pressures, the council implemented a transformation programme that included a managerial redesign, a change to its political structure to improve decision-making, a new system of commissioning and evaluating services, and a focus on income generation.
Since 2010, Fenland DC’s modernisation programme has saved more than £8m while transforming services and maintaining excellent customer and staff satisfaction. Between April 2014 and March 2016, it has delivered staffing efficiencies of £638,750, management efficiencies of £270,000, procurement efficiencies of £292,500, shared service efficiencies of £342,930 and general budget savings of £679,950.
Merton, Sutton and Richmond upon Thames LBCs and Kingston upon Thames RBC – South London Legal Partnership
Council lawyers spent thousands of pounds on printing paper bundles and faced tight deadlines due to the need to courier them to court. A digital solution seemed simple but it was a systemic challenge that required collective action, a developed IT solution, a party willing to lead and a sustainable business case. The South London Legal Partnership has overcome this challenge, bringing together Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton LBCs and Kingston upon Thames RBC, two IT suppliers and a number of London family courts.
Peterborough City Council – energy
Peterborough City Council has embarked on an energy strategy that generates renewable energy, reduces energy consumption, significantly enables regeneration, reduces carbon, achieves financial benefits to the city and makes and saves money. By introducing collective energy provider switching, adopting the Green Deal community fund, developing a scheme that enables free private residential roof solar panels and introducing the Peterborough Energy Tariff for residents in conjunction with partner energy supplier OVO, the council has done much to generate income to support its services, while addressing fuel poverty.
Peterborough City Council – library service
A public consultation on library services revealed that Peterborough’s residents were well-versed in self-service book loans and would value extended opening hours. The council implemented technology that allowed it to extend its opening hours, with core staffed hours and additional hours without staff where residents could access libraries using keycards and check books out through self-service kiosks.
South Hams DC and West Devon BC
In 2014, South Hams and West Devon pioneered a new working model: they turned the traditional approach to providing local services on its head, totally redesigned their services around customers using a new structure of specialists and case managers, put cultural change at the heart of the programme, added new state-of-the-art agile technology and this year achieved savings of 27.7%. All of this was achieved without any reduction in frontline services.
Three Rivers DC
Three Rivers DC implemented an online customer relationship management system when it began charging for green waste collection, to streamline the additional contact with customers this would entail. Resident take-up of the platform has been good and Three Rivers plans to expand it to include other services such as voter registration and children’s leisure activities.
West Oxfordshire, Cotswold and Forest of Dean DCs
The Environmental and Regulatory Services Group is a shared services model owned by the three councils. It provides operational regulatory services including licensing, environmental health, building control and food safety, and deals with environmental crime, emergencies such as flooding, and anti-social behaviour. The councils have developed a resource allocation model to meet service demand and manage risk, which has delivered revenue savings. The implementation of smart working has transformed the way staff work and deliver services.
A word from the award’s sponsor
The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending for Parliament. Our public audit perspective helps Parliament hold government to account and supports the improvement of public services.
Our new powers under the Local Audit and Accountability Act allow us not only to hold central government to account but also to provide advice on value for money to local government. To support this, we work increasingly with local authorities to understand the challenges they face and how they are responding.
Examining efficiency and effectiveness in government is a key focus for the NAO’s work, and so we are pleased to sponsor the Efficiency category of the LGC Awards.
Cliff Dalton, head of local government and transformation, Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy
Frances Foster, director of finance, assets and information services, Barnsley MBC
Aileen Murphie, director for local government, National Audit Office
Paul Najsarek, chief executive, Ealing LBC
Jo Negrini, chief executive, Croydon LBC