Changes mean savings for taxpayers

CHANGES in management have saved some Suffolk taxpayers £480,000, it was revealed today.Leaders of Suffolk Coastal council say they are now looking at other aspects of the authority's work which could result in up to £830,000 more being saved.

CHANGES in management have saved some Suffolk taxpayers £480,000, it was revealed today.

Leaders of Suffolk Coastal council say they are now looking at other aspects of the authority's work which could result in up to £830,000 more being saved.

Chief executive Tom Griffin and a number of other senior officers have already left the district council since the radical changes were announced.

The council has set up a new streamlined management team and changed a number of its procedures and practices to improve efficiency and cut costs under the project, called Moving Forward Together (MFT).

Council leader Ray Herring said all aspects of the organisation had been examined and now project teams will look in depth at how the council's services are organised and managed to improve the way residents can access services and how the authority communicates with residents and others about them.

Five major reviews are planned of key service areas with the aim of achieving improvements and reduced costs through greater efficiency.

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"A key goal of the MFT initiative has been to release the creativity of our employees, and this second phase will again heavily involve them with councillors in the project groups, backed with external expertise where necessary," he said.

"The management changes that have already been identified will help us save £480,000, and further potential savings of between £550,000 and £830,000 were also highlighted from the first phase.

"We have to achieve real long-term savings but we want to do this in a planned and controlled way.

"Our goal is to ensure that council tax bills are kept to a minimum while protecting the quality of our services. It is a major challenge but it is one that I am confident that we will succeed in meeting.

"The failure of the government to provide the financial support that this district deserves means we have to take action to balance our books and shifting the cost onto council tax bills is something we have never been prepared to do."

Mr Herring said the MFT process aimed to merge the best of business management skills with the council's work of providing quality services.

"The first phase of MFT has given us the framework to press ahead. It has also identified significant efficiencies to help us meet our financial targets while signposting new ways of managing our services. The second phase will put these principles into place," he added.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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