East Devon District Council pledges to maintain services
PUBLISHED: 17:42 31 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:42 31 December 2017
Leader Paul Diviani says 'innovative approaches' will be used to counter funding cuts
East Devon Council has pledged to continue to provide quality services in 2018 despite further cuts to its funding
In his New Year message Leader Paul Diviani says they will use ‘innovate approaches’ to maintain standards and ‘balance the books’.
He said: “Like all councils, East Devon District Council is feeling the effects of the annual reductions in the Government’s Revenue Support Grant (RSG). The four year financial settlement arrangements mean that EDDC will receive £0.127m in RSG for 2018/19 - a 76 per cent reduction on 2017/18.
“Future grant reductions combined with other budgetary pressures mean that the council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) is currently predicting a budget deficit of £0.735m in 2018/19, rising to £3m by 2020/21 and potentially to £5.4m by 2027/28.
“Despite these increasing financial pressures, EDDC is proud not to have cut front line services. We are determined to avoid the downward spiral of cuts, cuts and more cuts! “Like other councils, we have had to recognise that to keep core service delivery intact, we are increasingly reliant on income generated from business rates, new homes bonus and critically, from income that we generate ourselves. This means developing a more innovative and commercial mind-set in our decision making particularly where it relates to service delivery and the management of our assets.
Our journey has already begun. Guided by the principles and key themes in our Transformation Strategy 2018 – 2028, we are taking a long term view of our finances and the economic context in which we are operating. Our aim is to develop greater financial resilience so that we can safeguard council services both now and in the future.”
Main feature of the The Transformation Strategy approach are:
• WorkSmart – reducing our office accommodation footprint and working more efficiently. This means more mobile and flexible working supported by the right technology in the right place at the right time. The relocation of EDDC from Knowle, Sidmouth to Exmouth Town Hall and Honiton is set to save the Council £6m over the next 20 years.
• Open for business – responding to the increasing number of our residents who wish to transact on-line;
• Systems thinking – ensuring that our services are designed around ‘what matters’ to our customers and communities; cutting out wasteful and costly processes.
• Focus on income generation – ensuring that we are maximising the use of our assets through commercial thinking.
• Active pursuit of alternative service delivery methods and models.
Added Cllr Diviani: “Our ambition is to be an outstanding council, which works together with local people to create great value services and an outstanding community, economy and environment for East Devon, both now and for future generations.
“Everything we do is aimed at making East Devon a place where people want to live and work, as well as a top destination for visitors to come and enjoy.”
“Have a very happy and a prosperous New Year.”