Staff restructure at centre of Bathnes council plans

Bath & North East Somerset Council has published a series of key proposals designed to ensure it continues to meet the financial and social challenges it is currently facing.

The council’s draft Organisational Plan says that identifying savings will become more and more challenging as the current financial squeeze on local authority services is likely to worsen in the next few years. By 2020/21, Revenue Support Grant (RSG) received from central government will have reduced to zero - from £21 million in 2015-16.

The council is hoping to make savings through a staff restructure, with a target of £5.7 million in 2018/19. The report suggests establishing a ‘Bath and North East Somerset Deal’, drawing on work undertaken by a number of authorities which are working with local communities to draw up a series of commitments to help improve their areas.

The draft plan also highlights proposals for addressing challenges through: new ways of working including a move to more online 'digital' services and reduction in office costs; contract savings; increasing income from Heritage Services; managing demand for adult care through new commissioning arrangements; and better prioritisation of services- including the development of a 'core offer' designed to focus on delivery of these priorities.

Tim Warren, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council, along with all similar local authorities, has experienced historically unprecedented reductions in funding. This means we must carefully prioritise what we spend to ensure we continue to support our most vulnerable residents. However, we will also promote the wider well-being of the community so our area continues to attract investment and we can improve life chances for local people. To do this we will continue to work with a wide range of partners and I am particularly pleased to see WECA delivering significant benefits for communities in Bath & North East Somerset, including a very timely investment in our local high streets.”

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