28/02/2011 - Permalink

Plans are approved for a new style of council in Shropshire

Related topics: Democracy

Shropshire Council has now set its financial plans for the next three years
(2011 – 2014). These reduce spending by the council by £80 million, while protecting essential frontline services for local people. This will involve a total transformation of how the council works and how services will be run in the future.

The council has already identified half the savings which are needed for this year and has now confirmed how it will find the remainder.

Based on feedback from local people during months of public consultation, the council has kept its promises to tackle waste, bureaucracy and management costs as its first priorities for cuts. As part of this approach, one in five management posts are to go (with one in three senior managers being cut), saving over £4 million
a year.

A similar amount is to be found from proposals to change the terms and conditions of employment of council staff. This will protect those frontline jobs which are involved directly in providing essential support services to local people, and avoid
costly redundancies.

In particular, funding for services for those who are most vulnerable, or at risk of harm, is a top priority. Support for local businesses to create jobs and prosperity in Shropshire has also been protected.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Keith Barrow, said of these changes:

“We have already made significant steps to transform Shropshire Council, but have now set out a clear path for more innovative ways to run local services in a few years’ time. This will mean that we can continue to offer a wide range of good quality services, while keeping our costs low.

“There will be no council tax increases in Shropshire over the next two years and, in 2013, council tax will go down to the lowest level in Shropshire.

“Now is the time for fundamental change, time to make that shift, time to focus on empowering our towns and villages to help shape the future of Shropshire. I cannot understate the size of the journey we have in front of us, nor the hurdles that we will encounter along the way. But by careful planning, close working with our partners, and adopting new, innovative ways of working, I am sure that, together, we can continue to provide good-quality services that improve significantly the quality of life for Shropshire people.”