Column: How we will maintain services and make ourselves more efficient and sustainable
Thursday, 1 February 2024
Firstly, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in our Annual Budget Survey in the autumn.
By doing so, you are helping us to make the right decisions on how Nottinghamshire County Council spends its allocated budget, shape how we maintain frontline services and deliver what residents have asked for.
Almost 4,000 people completed the survey, a 59 per cent increase on the previous year – so thank you once again, it really is much appreciated by myself and my colleagues.
As I have said previously, we are acutely aware that residents are experiencing financial pressures and we are doing everything we can to strike the right balance between easing them and continuing vital services for vulnerable residents.
Local authorities are facing significant financial challenges to balance the books against a backdrop of rising costs due to global pressures that have driven up the cost-of-living such as increased inflation and energy costs.
However, we have a proven track record over a significant period in delivering savings while maintaining and delivering high-quality frontline services – and this council continues to be in a relatively strong financial position.
This does not mean we are resting on our laurels, though, and, to ensure we’re offering the best possible value for money, we are looking very carefully at our core functions and services.
We also want to work more closely with our communities, local groups and parish and district/borough councils to get the best value for money, reducing duplication, and playing more of a role in facilitating the work of local groups who are working in some of our key service areas, such as working with young people or vulnerable adults.
By doing this, we can protect key services, be more sustainable, ensure best value as well as focusing our own resources on the communities and services which need them the most.
I am confident of presenting a balanced budget to Full Council in a few weeks’ time, which will set out how we will maintain services and make ourselves more efficient and sustainable in the long-term.
It’s a constant challenge to find the balance but we have a good track record of streamlining and rationalising our building estate to make the efficiencies we need for the year ahead.
Cllr Richard Jackson, Cabinet Member for Finance, Nottinghamshire County Council