Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s cabinet has taken the next steps to identify government spending cuts of £26.3 million by 2020. These come on top of the £62.43 million of reductions since 2010/11, which has seen over 1,000 job losses and reductions in Council services.
The programme of cuts known as ‘Shaping our Future 3’ will make recommendations on how to deliver services more efficiently and how changes might be made to the way services are provided.
Additionally, there are proposals to increase council tax for the first time in two years, on top of the annual increase to fees and charges and the adult social care levy charged for the first time last year.
A series of community co-production workshops were held across the borough alongside an online survey for people to have their say on the initial proposals. Over 60 people attended the workshops and almost 300 responses were received from the online survey.
Service areas for review are:
Services for 0-25 year olds, which will look at bringing together all early years services across the borough;
Care and health integration, which will explore further working with our care and health partners to deliver reduced costs by providing a more joined-up service;
Community based public health, which will see less services directed at individuals and more support to communities;
Waste and recycling, which will explore how the council can turn waste into a resource and generate income from it;
Street scene, which will look at improving joint working with partners to reduce costs as well asking in house teams to tackle a broader range of tasks;
Customer engagement, which will look at community hubs as a ‘one stop shops’ for a range of services to make better use of our buildings and asking people to do more business with the council online;
Fleet and vehicle procurement, which will look at how many vehicles we need and explore how we can work more closely with partners when using and buying vehicles; and
Sustainable growth strategy which will look at opportunities to grow the local economy as well as attract more visitors through tourism.
Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Councillor Sue Jeffrey, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to feed back to us their views about our services and what they want to see happen in the future.
“The scale of this is unprecedented – the council will have made spending cuts of nearly £90 million by the end of this decade and we have already lost over 1,000 staff.
“The smaller the organisation gets, the harder it is to cut and difficult decisions have to be made. But we will do our best to protect the services that are important to people.
“This means we will be asking more of our residents and communities and putting a new emphasis on driving out social value to benefit everyone. Making the most of our talent and ambition, using local businesses wherever we can, and working with our partners in the public sector to make everything we do as cost effective as possible.
“I am determined that we will continue provide the best possible services to the residents of Redcar and Cleveland despite the difficulties we face.”
The proposals will be developed further before returning to Cabinet in autumn 2016 for approval for implementation as part of the overall budget setting process.