Dundee City Council to find £28m in savings in two years

Dundee City CouncilDundee City Council has revealed it will have to find £28 million of savings over the next two years as a result of the UK government’s spending review.

The updated figure is revealed in a new report to go before councillors at the end of the month.

The outcome of the Westminster government’s spending review will be announced next month, with the Scottish Government then expected to make a budget announcement in late December or early January.

Earlier this week the local authority unveiled plans to invest £64m in a housebuilding programme which will see over 600 new homes built over the next five years, though this will be paid for in part by a 1-2 per cent increase in rents.

Councillor Willie Sawers, finance spokesperson, said: “There is no way to get over the fact that having to reduce spending by this level is a daunting prospect.

“It will mean things will not be the same and that we will have some difficult decisions to make, but I can say that our commitment to jobs, people and fairness will not waver.

“I am reassured by the fact that we had anticipated the need to make savings of this magnitude and have been working hard over recent months to come up with a set of proposals which will do that.

The report by executive director of corporate services Marjory Stewart estimates the cost of continuing to provide the current level of council services taking in to account inflation, technical budget adjustments and other cost pressures.

Since 2010, the council has delivered savings and efficiencies of £51m. A significant proportion of these have been achieved through the first three phases of the council’s efficiency programme, Changing for the Future. A fourth phase is planned to make the changes needed to deliver the latest £28m of savings.

Cllr Sawers added: “As we move into this next phase of far-reaching changes, we will have to make tough decisions on how to plan and deliver services that meet the needs of local communities and maintain our commitment to key priorities.

“Our focus is on minimising the effect that spending less will have on local communities.”

The fourth phase of the Changing for the Future programme looks at how the council:

makes the best use of its assets and efficiently maintains and operates them; innovates and re-designs services to provide them in the most effective way, makes best use of its spending power and maximises the use of new technologies; and aligns its services to best meet the needs of citizens while developing a flexible and sustainable workforce to deliver its services.

A series of projects to deliver these changes is already underway and includes a restructure of senior management and service delivery, managing the school estate and rationalising the council’s property.

Cllr Sawers concluded: “It would be absolutely impossible to deliver the scale of change we need as part of our day to day business, so we will have to move quickly and effectively but I am sure that we will meet this formidable challenge.”


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