Analysis of Preston Council Budget: Where has money been saved?

Preston City Council have released the details of their new budget proposal, including a proposed rise in council tax by 3.5%.

Yesterday I took a look at what the council intend to spend money on over the next four years, and today I’m going to look at the areas in which they intend to save money. Click on the graph below to compare figures across areas of council savings.

Efficiency and restructures

In 2009/10 the council reduced the workforce by 10% while claiming that “productivity in most areas was maintained or improved”, but admit that in “a small number of cases this has resulted in a reduction in service.

Over the budget period (until 2015/16) this will affect 18 posts, 6 of which are vacant. They will include changes in the Regeneration team, sharing administrative support and reducing the Human Resources team.

Savings: £132,000 in 2012/13, rising to £324,00 in 2013/14 and £364,000 thereafter

Shared services

The council is looking at shared services with other organisations, including Revenues and Benefits services with Lancaster council, and Chorley/South Ribble.

Savings: £35,000 in 2012/13, £115,000 in 2013/14 ongoing

Procurement

Savings made by re-tending the existing contracts concerning insurance and mobile phones.

Savings: £45,000 in 2012/13 ongoing

Post-Guild Restructure

The council has additional staff and resources for the Preston Guild this year, so savings are being made by reorganising various senior management teams

Savings: £240,000 in 2013/14 ongoing

Mayoralty

Preston Council’s proposal is to scale down the support in the Mayor’s office after the Guild. The council propose a full review of Mayoral activities and functions, including hospitality arrangements and the Mayoral car. There are plans to consult with staff, former Mayors and the public.

Savings: £30,000 in 2013/14 ongoing

Bus shelter cleaning

The council have proposed to reduce the frequency of bus shelter cleaning. Currently they’re cleaned 6 times a year, this will be reduced to twice a year.

Savings: £10,000 in 2012/13 ongoing

 

What do you think of the council’s spending proposals? 

Do you think the money has been invested wisely, or should it be distributed elsewhere? 

Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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