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With the Council needing to bridge a projected £60m+ funding gap over the next five years a new approach to planning has been adopted.

Directors are now compiling five-year business plans that will provide options on how each service intends to transform to meet their individual savings targets for 2019 to 2023, laid down in the Medium Term Financial Plan.

By drafting these longer-term plans, it allows the Council’s strategic vision, objectives and priorities to be translated into operational action plans that will see the Council radically change how it operates over the next five years.

These plans will also highlight what needs to happen in all service areas to achieve significant savings, what resources will be required for delivery, the outputs and outcomes that are anticipated and any other contributory factors such as risks and resource assumptions.

Once completed, the business plans will be presented to elected members in spring 2019. Potential savings options for year one (2019/2020) are due to be noted at the Executive on November 27th before a decision is taken by elected members in February next year.

Bryan Smail, Chief Finance Officer, said: “The business plans are critical to the Council’s transformation, providing each service with a five-year roadmap that will ensure substantial savings can be achieved year-on-year and the Council of the Future programme delivered.

“By taking a longer term view, it also provides an opportunity for the Council to become more strategic in its planning, increase operational efficiencies and clearly highlight the direction the Council needs to take to become more responsive, innovative, trusted and ambitious.

“Each business plan will take into account a range of issues including political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental constraints. They will also look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by each service over the five-year timeframe. They will clearly highlight what the Council is going to do differently - and when - and imbed ways to evaluate the impact changes have had.

“The five-year business plans set a new course for the Council, laying down a clear path to becoming the Council of the Future – one that has less buildings and staff, and delivers fewer services in radically different ways.”