Falkirk Council is taking its next major step forward this week towards transforming how the organisation works while addressing its budget deficit of around £60m over the next five years.
New business plans that are being drawn up by the Council are progressing significantly and will set out a vision for how services will look in five years time.
The plans represent a new way of working for the Council with a longer term view of the budget position, combined with a recognition that a major transformation is required.
Across all its services Falkirk Council is expected to find savings in the region of £18m in 2019/20 alone through a combination of changing and modernising services, as well as potential reductions in services and in its workforce.
A wide range of options have been identified by officers and are being put forward to Members for consideration.
No final decisions will be made until the Council sets its budget expected in February 2019.
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “There are some difficult decisions ahead of us, however we are confident our new and more robust approach to budgeting will help us make the right decisions for all our communities. In five years we will be a very different organisation and we need to plan for this.
“We are looking at all aspects of what we do and are carefully looking at the impact any budget saving proposal may have.
“We’re radically changing the way we deliver some services locally as well as changing how we work and making efficiency gains across the board. That said, these alone will not achieve the expected savings of £60m over the next five years.
“Wherever possible we will continue to protect our services to the most vulnerable but we also need to be realistic about what we deliver in the future.”
There were over 2,000 responses to the Council’s budget consultation which closed earlier this month. The findings are still being analysed but over 90% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the Council should look at how savings can be made by better use of its public buildings, such as reviewing opening hours, moving some services or sharing properties with public sector partners and 83% of respondents agree or strongly agree that more services should be provided online to reduce costs.
A copy of the report can be viewed here