Why do we need to change the status quo?
West Somerset District Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council have shared a Chief Executive, management team and workforce since 2013. This has saved £1.8m a year. However, we cannot afford to simply stop at driving efficiency savings by joining up our management and services, we must go on to challenge how we deliver services in the future as well. We need to change and we need to save money. For West Somerset, there is a pressing need to do this to retain financial viability. For Taunton Deane, we need to do this to allow us to continue to invest in our growth ambitions.
There are huge pressures on local government budgets, not just locally but across the country. With central government funding being phased out, councils will have to be “self-financing” and not reliant on Government support.
The predicted “budget gaps” for the councils by 2020/21 are £2.5m for Taunton Deane and £1.2m for West Somerset.
If we don’t change, essential services to our communities and plans for housing and jobs in our area will be put at risk.
“Doing nothing” is not an option, it’s essential that we make changes now and make the best use of our resources so that we can continue to provide effective and efficient services to our communities.