"We produced our first Grow, Save, Charge Business Plan in December 2013. It was our response to the significant financial and service challenges ahead and the need to plan for the future with far fewer resources. The process of developing the plan was an inclusive one, involving councillors, managers, residents and businesses. Our starting point was a major spending priorities consultation exercise in the spring and summer of 2013, putting residents and businesses in the driving seat about the tough decisions we faced.
The consultation gave us a clear steer about what residents and businesses would find acceptable. From this we developed a plan under the three headings of Grow, Save, Charge. The plan identified how we would achieve £2.1 million of savings in 2013-15 and a further £1 million in 2015-18 – a big amount for a little district council with a net revenue budget of around £11 million.
In 2015, we took things a step further by integrating our strategy, finances and business plans together in one document, as well as our longer term financial projections. This strengthened the links between what we do, what we spend and our future plans.
Our business plan has ensured that we retain a strong financial position. To date, we have achieved over £4 million of budget reductions through a combination of growing, saving and charging.
With a new council elected in May 2015, the introduction of a new corporate strategy in April 2016 and a potential four year local government finance settlement, now is a good time to refresh the business plan. Our Grow Save Charge Business Plan 2016 – 2021 was adopted by the Council in February 2016.”
Grow is about how we will bring new money into the council and play our role in stimulating the local economy.
Save is about reducing our costs in line with what people feel is acceptable, either by doing things differently or reducing the levels of less valued services.
Charge covers raising income through charging for things people value and selling some of our services to other organisations.
We will update the plan annually and we expect it to change over time as new opportunities and policies emerge.
For further information about commercialism, refer to The Commercial Imperative Report, written by Civica.