More ways for DCC to slash a third of its budget

Unedited press release from Derbyshire County Council
Latest proposals to reduce services have been outlined by Derbyshire County Council as it prepares to enter the seventh year of Government austerity cuts to local council budgets.
Cabinet members will meet next Tuesday (26 January) to propose how the council might make cuts of almost £70m over the next two years including:
• Carrying out a review of children’s centres which could result in the closure of up to 32
• Reducing funding for community transport services from July 2016 and using the council’s reserves for Dial-a-Bus and Active Travel in the short term while proposals for a new ‘demand responsive’ transport service are consulted on and considered
• Cutting the money available for home to school transport for pupils over 16 with learning difficulties or disabilities, under-fives and some eight to 11 year olds


• Restructuring staffing in the countryside service and looking at alternative ways of running Hayfield and Tapton Lock Visitors Centres
• Reducing the money available for Aiming High short breaks for disabled children and young people with a further proposal to consult on cutting all funding for these breaks from October 2016.
 
The proposals are on top of £170m of cuts the council has already made to services since 2010 and many of them will be subject to public consultation.
 
Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Anne Western said: “Alongside councils up and down the country, we are facing the seventh year of the Government’s austerity cuts – and the cuts are now biting very deeply.
 
“We’ve done everything we can to keep services running while our budgets are cut back year-on-year. We’ve put our own house in order by selling off land and buildings, reducing back office costs and significantly cutting the number of senior managers.
 
“We’re not just sitting back and accepting the situation – our top priorities are to examine every penny we spend and find new, cheaper and more innovative ways of doing things.
 
“And we’re looking at new ways of generating income by setting up a publicly-owned development company to keep investment money in Derbyshire, and solar farms to create and sell our own electricity.
 
“A devolution deal with Government – which we are in the late stage of negotiating – would help us to work with other local councils to do things better and faster together.
 
“All these things will put us more in control of what Derbyshire people want to see happen in the future and less reliant on Government money, which can only be a good thing.
“Despite all of this, it isn’t enough to wipe out the cuts – I’m afraid dealing with cuts on this scale isn’t simply about a bit of budget trimming and doing things even more efficiently.
“The harsh reality is that by 2020 the funding we get from Government will be more than a third lower than the amount we would need to provide services to the same level as in 2010 - so it’s inevitable that more and more people will see changes to the services they use.”
 
She added: “Cutting services is the last thing anyone involved in local government wants to do – these are quality services that have taken years to build up, run by skilled and dedicated staff and valued and relied upon by local people.
 
“But we simply have no choice. If we don’t balance our books then the Government would take over.”
 
Council Tax
Further plans to balance the books will also be considered at the meeting including setting the authority’s annual budget for 2016/17 at £483 million and generating £10.6 million to help deal with the shortfall by asking residents to pay an extra 3.99% in council tax.
This year councils with responsibility for providing adult care services were for the first time given Government permission to raise council tax by up to 2% in addition to the maximum 2% ordinarily permitted.
A 3.99% increase in council tax would mean an increase of £34.77 a year – or 67p a week – for a Band B property. Most homes in Derbyshire are Band A or B.
In Derbyshire the extra 2% for adult care would raise £5m a year but this would only partially protect services as the council is facing a £13m adult care cut this year.
The council is considering the 2% charge specifically to help pay for the following adult social care-related services:
    •    Voluntary and community groups that provide the most benefit in helping older and vulnerable people to live safely and well in their own homes without relying on social care services
    •    Protecting the council’s home care service which provides support to people at home so they can stay living independently for as long as possible. This service can help to reduce or prevent hospital admissions and also speed up hospital discharges
    •    Services that support people with dementia and their carers
    •    More use of assistive technology and specialist equipment, for example pressure pads and alarms
    •    Support services for younger adults with mental health issues and learning disabilities to help them live independently, prepare for independent living or a move to supported accommodation and help them learn new skills including support into employment where appropriate.
In November last year the county council asked residents whether they thought council tax should increase to help deal with the cuts. 852 people responded and 46% said council tax should increase by 4% or more.

Councillor Western said: “We’d prefer not to raise council tax but we feel we have no choice other than to consider it because the funding we get from Government is being rapidly cut and the Government has made it clear that raising council tax is what it expects us to do.
“While the extra 2% for social care services would help to protect some services for elderly and vulnerable people, it would bring in much less than half the amount we would need to stop any cuts to adult social services this year.”
Have your say
Local people will get the chance to have their say about many of the proposals and all comments will be taken into account before any decisions are made.
Thousands of residents have already commented on earlier proposals to cut services and their views helped the council to make difficult decisions.
Visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/budget2016 to find out more.
Cabinet will be asked to recommend setting the budget and Five Year Financial Plan to full Council which will meet to consider the reports on 10 February 2016.

A series of briefing sheets have been attached to this email to give more information about some of the proposed cuts and consultations: 
• Aiming High 
• Children’s Centres 
• Public and Community Transport 
• Countryside and Rights of Way 
• School Transport for Disabled Pupils 

Here is a full list of agreed and proposed cuts up to 2020: 

Budget cuts and savings proposals identified to date 2016 – 2020

Proposals for 2016/17 

Adult Care 2016/17 - £10.590m including: 
• Supported Living Schemes - £272,000 
The county council is continuing with assessments across all its supported living schemes for people with learning disabilities, resulting in savings as some people’s care packages are reduced to match the level of support they need. All assessments were carried out with the goal of ensuring people are still able to live safely and independently. (No additional consultation of Cabinet approval anticipated). 

• Direct Care Establishments (including residential care homes) - £1.372m 
In November 2015 Cabinet approved the closure of four homes for older people, a small unit for people with learning disabilities and respite beds at a centre for older people. These closures will take place during this financial year. 

• Reduction of Grants to the Voluntary Sector - £1.134m 
The county council is reviewing the grants it gives to make sure they are being used towards meeting the priorities set out by adult care. It is anticipated that this review will result in savings. The reviews are subject to consultation and Cabinet approval. 

• Housing-Related Support – up to £5.092m 
Reduce funding for housing-related support services over two years. These services help vulnerable people to set up and maintain a home where they can live safely and well. Support services include helping people manage their finances, pay bills, better manage their health including drug and alcohol addictions, keep safe and develop links with the community. This cut was agreed in 2014-15. 

• Block Care Contracts - £400,000 
Reviews are continuing with providers of services to make sure the council is only paying for services that are being delivered and ensuring all services are delivered as efficiently as possible. This is resulting in reduced payments for some services. This cut was agreed in 2014-15. (No additional consultation or Cabinet approval anticipated). 

• Increased Client Contributions (co-funding) - £387,000 
Raise the amount people pay for council care and support to live at home was agreed by Cabinet in July 2014. This change included all clients with more than £50,000 in savings being required to pay for 100% of the cost of their care. 

• Staffing - £778,000 
A number of restructures and reductions in the number of people which reflect the reductions in frontline services are being proposed with some already at the implementation stage, in line with corporate policies and consultation. 

• Fair Access to Care Services - £305,000 
In June 2014 Cabinet agreed to raise the level at which adults qualify for council care from `higher moderate’ to `substantial’ level. The council is continuing reviews of people’s funding arrangements to ensure fairness and equity. 

• Prevention - £850,000 
An increase in the use of assistive technology, equipment and staff training to increase people’s independence will reduce the costs of care. 

Children’s Services 2016/17 - £9.390m including: 
• Support Service Costs – £449,000 
Reduce general business support and specialised back office functions in line with reductions in front line services. 

• Early Help – £6.332m 
Following a review of children’s centres the authority will consider closing up to 32 of them. Schools will be asked to jointly invest and help deliver early help services which will provide targeted support to families that need it most. 

• Looked After Children - £500,000 
Work with families to reduce the numbers of teenagers coming in to care and helping those who can to return home. Cutting the use of external placements will reduce costs. 

• Other safeguarding - £225,000 
Savings in foster carers’ ICT and the legal costs associated with care proceedings. 

• Home to school transport - £625,000 
Phased removal of the authority’s transport subsidy for early years pupils and those in post-16 education with special educational needs. 

• Disabled Children’s Services - £730,000 
Review the support offered to disabled children through the Derbyshire Aiming High Offer with the introduction of assessments to ensure those with the highest need receive the help they need. A separate paper will go to Cabinet looking at the Aiming High budget in more detail. 

• Outdoor Education - £319,000 
Increase income from the council’s outdoor education activities and facilities and reducing costs. 

• Childcare - £110,000 
Review support available to young families to reduce the amount spent on developing and maintaining early years provision. 

• Support for Inclusion - £100,000 
Reduce some support services to schools. 


Chief Executives 2016/17 - £425,000 including: 
• Staffing - £143,000 
Employ less people in Communications, Call Derbyshire, Policy and Research and secretarial teams. This would be achieved by not replacing people when they leave. 

• Publications and publicity - £105,000 
Spend less on printed publications and publicity including Your Derbyshire. 

• Running expenses and voluntary organisations - £177,000 
Reduce general running costs and grants to voluntary organisations 

Corporate Resources 2016/17 - £3.043m including: 
• Administration and employee savings - £1.007m 
Employ fewer people in HR, finance, property and legal services, mainly achieved by not replacing people who leave, but we may need to re-organise some services. Saving money by better use of IT in courts, cutting the budget for staff training and reducing postage costs by using a bulk mailing service. 

• Additional income - £396,000 
Generate income by charging more for our registration services and increase charges for some areas of legal work. 

• IT budget - £870,000 
Reduce the amount we spend on new IT projects and systems and spend less on maintaining our current IT systems 

• Procurement savings £445,000 
As contracts for telecommunications and our IT network come up for renewal we will make savings by buying these services for less money.

• Insurance reductions £325,000 
This money will be saved by accepting a higher level of insurance risk which will lower our insurance premiums. 

Health and Communities 2016/17 - £1.250m including: 
• Departmental reduction in management and non-staffing budgets – £600,000 
Reduce management and back-office staffing budgets which would impact on the support provided to frontline services. Disband the Health and Communities department and merge into two other departments resulting in a reduction of senior management and support services staff. 

• Libraries materials fund - £185,000 
Reduce the budget spent on books and other library loan materials. This would result in a significant reduction in the range of materials available from libraries and also a reduction in the availability of internet resources available such as e-books and electronic reference titles. 

• Libraries and heritage restructure and reduced arts grants - £290,000 
Restructure sections of the libraries and heritage service and reduce grants to arts groups. This will result in reduced staffing levels which will impact directly on the support available to library users and fewer community arts programmes. 

• Community safety project fund – £85,000 
Reduce the community safety project fund budget which would impact on work with communities to tackle anti-social and criminal behaviour. 

• Trading standards restructure - £35,000 
Restructure how the Trusted Trader scheme is administered and possibly increase the membership fee. 

• Community safety staffing reorganisation – £30,000 
The proposal is not to fill a vacant post. 

• Emergency planning staffing review – £25,000 
The proposal is not to fill a vacant post. 


Economy, Transport and Environment 2016/17 - £6.110m including: 
• Community Transport - £860,000 
Reducing funding for community transport services from August 2016 following a consultation last year. Cabinet will be asked to approve this cut on 26 January. A further proposal has been drawn-up to introduce a new ‘demand responsive’ service in place of community transport and bus services paid for by the council and run by bus operators on its behalf. The earliest new arrangements could be in place is October 2017. 

• Local bus services - £1.5m 
Introduce a new ‘demand responsive’ service from in place of community transport and bus services paid for by the council and run by bus operators on its behalf. The earliest new arrangements could be in place is October 2017. The council is using funds from reserves to continue with most of the existing bus services it pays for until 2017. 

• Countryside Service - £307,000 
Restructure the service and concentrate resources on those centres that are most used, Elvaston, Shipley, Middleton Top and High Peak Junction. The proposal is to close visitor centres at Hayfield and Tapton Lock unless alternative operators can be found. 

• Staff budget reductions - £1.333m 
Reduce staff numbers in the department by up to 60 posts, achieved mainly by not replacing people when they leave, staff reorganisations, and maximising income to pay for staff costs. 

• Street Lighting - £390,000 
Convert street lights with LED fittings which will save energy and maintenance costs. 

• Highway Maintenance - £1.500m 
Spend less on routine highways maintenance while trying to keep roads in good condition. The council had already decided to invest £23m over three years on re-surfacing many hundreds of miles of the county’s roads. This aims to stop potholes developing in the first place. It is also looking at working in more efficient ways. 

• World Heritage Site - £60,000 
Review the way World Heritage site services are run. 

• Road safety - £60,000 
Review the way some road safety schemes are funded and use money from reserves to continue to pay for some schemes. 

• Vehicles - £100,000 
Sell some council vehicles used to deliver services such as maintaining street lights and roads. 


Proposals for 2017/18 
Adult Care 2017-18 - £7.718m including: 
• Transport Policy - £1m 
Cabinet already agreed a transport policy for adult care, and as part of this the council will re-procure the fleet, which it leases, to make sure it is using the right type and size of vehicle to meet the needs of clients. A consultation before any change is agreed is anticipated. 

• Cut Grants To Voluntary Sector Organisations - £1.134m 
Review grants to make sure they meet the council’s adult care priorities. The reviews will be subject to consultation and Cabinet approval. 

• Consolidate Block Contracts - £400,000 
Continue review to make sure the council only pays for services that are being delivered and that all services are delivered as efficiently as possible. This is resulting in reduced payments for some services. This cut was agreed in 2014-15. (No additional consultation or Cabinet approval anticipated). 

• Increase Client Contributions (co-funding) - £129,000 
Increase the amount people pay for council care and support to live at home. This was agreed by Cabinet in July 2014. This change included all clients with more than £50,000 in savings being required to pay for 100% of the cost of their care. 

• Review of Section 117 Cases (aftercare after a Mental Health Act section) - £250,000 
People who have been in hospital under certain sections of the Mental Health Act are entitled to free aftercare when they are discharged, as they must live in allocated accommodation, and receive support. This proposal is to review everyone currently living under a Section 117 to check the care and support they receive is still appropriate or whether they could live safely and well with alternative or reduced support and services. 

• Address Double Handling - £500,000 
Double handling is the term used when two care staff care for a client at any one time. This is appropriate in situations where, for example, a client needs moving or lifting. We are reviewing our policy and procedures on double handling, as two care staff may not always be needed in certain circumstances. When we have reviewed our policy we will carry out a client review to make sure double handing is only used where it is needed. We will also look to make better use of moving, lifting and handling equipment to keep staff and clients safe. 

• Staffing reductions - £955,000 
A number of restructures and reductions on staff numbers at all levels to reflect the reductions in frontline services are proposed up to 2020, with some already at the implementation stage. These changes are in line with corporate policies and consultation. 

• Increased use of assistive technology - £650,000 
A range of equipment is available for people who need extra support to live at home – such as alarms and pressure pads – called assistive technology. This proposal is to review the range of equipment and how it is provided to increase the independence of clients and help to support them at home, which may result in them needing fewer services and therefore budget savings. 

• Reduce Spend on Learning Disability Services to East Midlands Average – £2m 
The county council currently spends more than many other local authorities on services, support and care, including residential and day services, for people with learning disabilities. The proposal is to review this spend and look at ways of reducing it, while ensuring people can still live independently, safely and well. 

• Demand Management - £200,000 
Currently a high proportion of people who contact or are referred to adult care become clients. The proposal is to review the council’s approach and look at further ways of promoting people’s independence and improving the ways the council signposts people to other services and support in their communities. This will include more targeted information and increasing support to carers. 

• Revised Client Contributions - £500,000 
It was agreed in July 2014 to raise the amount people pay for council care and support to live at home. The rise is being introduced in phases and this will be the saving on the phased increase for 2017/18. 

Children’s Services 2017/18 - £3.771m including: 
• Support Service Costs – £447,000 
Further reductions in back office support. 

• Looked After Children - £750,000 
Helping children remain with their families to reduce costs. 

• Other safeguarding - £125,000 
Further reductions in the costs of legal proceedings.

• Home to school transport - £1.050m 
Phased removal of the authority’s transport subsidy for early years pupils and those in post-16 education with special educational needs.

• Disabled Children’s Services - £530,000 
Savings made if changes to the support offered to disabled children through the Aiming High Offer are agreed by Cabinet. 

• Support for children with special educational needs - £324,000 
Impact of the review to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of SEND services. 

• Outdoor Education - £149,000 
Further reductions in the net cost of the service through reduced costs and/or increased income. 

• Childcare - £110,000 
Full year impact of the changes due to be agreed in 2016-17. 

• Services for teenagers - £107,000 
Reductions in the net cost of services provided to teenagers, including making some services, such as the Donut Arts Centre, self-financing. 

• Joint Use - £34,000 
Reduction in the financial support for joint use provision which supports increased participation in sport. 

• Education Welfare - £25,000 
Reduction in the net cost of the service through increased income from charges and/or cost savings. 

• School Improvement - £120,000 
Increasing income from trading with schools and academies. 

Chief Executives 2017-18 - £197,000 including: 
• Staffing - £41,000 
See 2016/17. 

• Publications and publicity - £80,000 
See 2016/17. 

• Running expenses and voluntary organisation - £76,000 
See 2016/17. 

Corporate Resources 2017-18 - £2.845m including: 
• Administration and employee savings - £1.032m 
Employ fewer people in HR, finance, transformation, property and legal services mainly through not replacing those who leave, but we will need to carry out restructuring to make the most of our reducing resources. 

• Additional income - £120,000 
See 2016/17. 

• IT budget - £200,000 
Reduce the amount spent on new IT projects and systems and spend less on maintaining current IT systems. 

• Procurement savings £255,000 
Savings from effective re-procurement of our IT network and coroner’s service contracts. 

• Reduction in property running costs and maintenance £1.238m 
This would lead to a move to reactive rather than planned maintenance and an overall deterioration in the condition of council buildings, such as offices, libraries, homes for older people and children’s centres. 

Health and Communities 2017-18 - £626,000m including: 
• Library service - £330,000 
Further review of library services 

• Arts and archives - £109,000 
Further review of arts and archive services 

• Community safety staffing reorganisation - £137,000 
Review of the staffing structure, projects and support provided 

• Derbyshire Sport - £50,000 
Proposal to withdraw annual funding to the Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) – part of the Derbyshire Sport partnership. 
DIS was set up following the Olympic Games in 2012 to help talented local athletes achieve national and international success and boost the county’s reputation. 

Economy, Transport and Environment 2017-18 - £4.858m including: 
• Gold Card - £500,000 
Spend less on Gold Card because fewer bus journeys will be made by Gold Card holders. 

• Countryside Service - £399,000 
See 2016/17 

• Staff budget reductions - £1.334m 
Reduce staff numbers in the department by up to 60 posts mainly by not replacing people when they leave, staff reorganisations, and maximising income to pay for staff costs. 

• Highway Maintenance - £1.650m 
Spend less on routine highways maintenance but to try to keep our roads in good condition. Cabinet already decided to invest £23m over three years on re-surfacing many hundreds of miles of the county’s roads. This will stop potholes developing in the first place. The county council is also looking at working in more efficient ways. 

• Street Lighting - £760,000 
The proposal is to save £650,000 by converting street lights to LED fittings and a further £110,000 by turning off street lights on roads the council is not responsible for. We will help residents on these roads to find alternative ways of lighting their streets. 

• Parking services - £90,000 
Introduce more efficient ways of managing the parking enforcement service. 

• Parking schemes - £25,000 
Manage residents parking schemes more efficiently to save money. 

• Vehicles - £100,000 
Review the way the council uses its vehicles to deliver services such as the countryside service, street lighting and road maintenance and sell vehicles it can manage without. 

Proposals for 2018/19 
Adult Care 2018-19 - £7.025m including: 
• Consolidate Block Contracts - £400,000 
See 2017/18. 

• Staffing reductions - £1.125m 
See 2017/18. 

• Increased use of assistive technology - £1.5m 
See 2017/18. 

• Reduce Spend on Learning Disability Services to East Midlands Average – £4m 
See 2017/18. 

Children’s Services 2018/19 - £2.363m including: 
• Support Service Costs – £559,000 
Further reductions in back office support. 

• Looked After Children - £750,000 
Further savings by reducing the numbers of children entering care.

• Home to school transport - £625,000 
Removal of the authority’s transport subsidy for early years pupils and those in post-16 education with special educational needs. 

• Outdoor Education - £297,000 
Further reductions through reduced costs and/or increased income. 

• Services for teenagers - £107,000 
Reductions in services provided to teenagers. 

• Education Welfare - £25,000 
Increasing income from charges and/or cost savings. 

Corporate Resources 2018-19 – £3.121m including: 
• Administration and employee savings - £443,000 
Employ fewer people in HR, finance, transformation, property and legal services mainly by not replacing people who leave, but we will need to carry out restructuring to make the most of our reducing resources. 

• IT budget - £530,000 
Reduce the amount spent on new IT projects and systems and spend less on maintaining current IT systems. Reduce the amount spent on IT services available to support front line services. 

• Insurance reductions £370,000 
This money would be saved by accepting a higher level of insurance risk which will lower our insurance premiums. 

• Reduction in property running costs and maintenance £1.778m 
This would lead to a move to reactive rather than planned maintenance and an overall deterioration in the condition of council buildings, such as offices, libraries, homes for older people and children’s centres. 

Economy, Transport and Environment 2018-19 - £2.990m including: 
• Local bus services - £1,200,000 
A report to be considered by Cabinet on 26 January will ask for approval to consult on proposals for demand responsive local transport services. 

• School crossing patrols - £300,000 
Review the school crossing patrol service and work with schools and communities to look for alternative sources of funding. 

• Waste - £500,000 
Generate income by charging people to leave rubble at the council’s household waste recycling centres. 

• Staff budget reductions - £400,000 
Reduce staff numbers in the department by up to 18 posts mainly by not replacing people when they leave, staff reorganisations, and maximising income to pay for staff costs. 

• Street lighting - £590,000 
See 2017/18. 


Proposals for 2019/20 
Adult Care 2019-20 - £700,000 including: 
• Electronic Home Care Recording - £700,000 
The council commissions home care from agencies and use an electronic time recording system which logs time spent with clients. It is currently looking at replacing this system for a more efficient, fully computerised system which will more accurately record this time. The result will be that we will only pay for the exact amount of time spent with a client, rather than blocks of time, resulting in a saving. The new system would also alert us quickly to a missed call. 

Children’s Services 2019/20 - £100,000: 
• Support Service Costs – £100,000 
Further reductions in back office functions. 

Chief Executives 2019-20 - £706,000 including: 
• Staffing - £706,000 
Employ less people in Communications, Call Derbyshire, Policy and Research and secretarial teams by reorganising all our services. 

Corporate Resources 2019-20 – £2.144m including: 
• Administration and employee savings - £869,000 
Employ fewer people in HR, finance, transformation, property and legal services mainly by not replacing people who leave, but the county council will still need to carry out restructuring to make the most of its reducing resources. 

• IT budget - £610,000 
Reduce the amount spent on new IT projects and systems and spend less on maintaining current IT systems. Reduce the amount spent on IT services available to support front line services. 

• Insurance reductions £105,000 
This money would be saved by accepting a higher level of insurance risk which would lower the council’s insurance premiums. 

• Reduction in property running costs and maintenance £560,000 
This would lead to a move to reactive rather than planned maintenance and an overall deterioration in the condition of council buildings, such as offices, libraries, homes for older people and children’s centres. 

Economy, Transport and Environment 2019-20 - £140,000 including: 
• Street Lighting - £140,000 
See 2016/17

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