East Riding of Yorkshire Council leader, Councillor Stephen Parnaby, has praised the authority’s financial performance and ongoing programme of transformation.
Speaking at a meeting of the full council, Coun Parnaby said the local authority had a “reputation for strong financial management” – delivering £71.1m of savings in the past four years in response to Government funding cuts and service budget pressures.
He said: “This has been achieved by focusing on the council’s priorities and plans as well as taking early action and planning ahead.
“The council started to take action ahead of Government funding reductions in 2009 and continues to plan ahead so that savings can be fully realised when funding cuts are made.”
Cllr Parnaby was responding to a question from Councillor Richard Harrap, who said: “The council is almost exceptional in the UK in the way it has managed its finances to be able to continue to deliver good services to residents, and within budget. How has this been managed and what is the council doing to ensure it continues?”
Cllr Parnaby told the full council meeting that, over the next four years, the current estimates are that the council needs to save a further £70m.
He said: “We are fundamentally reviewing the way services are delivered through our Business Transformation Programme.
“We are engaging and challenging staff to improve service delivery and transform services while reducing costs. To date, the Business Transformation Programme has delivered more than £15m of savings.
“At an event during Business Week recently, a speaker referred to the Industrial Revolution taking 100 years – he said we now have the equivalent every two years because of the speed of technological change.”
He said technology will be increasingly used, where appropriate, to enable East Riding residents to self-serve to access council services and inter-act with the authority.
Cllr Parnaby also said that the co-location of services at community hubs like the Withernsea and Hessle Centres was helping to deliver savings and drive major changes across the authority.
And he said that reserves had been earmarked to support services such as adult and children’s social care through periods of significant legislative and financial change.