Message from Nigel Kennedy, Head of
Financial Services, Oxford City Council
Colleagues may have seen news reports that Oxfordshire
County Council announced plans for significant changes yesterday. The Leader of
the County Council, Councillor Ian Hudspeth, said they wanted to i
ntroduce a new operating model to improve
efficiency and increase the provision of services online. The County Council
says it is seeking savings of £34-£58 million a year by streamlining services.
It acknowledges this is likely to involve a reduction in staff numbers over
time by up to 890 people, though it said it expected, with staff turnover of
about 650 a year, that most of the jobs lost would be taken out of that pool,
with a smaller level of compulsory redundancies. The proposals will go before
the full County Council meeting on 11 September.
These savings were identified as part of last year’s budget
setting process, and the County Council has been working on a plan with
consultants for the last 12 months. The City Council set a balanced budget last
year, over the four-year budget plan, with savings of around £7m already
identified. We are in the process of reviewing the budget for the next
four-year planning period, and whilst it’s safe to say we will have financial
challenges we are not in the same financial position as the County Council.