Friday, 17 September 2010

City finances: It's not all bad news

Why not sooner?
One of the effects of the very considerable financial pressures on Edinburgh Council is that it concentrates the mind on deciding what is important.

Yesterday, the Council approved the first tranche of savings (well all but one of the 63 savings brought forward by Council officers.   There was something remarkable about some of these savings.  We had details of each one in a format which included a standard field for comment on 'impact on outcomes'.   I looked more closely at the 6 savings in the Education Department (my particular brief).   Do you notice anything striking about the expected outcomes after these savings are taken?  I have italicised the last one because it is special!
  1. Minimal
  2. None
  3. None
  4. Reduction in management support would reduce the level of direction/monitoring of local service delivery in relation to service priorities
  5. Priority to front facing and statutory functions will ensure that a focus on strategic objectives and outcomes . . . will be maintained as far as possible
  6. . . . This could result in improved service for users with opportunities for making significant savings and potential for improved performance management of functional delivery

Which all begs the question of why we have been spending this £2.35m annually up to this point.

Note:  This is the first of the recently promised occasional posts which address Council or broader Edinburgh issues.

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