Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Tackling the gap

Finding savings of £17.4 million by 2018/19 isn’t going to be easy.

We can’t pretend that we can continue to do all the things that we currently do and we won’t be able to work in the same way. Finding new savings gets harder and harder the more we have to make and there are certainly no easy answers. We’ll have to stop doing some things and this will affect employees and the levels of service we provide to the public.

What we can be sure of is that we are in as a good a position as we can be. We have a strong track record of sound financial management and we have been dealing with these problems successfully for many years. We’ve taken difficult decisions in the past that mean we are as well placed as we can be to face the future.

  • We began Medium Term Financial Planning rather than yearly budget planning in 2006.
  • We stopped applying automatic inflationary rises to budgets in 2010.
  • We carried out the EIT Reviews between 2010 and 2012.
  • We began the Big Ticket programme of reviews in our 3 biggest areas of spend (Adults, Childrens and Energy and Waste) in 2013.
  • We delivered the Service Review programme agreed with Council in June 2013.

Over the last five years we’ve made savings of £34million. All of these programmes of work have successfully delivered the savings that we targeted for them and this has placed us in as good a position as we can be. They give us the confidence that we can continue to meet this challenge.

We have clear direction and leadership from our Elected Members, strong working relationships with our Unions, strong financial management processes and great employees. And underpinning all of this the Shaping a Brighter Future programme which we began at the start of 2014 and is beginning to identify some new ways in which we can work together even better to meet this challenge.