Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Pressure grows on council staff as cuts kick in
COUNCIL chiefs in Worcester are being urged to avoid knee-jerk “short-term” decisions as spending cuts begin to bite.
A new in-house report reveals there is “increasing pressure” on the city council’s workforce as spending reductions kick in. This needs to be carefully managed in a bid to avoid falling standards.
The document, known as the corporate risk register, cites “increasing expectations” on staff despite fewer people on the ground as a major potential issue.
It said: “There is a risk that the council doesn’t have the capacity or skills to meet the challenging demands placed upon it and still deliver excellent customer focused services.”
It also calls for “more diverse and fit-for-purpose” skills to be given to the workers that remain to satisfy public demand for services and maintain standards for taxpayers.
As your Worcester News first revealed in December, bosses have outlined plans to cut £1.2 million and 26 jobs by 2015.
On top of that, another £250,000 of savings, which have yet to be identified need to be found in 2014/15.
The risk register also cites the looming welfare reforms next month, the pressures of the Localism Act and the tendency to look for “short-term solutions”, as areas which need to be looked at in the coming months.
Julie Slatter, service manager for performance, innovation and efficiency, said: “We’ve done an awful lot of work on the corporate risk register to make sure it is embedded into the way the council works.
“It’s fair to say this is very much a ‘live’ document which sets out what the major risks are and what we are doing to mitigate against that. It’s developing and will give us a clear picture as we go forward.”
The report says the authority plans to work closely with other public sector organisations to make “better use of buildings and assets” in a bid to save money.
It also notes the “volatility” of funding to town halls from central Government, citing that as an ongoing risk.