I’m pleased to report that a change to the way that Nottinghamshire County Council monitors and manages its budgets is already benefiting taxpayers in Nottinghamshire.
The Conservatives inherited the 2017-18 budget in May 2017 and quickly set about modernising the whole process.
Instead of the previous method of setting budgets and making changes annually, the Conservatives implemented a rolling, all-year-round process of budget monitoring and review, which is much more adaptable to change and able to make immediate savings or responsive to public demand for investment in priority service areas much more quickly.
This new approach helped the council come in £8.7 million under budget for the financial year ending March 31, 2018.
Flexible budgeting also makes it easier for the council to reinvest throughout the year.
The immediate extra £1 million moved into road repairs allowed the council to reinvest savings from elsewhere to deal with a pressing need and to commit in extra £24 million for road maintenance over the next three years.
Funding from Government will continue to be reduced, while demand for services, particularly social care for older people and children will continue to rise. So much more work is still required for to meet the £54 million projected budget shortfall over the next three years and continue to protect frontline services.
But the in-year savings made last year – which account for 1.5 per cent of the entire £500 million net committees budget – is a positive move towards meeting that funding gap.
Through better management of your money, more efficient ways of delivering services are still possible.