Council response to Local Government funding settlement
Last updated: 21/12/2012
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We have only just received details of the
funding which has been allocated to the Council.
This is always a very complex issue and this
year has become even more so because of the Government’s decision
to introduce the new business rates retention system, which allows
local authorities to keep what they collect, and the localisation
of council tax benefit allocation. We need now to carry out a
detailed analysis of the figures to assess what they mean for the
The Council has, however, already delivered or
is delivering on a number of Eric Pickles’ 50 ways to save.
These include :
Share back office services –
Cornwall merged seven Councils into one as part of the creation of
the new unitary Council in 2009. This has delivered £15m of
ongoing annual savings which were mainly generated from
rationalising back office functions.
Tackle duplicate payments –
Cornwall implemented this initiative during the last financial year
and has recovered £0.528m to date.
Tackle fraud – The Council
has successfully tackled Council tax and housing benefit fraud and
is anticipating detecting/preventing £1.5m this year.
Clamp down on corporate charge
cards – The Council introduced new internal controls last
year, with cash withdrawal facilities removed several years
Procurement savings – The
Council actively manages its procurement process, delivering annual
cashable savings in the regions of £3.5m plus cost avoidance of
another £3m per year.
Council tax collection rates
– Cornwall Council collects 97.7% of its Council tax in year, in
excess of 99% in total.
Hot desking, estate rationalisation
and sub-letting – The Council is well on the way to
delivering savings in excess of £1m per year through an ambitious
scheme of office modernisation and modern working.
Closed subsidised council
canteens – Cornwall has already done this and is
delivering savings of £0.045m p.a.
Open a coffee shop in the
library – Cornwall has already done this in its largest
library in Truro.
Scrap the Town hall Pravda –
Cornwall stopped the publication of its newspaper several years
Stop providing free food and drink in
meetings – the Council implemented this several years
Reduce first class travel –
Cornwall Council already has a policy of no 1st class
Cut mileage payments –
Cornwall Council reduced its mileage payments to staff in 2011 and
pays on average well below the HMRC 45p rate.
Sell services – the Council
has recently set up a range of alternative service delivery
vehicles which have the power to trade and sell services.
The Government also announced today that the
Council has been allocated an additional £4.874m over the next two
years for maintaining roads in Cornwall. This funding, which
includes £3.191m for 2013 / 2014 and £1.683m for 2014 /2015, can be
used for improvements such as road resurfacing, drainage
improvement, maintenance to bridges or repairing damage to highway
infrastructure caused by severe weather events, such as the recent
With the latest reports suggesting that last
month’s floods caused more than £2m of damage to roads and bridges
in Cornwall, and more severe weather predicted in the next few
days, Bert Biscoe, the Council’s portfolio holder for
transportation has welcomed this additional funding as
The Council is currently drawing up proposals
for the 2013 / 2014 budget which will be considered by the Cabinet
in January before a final decision is made by the full Council in
Story posted 19 December