Headlines: August 11th, 2008

Somerset County Council has managed to achieve efficiency saving of nearly 27 million pounds over the past three years, exceeding the government’s target of 22.56 million pounds by 20 per cent.

Nearly 19 million pounds of savings were achieved through improved contracts with suppliers, and also maintaining services despite a reduction in Government grants. The most significant savings were in the areas of Adult Social Care, Supporting People, and Waste. The remaining 8 million pounds of savings are in the form of increased productivity without extra cost or the need for extra funding. For example, through a reduction in the level of sickness leave taken by employees.

The County Council and the District Councils across Somerset now have a target to achieve savings of 55 million pounds during the next three years. Initiatives to achieve this target include a joint venture between Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council, Avon and Somerset Police Authority and IBM, which will improve efficiency and services provided to the community. Also, Pioneer Somerset, a project that aims to improve working links between Somerset County Council and the five District Councils.

The savings are being reinvested in the continued improvement of frontline services for the community and they will help to keep Council Tax increases to a minimum.