Suffolk County Council reveals savings plan

First details showing how Suffolk is considering saving �50m over the next two years have been published today.

They show how the county council plans to focus savings on reducing management costs, cutting bureaucracy and improving efficiency.

The council plans to invest more of in services that help vulnerable people earlier – so they remain independent for longer and do not become dependent on more costly support in later life.

The proposals, which cover the next two financial years, include:

Council-wide efficiency savings (1.5% per year across all departments) – �15m

Early intervention, coordination and streamlining adult social care – �15m

Reducing the cost of our back office – �6.5m

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Early intervention and more integrated teams in children and young people's services – �3.5m

Re-letting the council's highways management contract – �2m

Reducing the number of senior managers – �2m

Reducing/rationalising office accommodation – �2m

Savings from better purchasing of services – �1.5m

Saving money on waste management – �1m.

The details are contained in a report to be presented to the county council's Scrutiny Committee on 24 November 2011.

Council leader Mark Bee said: 'I've made it very clear that what I want to see from this process is the creation of a budget that saves money on back office and bureaucracy, protects, as much as possible, frontline services and keeps council tax down.

'We're still at a very early stage and the proposals are very much open for public consultation but I think a good start has been made under extremely difficult circumstances.'

Last week Mr Bee revealed that the council was determined to freeze its element of council tax bills next year.

In September this year, the county council began a public consultation to get a better idea of the priorities of Suffolk residents.

The information received from 2,490 people helped to shape the proposals published today.

A series of county-wide public events and meetings, designed to give people an opportunity to comment further, is currently underway. Members of the public can also give their opinions by email or telephone.

Full details of the proposed budget will be published in January before a meeting of the council's cabinet – and the budget itself is due to be agreed at a meeting in February.

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