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Support services (H7)

Cuts

Portfolio: Efficiency and Resources Portfolio

With the reduction in operational services across the council there will need to be a proportionate reduction in the services that support the operations.  This form covers:  

  • Finance
  • HRM
  • Legal
  • Customer Services
  • PA & Business Support
  • Occupational Health
  • Health and Safety
  • Procurement
  • Xentrall transactional services
  • Xentrall ICT.

Although this is an unknown quantity at this point in time, it is estimated that there is £360k for variable and specific overheads in these areas which would need to be removed.  Whilst there are indicative figures on the amounts per service area it is more prudent to look at these services as a collective and decide how it is best to remove the costs when the reduction in operational services is known.  The majority savings from these areas will follow the stage two decision and will be subject to review following the council decision in the summer as these services will be needed to support operations through their reduction.  If however there are efficiencies identified in the interim they will be taken prior to this.

The costs of the services have been analysed between fixed, specific and variable costs to assist in this exercise and it is only the specific and variable overhead cost which can be removed.  Notwithstanding this there is still a considerable challenge to removing these costs particularly as all the support services already benchmark well and due to the size of the authority the teams are small.  Any loss in numbers creates a pressure in terms of capacity and the ability to cover holidays/ sickness absence/training etc.  Another risk is the loss of skills and the knowledge that has been built up in current employees.

Link: H7 Support services

This proposal will be discussed at the Efficiency and Resources scrutiny committee [PDF document] on 31 March 2016.

Related FAQs

There are too many pen pushers in the Town Hall, the cuts are hitting those doing the real work.

There are too many pen pushers in the Town Hall, the cuts are hitting those doing the real work.

Staff working directly with the public cannot do their jobs well without support, whether that’s ordering supplies or paying the wages. The Council continually reviews its staffing levels and the overall costs of services compare well with those at other councils and, where appropriate, compare well with the private sector. Staffing numbers also compare well.

We have already cut back office staff and once services are reduced the support services behind them will be reviewed. 

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