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Suffolk County Council aims to save almost £60 million over next four years with 'transformation programmes'

By Jason Noble, Local Democracy Reporter

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich. (5829303)
Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich. (5829303)

Nearly £60million is hoped to be saved at Suffolk County Council in the next four years, via a series of ‘transformation programmes’.

Suffolk County Council launched 10 four-year schemes in April that will either generate savings or improve services.

Richard Smith, Conservative cabinet member for finances, said the schemes aimed at saving £53.9 million over four years.

“The aim of our transformation programmes, as a whole, is to help the council address increasing demand for its services and save money, while still helping us to deliver the best possible service to the people of Suffolk,” Cllr Smith said.

“The current portfolio of programmes commenced delivery on April 1 and will run until March, 2022, with the aim of helping to save some £53.9 million over that period.

“We are targeting £13.7 million of savings from the programmes this year, and are projecting further savings of £13 million during the 2019/20 financial year.”

The programmes follow a series of schemes that ran between 2015 and 2017, and contributed about £39 million to savings of £103million during that time.

Of the 10 programmes, three have been designed to generate savings.

Among the areas being looked at are learning disabilities and autism services, as well as helping identify care needs for adults and children sooner to prevent them needing costlier care packages in the future.

Sarah Adams, the county council’s Labour group leader, said: “Nobody can argue against the benefits of delivering services in a more efficient and progressive manner, as long as the quality of public services are not compromised.

“Too often, however, the word savings is used as code for cuts.

“I do not believe that residents of Suffolk feel the standard of services provided by the county council has improved, or even been maintained.

“People are being made to pay more and more, but receiving less and less.

“Used properly, the transformation programmes have the potential to modernise the council’s services, so I hope the council recognise the need to encourage growth, and not simply use them as a vehicle for yet more arbitrary cuts.”


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