Support services service review (part one)

Birmingham City Council today published a green paper looking at the future of Support Services.

The council is facing a big challenge, having to cut the budget we can control by half over seven years. In the past we have often made changes to improve our services and get better value for money. But we now face cuts in government funding on a scale that has never been seen before.

We will need to make big changes to balance the books in the years ahead. These changes will have an impact on everyone in the city, so we want to discuss them with you before going ahead.

The key question we are seeking to answer is: How can we continue to provide essential services to residents and guide the city through such difficult times, whilst supporting greater fairness and future prosperity?

Key messages

  • Whilst we have made significant savings in recent years and completely transformed some of our administrative functions, we are clear further efficiencies in back office support services can and must be made, in order to limit cuts in front-line services as far as possible.
  • Current support service arrangements are no longer financially sustainable, and are not always fully effective and efficient in supporting the council to deliver our priorities.
  • The review has identified several areas for potential savings, as well as areas where current culture, processes and organisation could better fit the council's future needs.
  • There will be further reviews of other support services. The proposed changes at this stage are:
    • £14m efficiency savings in Corporate Resources Directorate (out of £70m)
    • Further reviews of areas that appear to be high cost - ICT, Legal Services and Estate Management.
    • Further review a number of cross-council support services to provide better integration of these activities.

The future - phases 2 and 3

  • Further support services savings will also be sought in the next stages of the Review Programme.
  • Phase 2 will look at options such as removing internal charging and adopting a cross-council approach to administration.
  • Phase 3 will look at a fundamental design of support services in the light of the emerging service review programme conclusions.

Send us your Comments


Text: 07786 200 403 – Simply start a new message with the word 'Budget' followed by a space (if you miss out a space your message will be lost), then add your comment. Please note you will not get a receipt for this message. Mesages sent via this service will cost your usual network rate per message and are anonymous unless you put your name in the message.

Write to: Service Reviews, Room 221, Council House, B1 1BB.

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