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Now that we are over halfway through the financial year, more and more councils are revisiting plans they have made to generate efficiency savings to see if they will stack up and achieve their desired outcome for this year and beyond.
At APSE, we have noticed an upsurge in enquiries about how you make remaining services more commercially viable by either reducing costs or generating additional revenue to offset budget cuts. This suggests that councils are concerned they may fail to meet existing targets and are attempting a ‘take two’.
As if councils didn’t already have enough to contend with, they are now facing a barrage of criticism over charging.
Previously, the Government indicated that local authorities should further explore opportunities to generate income so long as this was not exploiting the public. Faced with unprecedented cuts in resources, many authorities have done exactly that. Indeed, only a couple of months ago communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles cited APSE’s examples of local authority MOT stations providing a service to the public and undertaking tree inspections for private businesses for insurance purposes on national radio and flagged up a link to our web pages on the topic.