Effective budget management at Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire Council's strong financial management has resulted in a positive outcome for the 2017/18 annual spend.
The council spends around £1bn per year delivering more than 350 services. Cabinet members heard today (12 June) how savings of £13m were achieved last year which, together with strong budget management, enabled Wiltshire Council to end the year £410,000 under budget.
This unspent budget will go towards delivering the savings required of more than £26m in this financial year (2018/19).
Philip Whitehead, cabinet member for finance, said: "Our responsible and effective stewardship together with sensible plans for expenditure and delivering savings has enabled us to balance our budget for another successive year, leaving us well placed to tackle the financial challenge we continue to face this year, and for the next four years.
"Managing public services and finance has never been more difficult, with an increase in costs, the reduction in government funding, and a continued growth in demand for services; particularly children's and adult social care.
"We monitor and review our finances throughout the year and I'm pleased that this year through managing spend we have delivered a surplus.
"We will continue to prioritise spend on growing the economy, building strong communities and protecting those who are most vulnerable."
In the next four years the council needs to find savings of more than £57.5m, set against a backdrop of increasing costs as a result of the growth in the ageing population and decreasing financial support from central Government.
The savings will be achieved by focusing on prevention to reduce the demand for some services - particularly care services; integrating health and social care to help meet the increasing demand for health and care services. There will also be a continued focus on sharing assets, office space and resources with partners including NHS, Fire, Police and the MoD, increasing digital channels and options to access services so that residents can interact with the council's services when they want to. The council will also become more business-like by adopting a commercial approach to service provision, where this is appropriate and by working with local communities we want to encourage them to do even more for themselves taking responsibility for some service delivery in local areas.