A plan for more effective, affordable public services in Staffordshire, built on partnerships that help people to thrive and enjoy a better quality of life in the future, have been published by Staffordshire County Council.
The reports – a new strategic plan and a financial strategy for the next five years – go to cabinet for discussion on 18th December. The finances and budget for 2014-15 will be approved in the New Year.
They set out how the county council will build on solid foundations created in the last five years. In that time it has made £130m of savings while still investing in the economy to create jobs, and working with partners to join up and improve health services, improve education and training, and reduce crime.
However, funding for public services will continue to reduce and the way we provide services will no longer be affordable in the years ahead.
The county council must keep finding new ways of working, not least as demand for many services increases. For example, an extra £2.6m is needed next year for children in need of care.
People want services in different ways too, for instance making better use of technology.
A big part of rising to the financial challenge is to work ever closer with partners like the NHS and police, who collectively spend £7.5 billion in Staffordshire every year, so that we use this money as effectively as possible.
The county council is again aiming to freeze council tax in 2014-15 but must first wait for details of its grant settlement from Government in late December.