How we continue to be efficient
The financial pressures that face Local Government are well known. Despite these pressures however, the Council remains committed to both the maintenance of service delivery and continuing to improve community outcomes that enhance the quality of life for the residents of Brentwood.
The Corporate Strategy 2020-2025 pdf requires that the Council is committed to seeking innovative financial solutions that will allow the Council to deliver a prosperous borough to its residents, businesses and visitors.
The fundamental principles of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy are to:
- Maintain a sustainable financial position against a background of unprecedented financial uncertainty and reduced government funding, including the delivery of efficiency targets.
- Support the vision of our Borough through appropriate identification of resources required to deliver the key priorities outlined in the Corporate Strategy.
- Maximise opportunities and mitigate risks associated with the fundamental change to the way in which local government is financed.
The future of Local Government finance now holds many uncertainties. Currently there have been no Government Funding forecasts announced yet for years 2022/23 and beyond. During the past year, the COVID pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the council in its role as community leader.
The Council will continue to support its residents and businesses through these challenging times, particularly the vulnerable and those in need of significant intervention to ensure they are protected. Alongside this the council is working with communities to support the pandemic recovery
The impact of the pandemic can obviously not be accurately assessed and is dependent on many factors outside the control of the council. This will be monitored on an ongoing basis and resources may need to be re-prioritised from other service areas or additional support appropriated from reserves. Central Government has also stated it will keep the level of local authority support under review.
Taking this all into consideration, the Council has continued to deliver it’s Corporate Strategy outcomes while maintaining working balances and mitigating risk through the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2021/22 the Council will primarily focus on
- Generating income through regeneration activity and redevelopment within the borough.
- The ongoing review and redesign of services which includes an organisational review of the establishment.
- A focus on supporting inward economic investment.
- Continuously Reviewing fees and charges to ensure full cost recovery, where this is not possible reviewing how the associated services are delivered to reduce costs or accepting a discounted charge in return for an appropriate community benefit.
- Progressing the Leisure Strategy to improve the offer of facilities in the borough generating income and efficiencies.
- Optimising the Council’s use of technology to enable new ways of working and improving service quality for our residents.
- Ensuring the Council’s assets are used efficiently and effectively
- Creating Green Initiatives internally and throughout the borough.
Whilst the Council will explore opportunities to identify and secure additional income with which to support services, it is clear that there is also the opportunity to balance its budget through the strict management of expenditure levels and securing efficiencies.
The Council will ensure that services continue to drive through efficiencies and continually review their working practices and operations to try and make them as efficient as possible.