Not a black day for the public sector

The Spending Review has made today a very interesting day. I have met many staff out and about who are obviously concerned about the implications of the review and what it means to them.

While the Spending Review is clearly being linked to job losses in the media this is not our approach in Staffordshire and indeed I believe the savings outlined haven’t been as bad as they were being trailed as. There was good news around extra funding for social care, real term increases in schools budgets and extra early years provision, as well as a removal of much of the ringfencing from government to make us more masters of our own destiny.  Elected Members and many of our staff have been working hard to prepare for the Spending Review and are in good financial health to be able to deal with the savings required.

Our new way of working is about being more focused on our customers’ needs, supporting elected members in their prioritisation and decision making and ensuring we have the right outcomes to deliver to those priorities. We will be a smaller organisation in three years time, but this will be about doing things better and delivering our services in different ways.

 We are looking to make many of the savings over the next three years from non staff budgets like, for example, better use of our buildings, more innovative working approaches with technology, better procurement and better collaboration with our partners. While we will be a smaller organisation in the future we will, wherever possible, manage this through natural turnover and voluntary redundancy.  I want an ongoing dialogue with you, and representative bodies, about how best we best manage the changes going forward.

Staff are our most valuable asset and without you, the experts doing the jobs, we won’t be able to achieve what we need to. I have met many of you in recent months and know that you’re doing jobs that make a huge difference and that you are up for the new opportunities ahead. For me, today is a day to be proud of working in the public sector and I wanted you all to know that you’re truly valued by the organisation you work for.

Best Wishes

Nick

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