The Medium Term Financial Strategy

My second week in my new office has been much more down to earth than last week.  The big topic for discussion this has been our budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy (the ‘MTFS’).

We had the first of a number of Cabinet and SLT away days to talk about our plans for next year and beyond, and, as usual at this time in the budget process, we find our spending plans to be considerably in excess of the resources available!  It gets tougher every year, but the gap is similar in scale to those we’ve faced at this point in previous budget rounds, and with further work I’m confident we’ll find ways of meeting the shortfall.

What we will do is avoid short term fixes or salami slicing, and approach this as a medium term (5 year) problem.  We know we will face further pressures next year, and the year after, and so on, so we need to plan for the fact that we will have less money in the future by coming up with plans to reshape, remodel and reinvent how we do things.  If we stay true to this principle we will still have the capacity and capability to make a difference, ensure Staffordshire remains a dynamic ,vibrant and successful county, and improve the lives of those who need us.

The other thing I want to mention this week is that our Chief Information Officer, Sander Kristel, has won the 2014 SOCITM Digital Engagement Award for his work developing the council’s ability to adapt to the changing world of digital.  This is a tremendous achievement for Sander, his team, and all those within the county council who are driving Staffordshire and the county council into the digital age. Well done, Sander and colleagues!

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