The Story of Staffordshire and MTFS

Sometimes, one has to take some time to step back from the daily whirl of events and think ahead.  This week, I made some time to join the Insight team in preparing the Story of Staffordshire for this year. It’s an excellent publication, an in depth analysis of our county laced with the data we need to make the right decisions that will help us deliver better outcomes for Staffordshire people. It should be more widely read than it is. With that in mind, we’re going to advance its publication date so that all of the people who attend a meeting later this month of the county’s public and private sector leaders – called the Staffordshire Strategic Partnership – will receive a copy. The meeting itself is all about Brexit, and how we work together across the county to prepare for the opportunities and challenges that will come when the UK leaves the EU.

Meanwhile, back in the day job, the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) is taking shape – our budget and business plan for 2017-18.  After the decision to have a rolling process at the start of this financial year, and the in-year spending controls forced on us by the non-payment of the Better Care Fund money, it seems that we have spent the whole year thinking about money and savings.  We now have a chance to look forward and think more broadly about how we continue to transform the organisation, and the way we work with partners, to make a positive difference in the lives of local people. I’ll make no bones about it, the financial situation remains tough, but the decisions we make must and will not be all about the money.  We’ve already started the challenge sessions, where we look carefully at the options line by line, and Cabinet and SLT will have three longer sessions in the coming weeks to think through where we want to be as an organisation, with sessions on children, adults and economy and skills.

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